In re Frenkel illustrates an important procedural aspect of practice regarding sanctions; specifically, the supreme court’s holding in Braden v. Downey, 811 S.W.2d 922 (Tex. 1991) (orig. proceeding) about the interplay between an interlocutory sanctions order and the right to its appellate review.
In this case, the Fifth Court found that mandamus review of a $1000 sanction payable to TLAP was warranted because after final judgment, “the trial court would not have the means to compel TLAP to return the monetary sanction.”
Similarly, it found that a requirement to take certain ethics CLEs within 24 months of the order also require mandamus intervention, as “[t]here is no guarantee that a final appealable judgment will be rendered before the twenty-four month period expires,” particularly in light of the COVID pandemic. Accordingly, the Court required the trial court to defer both orders “until rendition of final judgment, thus allowing the merits of the sanctions order to be considered on appeal.” No. 05-21-000194-CV (July 13, 2021).