Thomas R. Phillips, partner in the Austin office, left, and Rebeca Aizpuru Huddle, partner-in-charge of the Houston office, right, with Baker Botts.

Backlogs in Texas district courts were growing before the coronavirus became a household term. The 2019 Annual Statistical Report for the Texas judiciary reflects an 11% increase in civil cases filed in district courts over the previous year. While district courts disposed of more civil cases in 2019 compared to 2018, dispositions did not keep pace with new filings, resulting in a clearance rate of 87%. Now, COVID-19 has mandated the postponement of jury trials and slowed the movement of cases through pretrial proceedings.