Proposed Changes: Rules of Civil Procedure to Be Updated Allowing Most Court Proceedings to Be Held Remotely

Proposed Changes: Rules of Civil Procedure to Be Updated Allowing Most Court Proceedings to Be Held Remotely

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Texas Bar Books Staff

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The supreme court has proposed a change to the Rules of Civil Procedure that would give Texas judges the authority to allow most court proceedings to be held remotely. The rule as proposed states that the court must not require a party or lawyer to appear electronically for a court proceeding in which oral testimony is heard unless there is good cause or the parties agree. The proposed rule includes several factors for determining good cause including the case type and the complexity of the legal and factual issues. Similarly, a lawyer, party, or jury must not be required to appear electronically for a jury trial unless the parties agree. The proposed updates reflect many of the practices implemented by Texas courts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A copy of the proposed rule changes can be found here. The proposed updates are open for comment until January 1 and are expected to take effect February 1, 2023. Comments should be submitted to rulescomments@txcourts.gov by January 1, 2023.