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Editor’s note: The following bills of interest to lawyers are pending in the Texas Legislature. The scorecard shows the latest action on each bill. COURT RESTRUCTURING S.B. 1204:Converts certain county courts-at-law into district courts and provides additional resources for courts handling complex cases. Senate sponsor: Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock May 16: Bill was sent to the House Calendars Committee. CRIMINAL LAW H.B. 8:Toughens punishment for sexual offenses against children younger than 14. House sponsor: Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball May 17: Senate adopted the conference committee report on the bill. S.B. 103:Overhauls the Texas Youth Commission. Senate sponsor: Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen May 14: House appointed conferees to negotiate differences between the House-Senate versions of the bill. H.B. 1887:Enhances penalties for burglary of a motor vehicle. House sponsor: Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Keller May 15: Senate passed the bill. JUDICIARY S.B. 749:Increases the annual salaries of the two multidistrict litigation judges for cases involving asbestos- and silica-related injuries to the maximum pay allowed for presiding judges of administrative judicial regions. The bill also authorizes the state’s MDL panel, at the request of the MDL pretrial court, to issue writs of mandamus to require trial courts to set trial dates in asbestos and silica cases. Senate sponsor: Sen. Kyle Janek, R-Houston May 17: House passed the bill. LAW SCHOOLS S.B. 105:Establishes the University of North Texas System School of Law in Dallas. Senate sponsor: Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas May 15: House Higher Education Committee considered the bill in a public hearing. PRACTICE OF LAW S.B. 168:Continues the $65 annual fee imposed on lawyers to fund legal services for the poor. Senate sponsor: Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston May 10: Bill was sent to the governor. H.B. 1331:Prevents the Board of Law Examiners from publicly posting bar exam results with examinees’ names. House sponsor: Rep. Kino Flores, D-Palmview May 9: Senate Jurisprudence Committee considered the bill in a public hearing and left it pending. PROBATE AND TRUST S.B. 593:Requires the independent executor or administrator of an estate to provide notice to the beneficiaries of a will within 60 days after the date of the order admitting the will to probate. Senate sponsor: Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio May 14: House appointed conferees to negotiate with the Senate on differences in the bill’s two versions. TAXES H.B. 3928:Bill states that a limited liability partnership is subject to the state’s margin tax, closing a potential loophole for some law, accounting and other service firms. House sponsor: Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland May 16: Bill was placed on the Senate’s intent calendar. TORT REFORM H.B. 1602:Requires injured maritime workers to file suits against dredging companies in the county where an injury occurred or in the county where the company’s principal office in Texas is located. House sponsor: Rep. Corbin Van Arsdale, R-Tomball May 16: Bill was placed on the Senate’s intent calendar.

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