Texas Fast Tracks Civil Lawsuits
In the 82nd Legislature, Texas House Bill 274 passed making several major changes to the time frames and processes in a civil trial as evidenced by the Texas Government Code, Texas Rules of Evidence, and Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.
Due to tactics and unnecessary expenses billed by some lawyers, the Texas House deemed these changes necessary and immediately effective.
The statesmen created Rule 91a and amended Rule 47 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, created Rule 169 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and amended Rule 190 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.
Primary changes include instituting rules for expedited actions ie.; Rule 169 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.
Requiring deadlines to be set in the case so the system cannot be abused through excessive delays and discovery.
These changes affect the ability to dismiss the case and damages.
The actions were created to promote an expedited action of civil cases.
This action also seeks to limit the tactics of stalling, excessive discovery and other manipulations in an attempt to increase Lawyer fees so much that they are unpayable from the clients settlement or pay out.
These rules changes apply to cases where damages are less than $100,000 inclusive, with a few caveats.
Discovery is governed by Rule 190.2
*The trial must be set within 90 days of the discovery period ending.
*The court may continue the case twice but can not exceed a total of 60 days.
*In trial, each side is allowed eight hours to complete presentation of their case. However, the court may allow up to twelve hours per side.
*The court may recommend the case to an alternative dispute resolution procedure one time; not to exceed four hours.
Further, the ADR procedure is “not to exceed the total cost of twice the amount of applicable civil filing, and must be completed no later than 60 days before initial trial setting”.
And, “a party may only challenge the admissibility of expert testimony as an objection to summary judgment evidence under Rule 166 or during the trial on merits”.
Rule 190 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure was created to stop discovery abuse or, at a minimum, keep discovery to reasonable time frames.
In a nutshell, here are the Civil Procedure changes:
No more than 15 interrogatories.
No more than 15 requests for production.
No more than 15 request for admissions.
All discovery must be completed within 180 days of the first request of discovery by either party.
Each party may have no more than six hours total to examine and cross-examine all witnesses in oral depositions. This may be expanded up to ten hours if both parties agree.
To learn more about how the Texas Civil Law system operates go to this link:
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