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Texas Bar Journal




Many Texas attorneys consulting older decisions for guidance breathe sighs of mental relief when they read a Texas Supreme Court case, rather than one of those pesky Court of Appeals or Commission of Appeals decisions with an arcane writ history or "judgment adopted" designation. After all, Texas Supreme Court cases are the top of the heap, precedent-wise, unless they have been overruled. Right? Well, maybe. In Texas, there are good and bad vintages for Texas Supreme Court opinions. The Civil War and Reconstruction years, from 1861 through 1873, are a particularly interesting legal vinyard.

Surprisingly enough, despite the century or more that separates these opinions from the present day, questions of precedential value still arise with some regularity.

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State Bar of Texas

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