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Date: 10-02-2022

Case Style:

James Preservation Trust, Eric F. James d/b/a Stray Leaves, Leaves of Gas v. Rob Burley, Burley Auction Group, Inc., Lois Gibson, and Terry Verburgt

Case Number: 04-21-00407-CV

Judge: PER CURIAM Sitting: Beth Watkins, Justice Liza A. Rodriguez, Justice Lori I. Valenzuela, Justice


Fourth Court of Appeals San Antonio, Texas

On appeal from the 25th Judicial District Court of Guadalupe County

Plaintiff's Attorney:

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Defendant's Attorney: Delphine James


San Antonio, Texas – Libel, Slander and Defamation lawyer represented Appellees/Plaintiffs with asserting claims for defamation.

Appellees/Plaintiffs Robb Burley, Burley Auction Group, Inc., Lois Gibson, and Terry
Verburgt (the Burley Plaintiffs) sued Appellants/Defendants JamesPreservation Trust, Eric F.
James d/b/a Stray Leaves, and Leaves of Gas (the James Defendants) asserting claims for
defamation, defamation per se, and business disparagement. The James Defendants filed a
Special Appearance and Motion for Summary Dismissal, which the trial court denied on May
16, 2019. The James Defendants’ live answer asserted a counterclaim under the Uniform
Declaratory Judgments Act and sought attorney’s fees.

The judgment disposed of the Burley Plaintiffs’ defamation per se claim and their request
for an injunction, but not their defamation claim, their business disparagement claim, or their
request for a declaratory judgment. Neither did the judgment dispose of the James Defendants’
counterclaim and request for attorney’s fees under the Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act. In
the absence of a severance order, a summary judgment that does not dispose of all parties and
causes of action is not final and appealable. Lehmann v. Har-Con Corp., 39 S.W.3d 191, 195
(Tex. 2001); Ne. Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Aldridge, 400 S.W.2d 893, 895 (Tex. 1966).
Because the summary judgment did not dispose of all parties and causes of action, and
the notice of appeal was not timely as to any permissible interlocutory appeal, we treated the
notice of appeal as prematurely filed. See TEX. R. APP. P. 27.1(a); TEX.CIV. PRAC. &REM.CODE
ANN. § 51.014(a), (f)

Outcome: We abated the appeal, remanded this cause to the trial court, and ordered
the James Defendants to ensure that a supplemental clerk’s record with a final, appealable judgment or order was timely filed in this court.

The James Defendants failed to cure the jurisdictional defect as ordered, so we reinstate this appeal and dismiss it for want of jurisdiction. See TEX. R. APP. P. 42.3(a). We also dismiss as moot the Burley Plaintiffs’motion to dismiss and the James Defendants’ motion for extension of time.

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