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Advisory 2002-12

Patient Advocates of Texas v. Texas Workers' Compensation Commission,
Cause No. 03-01-00215-CV

On April 25, 2002, the Third Court of Appeals in Austin issued its decision in Patient Advocates of Texas v. Texas Workers' Compensation Commission, Cause No. 03-01-00215-CV. The Third Court held that certain provisions in Commission Rules 133.301-133.305 are invalid.

In response to the Court's decision, the Commission filed a Motion for Rehearing. In its Motion, the Commission requested that the Court reconsider its ruling or, in the alternative, clarify its ruling and specify which portion of Rules 133.301-133.305 the Court decided were invalid.

On July 26, 2002, a majority of a panel of the Third Court denied the Commission's Motion for Rehearing. Justice Patterson disagreed with the two-justice majority, explaining her position as follows: "I respectfully dissent to the overruling of appellees' motion to clarify and motion for rehearing. The Court's opinion leaves the parties in an untenable position and we should, at the very least, clarify the limited portions of the rules we have addressed. I would also grant the Commission's motion for rehearing on the ground that the disputed Rules are not an unlawful delegation of the Commission's authority."

Pursuant to the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure, the Commission may now file a petition for review with the Texas Supreme Court, requesting that the Supreme Court review the Third Court's decision. After consultation with the Office of Attorney General, it is our understanding that, until all avenues for further judicial review and appeal are exhausted by the Commission, Rules 133.301-133.305 remain fully in effect.

Signed this 7th day of August, 2002

Richard F. Reynolds, Executive Director

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