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Initial Draft of the New Texas Motion to Dismiss Rules

by Joshua A. Green, JD, MPH on December 2nd, 2011

This past summer the Texas Legislature passed H.B. 274 which requires the Texas Supreme Court to adopt rules allowing for the early dismissal of meritless suits when they have no basis in law or fact.

On November 18, the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee met to discuss a draft of the new rules. Much of the Advisory Committee’s discussion at the November 18 meeting focused on how to define the phrase “no basis in law or fact.”

The draft rules currently state:

(a)    A claim has no basis in law when it is not warranted by existing law or by a reasonable argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law.

(b)    A claim has no basis in fact when no reasonable person could believe that the material allegations are true.

The chairman of the subcommittee in charge of drafting the rules stated they plan to revise these definitions. The authoring subcommittee will present a revised version of the rules, based on the Advisory Committee’s suggestions, on December 9.

We will post new information regarding the new motion to dismiss rules as it becomes available.

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