The new Texas expedited trial rules are set to go into effect on March 1, 2013. The new rules affect pleadings, discovery, and the ADR process in cases valued at under $100,000.00. Before this rule, courts had the ability to order cases to mediation. New Rule 169 will allow parties to agree not to go to mediation and the court will have to honor that agreement. The Texas Supreme Court, however, did give courts the discretion on sending cases to mediation where at least one side requests to mediate. The parties can always agree to go to mediation or be required by contract to mediate, but can no longer be ordered to mediate if there is no agreement. This new rule does not affect those cases pre-suit or where the damages sought are over $100,000.00. The absence of the court's ability to order mediation could result in fewer cases going through the ADR process and this could result in an increasing number of trials burdening the court's docket.
Mike H. Bassett is a Senior Partner at The Bassett Firm. Mr. Bassett's practice focuses on Insurance Defense, Transportation Litigation, Products liability, Premises Liability, and Employment Litigation. He received his B.B.A from the University of Texas El Paso in 1984 and his J.D. with distinction from St. Mary's School of Law in 1987. Mr. Bassett was voted a Texas Super Lawyer in 2006.
is a Law Clerk at The Bassett Firm. graduated with high honors from New Mexico State University. He is currently in his second year at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in Dallas, Texas.