On July 6, 2016, the 8th Court of Appeals in El Paso released an opinion addressing the $100K damage cap in expedited actions under TRCP 169. The "Expedited Actions" rule allows for certain cases to benefit from streamlined discovery and trial requirements which "promote the prompt, efficient, and cost-effective resolution of civil actions when the amount in controversy does not exceed $100,000." In order to gain the benefits of the expedited action rule, a claimant may not (1) seek greater than $100K in his affirmative pleading or (2) recover in excess of $100K, excluding post-judgment interest.
When a party to a lawsuit receives a discovery request, the receiving party usually responds by (1) producing the requested material, (2) objecting to the discovery request based on some legal or factual grounds, or (3) asserting that the material is privileged and producing a privilege log to the requesting party. Regardless of which of these actions the responding party takes, the requesting party is then aware of the existence (or nonexistence) of responsive materials. However, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure (TRCP) 193.3(c) allows for a responding party to remain completely silent about the existence of attorney communication made in anticipation of litigation. When utilized correctly, TRCP 193.3(c) is a powerful weapon behind which important-but-damaging information can be completely protected from the opposing party's prying eyes.
Last year, the Texas Supreme Court issued an order which requires counties to switch to a mandatory electronic filing system. The deadline to switch to the new system is determined by the size of the county. For 2014, counties with a population of 500,000 or more were required to be compliant by January 1st and counties with a population of 200,000 to 499,999 are required to comply by July 1st. By July 1, 2016, all counties will have a mandatory e-filing system. The rule changes for e-filing are:
You have two Friend Requests. You checked-in at the Uptown 24-Hour Fitness. You were tagged in the album "CrAzY TiMeS!! :P." And you have one pending lawsuit.
A comprehensive summary of the new Rules for Dismissals and Expedited Actions recently approved by the Texas Supreme Court. This is a "must know" for any practicing attorney in Texas.