Don’t hold your breath waiting for the Paxton appeals process to play out

Better settle in and get comfy, because this could take awhile.

Best mugshot ever

Best mugshot ever

An appeal by Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is seeking to dismiss charges that he violated state securities laws, will extend at least into spring, with a strong chance of a ruling being delayed until summer or later.

The Dallas-based 5th Court of Appeals has given Paxton’s lawyers until Feb. 22 to file a brief arguing why they believe the felony charges should be thrown out.

Prosecutors will have until March 14 to counter the arguments.

This type of pretrial appeal is expedited under state law, making it less likely that either side will seek a deadline extension.

But if the court decides to hear oral arguments instead of ruling based solely on the briefs, resolution of the appeal would be pushed further back.


Defense lawyers have informed the Dallas appeals court that their challenge will focus on four arguments that Gallagher had rejected in December:

  • The charge of failing to register as an investment adviser representative should be dismissed because Paxton was registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, trumping the state registration requirement.
  • The state failure-to-register law should be thrown out as unconstitutionally vague because it does not provide sufficient notice about what acts are prohibited.
  • The failure-to-register law should be thrown out because it unconstitutionally infringes on commercial speech by “regulating who and when a person may solicit clients for an investment adviser.”
  • All three charges should be tossed out because the Collin County grand jury that indicted Paxton was improperly formed.

Paxton’s indictments were upheld by trial judge George Gallagher in December, so this is the next step in the process. If the 5th Court rejects the appeal just on the briefs then things may speed up, but if not then remember we are potentially measuring the time frame in years before we get a resolution. The trial itself is on hold until these appeals have played out. Stay patient, we’ll get there eventually.

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One Response to Don’t hold your breath waiting for the Paxton appeals process to play out

  1. Charly Hoarse says:

    Wonder if Paxton could skate through another election with all this going on. He could put a state legislator on his team; guys from the Lege have long been sought-after as defense lawyers as they have some super power that gains them endless extensions and delays.

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