Business Courts are Good for Texas
Texas’ judicial system is already highly specialized from top to bottom. Texas is one of only two states with specialized high courts: the Supreme Court of Texas, which hears civil and juvenile cases; and the Court of Criminal Appeals, which hears criminal cases. At the trial court level, Texas has over 200 specialized courts, from probate courts in some counties to specialized district courts designated to hear family cases, juvenile cases, or veterans’ cases.
The one specialty court that Texas does not have is one specializing in resolving complex business disputes. In this respect, Texas lags behind other states. As of 2021, 29 states are operating some form of business or complex litigation court or court system. Texas can strengthen its reputation as the best state in which to do business by creating a specialized business trial court. Staffed by qualified and skilled judges, this court will quickly develop a reputation for fairness, efficiency, and consistency, giving businesses confidence in Texas’ legal system and encouraging them to incorporate and headquarter in Texas.
DETAILS & BENEFITS
- A business trial court would have jurisdiction over business law cases, such as actions arising against, between, or among business organizations or their governing authorities, governing persons, members, or owners. It would also have jurisdiction over shareholder derivative proceedings, actions arising out of or relating to qualified transactions, and actions regarding the governance or internal affairs of an organization, among other proceedings and actions.
- Personal injury lawsuits would not be within the jurisdiction of the court
- Judges would be appointed by the governor with the approval of the Senate to two-year terms, available for reappointment at the end of each term. Appointees must meet the following qualifications:
- at least 35 years of age; a United States citizen; a Texas resident for at least two years before appointment; in addition, the appointee must be a licensed attorney with 10 or more years of experience practicing complex civil business litigation; practicing business transaction law; teaching courses in complex civil business litigation or complex business transaction law at an accredited Texas law school; serving as a judge of a court in Texas with civil jurisdiction; or any combination of experience described above. Appointees may not have had their law licenses revoked, suspended, or subject to a probated suspension.
- Benefits of creating such a court include:
- A specialized docket;
- Appointed judges who consistently hear this type of dispute;
- Assignment of a single judge to handle each dispute from beginning to end, who actively manages the case to reduce the amount of time to resolve the dispute;
- The issuance of written opinions, which would allow Texas to build a bank of business law precedent, taking the surprise element out of business litigation; and
- The diversion of these lengthy and complicated cases away from non-specialized courts, which would allow those judges to focus on other cases.