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New Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 169 Expedited Actions: Part 2

Here is the final installment of the two-part comprehensive summary of the new Rules for Expedited Actions recently approved by the Texas Supreme Court. The new Rules can be found in their entirety here.

Trial:

  • Must be set, upon request, within 90 days after the 180 day discovery period.

    • Note that if a trial setting is requested more than 45 days after the discovery period ends, Rules 245 and 246 would cause the trial setting to fall outside of the 90 day window.

  • Can be continued for a period not to exceed 60 days.

Trial Procedure:

  • 8 hours total for each side.

    • Does not include objections, bench conferences, bills of exceptions, and juror challenges for cause under Rule 228.

  • Can only be extended to 12 hours upon a showing of good cause.

Experts:

  • Unless requested by the party sponsoring the expert, admissibility can only be challenged as:

    • An objection to summary judgment evidence under Rule 166a.

      • Meaning Daubert/Havner is not applicable unless in the form of a summary judgment evidence objection.

    • During the trial on the merits.

  • Does not apply to a motion to strike a late designation.

ADR:

  • Can be referred to ADR once for a half-day.
  • Cost cannot exceed twice the civil filing fee.
  • Must be completed 60 days before the initial trial setting.
  • Parties can modify these parameters by agreement.

Removal from Expedited Actions Docket:

  • Upon a showing of good cause by any party.

    • Factors to be considered in determining good cause:

      • The damages sought by multiple claimants against the same defendant exceed in the aggregate $100,000.00.
      • Whether a defendant filed a compulsory counterclaim seeking relief other than $100,000.00.
      • The number of parties and witnesses.
      • The complexity of the legal and factual issues.
      • Whether an interpreter is necessary.

  • Any claimant, other than a counter-claimant, files a proper pleading seeking any relief other than the monetary relief of $100,000.00 allowed.

    • Look to file a non-monetary cross-claim here as a basis for removal.

      • Could file a request for injunctive relief against a co-defendant.

  • Leave to amend is required if not filed the earlier of 30 days after the close of discovery or 30 days before trial.
  • Leave to amend can only be granted for good cause that outweighs prejudice to the opposing party.
  • If removed, discovery must reopen under 190.2(c).

Hopefully, these summaries have prepared you for the big changes in Texas civil litigation that are coming March 1, 2013. Please let us know what you think about these new Rules in the comments below.

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