law-of-the-case doctrine defined | multiple suits subsequent appeals | res judicata | claim preclusion
LAW OF THE CASE DOCTRINE - APPELLATE CASELAW
“Law of the case” doctrine is defined as that principle under which questions of law
decided on appeal to a court of last resort will govern the case throughout its
subsequent stages. Loram Maintenance of Way, Inc. v. Ianni, 210 S.W.3d 593, 596
Under the doctrine, a court of appeals is ordinarily bound by its initial decision if there is a subsequent appeal
in the same case. Briscoe v. Goodmark Corp., 102 S.W.3d 714, 716 (Tex. 2003). The doctrine is intended to
achieve uniformity of decision as well as judicial economy and efficiency through narrowing the
issues at successive stages of litigation. Id. “The doctrine is based on public policy and is aimed at putting
an end to litigation.” Id. “Application of the doctrine lies within the discretion of the court,
depending upon the particular circumstances surrounding [the] case.” Id.; see also LeBlanc v. State, 826 S.
W.2d 640, 644 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1992, pet. ref’d) (stating that appellate courts have
discretion to depart from “law of the case” doctrine in exceptional circumstances).
The doctrine has been held to apply “to implicit holdings, i.e., conclusions that are logically necessary
implications of positions articulated by the court, as well as explicit ones.” Intern. Fidelity Ins. Co. v. State, No.
14-98-00324-CR, 2000 WL 729384 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] June 8, 2000, pet. ref’d) (not
designated for publication) (citing Alberti v. Klevenhagen, 46 F.3d 1347, 1351 n.1 (5th Cir. 1995)).
Yazdchi v. SACU (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Feb. 19, 2009)(Higley) (law of the case doctrine)
AFFIRM TC JUDGMENT: Opinion by Justice Higley
Before Justices Jennings, Keyes and Higley
01-07-00189-CV Abbas Yazdchi v. San Antonio Credit Union (SACU)
Appeal from 281st District Court of Harris County
Trial Court Judge Hon. David J. Bernal
We conclude that “law of the case” doctrine forecloses our reconsideration of this same issue. See Briscoe,
102 S.W.3d at 716 (recognizing that application of “law of the case” doctrine lies within the
discretion of the court, depending upon the circumstances surrounding each case). We hold that the
trial court did not err by granting summary judgment in favor of SACU. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 166a(c); KPMG
Peat Marwick, 988 S.W.2d at 748.
Melasky as GAL v. City of Houston (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] Aug. 16, 2007)(Yates)
(guardian attorney ad litem fee, law of the case, minors, remand, scope of mandate)
AFFIRMED: Opinion by Justice Brock Yates
(Before Justices Brock Yates, Edelman and Seymore)
14-06-00386-CV David Melasky as Guadian Ad Litem v. City of Houston
Appeal from 80th District Court of Harris County (no judge shown on docket sheet)