The Texas Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Sept. 26 in a case that could gut one of the key provisions of tort reform law H.B. 4. At issue in In Re: Jack Jorden, M.D. is whether there is a conflict between Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code Chapter 74, which severely limits discovery in medical-malpractice suits, and Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 202, which generally allows extensive pre-suit discovery in civil cases.

The case re-opens old wounds between tort reformers and trial lawyers inflicted during the 2003 legislative session, when each side went to war over H.B. 4, which led to the sweeping overhaul of the Texas tort system.