Bills that would have restricted use of the Texas Supreme Court’s divorce forms, created regulations for lawsuit lending and given some judges a small pay raise are examples of measures that died last week after missing deadlines in the Texas House.
Some dead bills have Senate companions that could still pass if they survive upcoming deadlines in the last weeks of the 83rd Legislature. Lawmakers could also revive their bills by adding them as amendments to other germane bills.
These bills appeared lifeless on May 10:
House Bill 2878 died when it failed to pass a House committee by the May 6 deadline. Among other things, the bill said in certain circumstances, courts couldn’t grant relief, enter orders or even accept forms created by the Texas Supreme Court. An identical companion, Senate Bill 1261, hasn’t received a hearing before a Senate committee. [See "Chief Justice: Delay Action on Bill Limiting Pro Se Divorce Forms."]
A committee substitute of HB 1595 died when it failed to pass the House by the May 9 deadline. Among other things, CSHB 1595 would have made requirements for the contract between a lawsuit lender and consumer and allowed an opposing party to get limited discovery about the transaction. A companion, SB 927, hasn’t received a hearing before a Senate committee. [See "Lawsuit-Lending Bill Moves Forward."]
HB 1710 died when it failed to pass the House. It would have allowed intermediate appellate court justices to get longevity pay sooner, and allowed counties to give district judges a cost-of-living raise if the state didn’t do it. [See "Inadmissible."]
HB 3032 never got a public hearing in committee. The bill would have directed the Texas Supreme Court to adopt expedited-appeals rules including deadlines for appeals and a requirement that appellate courts missing deadlines would have to uphold lower-court decisions. [See "Bill Calls for Affirmance If Appellate Courts Miss Deadlines."]
HB 328 didn’t pass committee. The bill proposed making it a third-degree felony, with no statute of limitations, for a prosecutor intentionally to withhold exculpatory evidence. [See "Bill Would Make Suppressing Evidence a Felony."]
HB 293 died in committee. The bill would have required the State Bar of Texas to provide lawyers’ names, bar card numbers and email addresses to certain continuing legal education providers. A companion, SB 1796, hasn’t gotten a hearing before a Senate committee. [See "Bill Would Require Limited Release of Lawyers' Email Addresses."]
HB 3470 didn’t pass the House. The bill would have required divorce lawyers to disclose information to potential clients about mediation, collaborative law, or other alternatives to hiring a lawyer.
HB 1989 failed to get a public hearing in committee. The bill would have allowed substitute service of citation through social media websites. [See "Lawyers on Twitter Supportive, Skeptical of Bill Authorizing Service Through Social Media."]