Helping Trial Lawyers Navigate the Appellate System

Bristling Debate on SB 1204 Reported

I wasn’t able to attend yesterday’shearing on SB 1204, but the debate was apparently lively.  According to this morning’s report in the Austin American-Statesman, legislators, trial lawyers, and judges bristled at the bill’s scope during more than four hours of testimony before the Senate State Affairs Committee.  Much of the criticism focused on the proposal to adopt special rules and procedures for “complex cases,” which some fear would disenfranchise local judges implicitly deemed incapable of adjudicating such matters.

The Texas Trial Lawyers Association and the Texas Association of Defense Counsel don’t agree on much, but both organizations oppose SB 1204. The bill seems to be losing momentum.

UPDATE:  Video of this hearing is now available through the Senate RealMedia site.  It is split into Part I andPart II(RealPlayer required).

D. Todd Smith
About the Author

D. Todd Smith is an Austin-based civil appellate specialist who works with trial teams from the earliest stages of litigation. In trial courts, he takes the lead on strategic analysis and briefing, jury charges, and potentially dispositive motions, all with a focus on preserving error and positioning cases for appellate review.

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