Justices dismiss BEST members' appeal

David Yates Aug. 2, 2011, 4:32am


Texas justices seated on the Ninth Court of Appeals recently dismissed an appeal brought by two founding members of BEST.

In April, Beaumonter's Embracing Transition Toward Election Reform (BETTER) filed a petition to take the depositions of BEST (Best Education System in Texas) founders Oveal Walker III and Paul Jones.

Court records show Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, authorized Jones and Walker's pre-suit depositions, forcing them to file an appeal on May 10.

However, BETTER dropped the petition to take depositions on June 27, rendering the appeal moot, court papers say.

"Oveal Walker III and Paul Jones filed a petition for writ of mandamus to compel the trial court to vacate an order authorizing their pre-suit depositions ... BETTER subsequently non-suited its petition," the Ninth Court's per curiam opinion issued July 28 states.

"Because events that occurred after the filing of the petition have rendered this proceeding moot, we dismiss the petition for writ of mandamus without addressing the merits of the petition."

The litigation stemmed from campaign flyers BEST, a BETTER opposition group in support of the Beaumont Independent School District, distributed before the May election.

In its petition, BETTER alleged that BEST pamphlets included false information about the group's mission.

BETTER, represented by Beaumont attorney Mike Getz, sought to change the BISD school board from seven single member districts to five single member districts with two at-large positions - a goal that has been accomplished.

Port Arthur attorney Langston Adams represented Walker and Jones.

Case No. A189-745

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