Rep. Brooks Landgraf

A proposal to establish a statewide business court has been introduced for the fourth consecutive session. HB 1875 by Rep. Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) establishes a business court with concurrent jurisdiction with a district court in: (1) a derivative action on behalf of a busines organization; or (2) an action in which the amount in controversy exceeds $10 million (exclusive of attorney’s fees, costs, interest, penalties, statutory damages, or exemplary damages) that arises against, between, or among business organizations, governing authorities, governing persons, members, or owners relating to a contract transaction for business, commercial, investment, agriculture, or similar purposes. The bill:

  • Gives the business court statewide jurisdiction of these actions and all matters related to or arising out of them;
  • Exempts actions brought against a governmental entity, personal injury or death claims, claims under the DTPA, the Estates Code, the Family Code, or Title 9, Property Code, unless the parties agree to submit to the jurisdiction of the business court;
  • Provides that claims within the jurisdiction of the business court may be directly filed there;
  • Establishes a procedure for removing claims not within the jurisdiction of the business court to a county in which the claim could have originally been filed;
  • Provides a process for removing an action from a district or county court to the business court on motion of a party;
  • Provides an interlocutory appeal of a business court order to grant or refuse to remand an action to the court of business appeals;
  • Requires a business court judge to be at least 35 years of age, a U.S citizens, a Texas resident for two years preceding appointment, a Texas licensed attorney with at least 10 years of experience in Texas in practicing complex business litigation or business transaction law, teaching complex business litigation or business transaction law at an accredited Texas law school, or serving as a judge of a Texas civil court (or any combination of the above);
  • Provides for gubernatorial appointment of seven judges with the advice and consent of the Senate, no more than three of whom may reside in the same county and no more than a majority of which may be affiliated with the same political party;
  • Provides for two-year terms with the possibility of reappointment;
  • Provides for filling vacancies, compensation, and removal;
  • Bars a business court judge from private practice while in office;
  • Provides for the appointment of visiting judges by the chief justice of the supreme court;
  • Provides for a jury trial in the county in which venue is proper or, if the case was removed to the business court, in the county in which the case was originally filed, as chosen by the plaintiff;
  • Provides for assigning cases to a business court judge on a rotating basis;
  • Provides for the central administration of the business court in Travis County, with judges maintaining chambers in the county seat of their county of residence
  • Provides for remote proceedings;
  • Authorizes the business court to set filing fees;
  • Establishes the Court of Business Appeals with mandatory jurisdiction over appeals from the business court;
  • Provides for gubernatorial appointment of seven justices with the same qualifications as a business court judge for two-year terms, subject to reappointment; governor selects the chief justice; and
  • Provides for hearings in randomly selected three-judge panels, with the possibility for en banc review.

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