Trial lawyers sometimes assume that filing a notice of appeal divests a trial court of jurisdiction to take further action in the case. But that’s not how it works most of the time.

When the order is interlocutory, there are only a few instances in which all further proceedings are stayed per the statute authorizing the most common interlocutory appeals, Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 51.014(a). These instances include class-certification orders, summary judgments based on official immunity, government pleas to the jurisdiction, and dismissals under the Texas Citizens Participation Act.

When the trial court has signed a final judgment, the court retains plenary power over that judgment for no less than 30 days and as long as 105 days if a motion assailing the judgment is timely filed. While the trial court has plenary power, it can amend, modify, or withdraw the final judgment, even if a notice of appeal has been filed. See Tex. R. Civ. P.  329b(d)-(e).

Don’t like a trial court’s ruling and think you can keep things from getting worse by appealing? Don’t assume you can put the whole case on hold merely by filing a notice of appeal. 

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