Are Business Courts Coming to Texas?

In presenting his 2022-2023 budget to the Texas Legislature, Governor Abbott recommended that “the 87th Legislature approve the creation of business courts, including the court of business appeals, to ensure that complex business disputes will be heard by judges with specialized expertise and knowledge.” A link to the budget can be found here.

In addressing priorities for the 87th Legislature, the Texas Civil Justice League similarly stated:

Business courts. Over the past several sessions, legislation creating an appointed “chancery court” similar to the Delaware model has been introduced and discussed. This proposal has been refined over time in the face of substantial opposition. In 2021, however, the time may finally have arrived to make legislative progress on a proposal modeled on the Texas Supreme Court’s current multidistrict litigation authority. Under this proposal, a business specialty court could be established under SCOTX’s authority to hear certain matters of corporate and business law, with an eye toward developing a stable and predictable body of business law comparable to that of Delaware. With the number corporate and business headquarters already or soon to be located in Texas, the time has come to match our modernized Business Organizations Code with court decisions that interpret business law in a reasonably uniform manner. This would not only make Texas a more desirable place to conduct complex business litigation for business citizens of Texas, but it would add immeasurably to Texas and national jurisprudence in these types of cases. There is simply no point in forcing Texas businesses to go to other states to litigate complex disputes that can and should be heard in our own courts.

The TCJL’s 2021 legislative priority statement can be found here.

We will be following any updates on business court developments in Texas.

Posted by Lee Applebaum