Originally published by David Coale.
Appellees sued Pak for breach of contract and won a judgment in their favor after a bench trial. Pak requested findings of fact and conclusions of law. Then, in a series of unfortunate events: the trial judge did not enter findings or conclusions; Pak filed a notice of past due findings and conclusions on December 31 — the judge’s last day in office — and the successor judge did not enter findings until January 12, after the period specified by the Rules. The panel majority reasoned that the successor judge (who did not participate in the trial) had no authority to make findings and conclusions, and that Pak did not have to object at the time to preserve his appellate complaint about them. It then found harm, reversed the judgment against Pak, and remanded for proceedings consistent with the opinion. A detailed dissent would have found a waiver on the specific facts and circumstances of the case, noting the original judge’s continued availability. Pak v. Ad Villarai, LLC, No. 05-14-01312-CV (Feb. 16, 2016) (mem. op.)
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