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Thursday, May 25, 2023

Texas Legislature passed House Bill 19, creating, once signed by Governor Abbott, a new court that specifically handles the resolutions of high-stake business disputes. 

On January 1, 2025, the court will go into effect, handling derivative actions and business disputes involving $10 million or more. The business court will be granted supplemental jurisdiction over "'all matters arising out of or related to' business disputes, except for claims against government entities, personal injury claims, Deceptive Trade Practices Act, or DTPA, claims; claims under the Family Code, Estates Code, and Title 9 of the Property Code, which the business court could hear only by agreement of the parties."

Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dade Phelan lead the push for a business court, all citing it as a top legislative priority for this session. 

This new court is intended to mirror the judiciary systems of many states across the United States, providing a specialized state legal system for business disputes. It is predicted that this system will provide more efficient resolutions of business litigation. 

While the court is being praised by many in the business world, critics are concerned that this special court could lead to unequal access to the justice system. 

Austin reporter Josh Moritz, says the bill is of great importance and that it is much better to side with the bill.  

"Texas is a very, very pro-business state," said Moritz to the Texas Standard when discussing his article on the matter. "We pride ourselves on low unemployment, low taxes, low regulations. And this idea would basically say, instead of waiting in line with assault cases, family violence, etc., a business would be able to have its own court."

What do you think about the specialized business court?  Let us know by taking our brief survey here

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