A lead counsel or legal representative briefs the judge assigned to a case, and presents a case questionnaire to determine whether there is a likelihood of success on the underlying claim. The Texas Rules of Trial Procedure allows the plaintiff’s legal representative to prepare the complaint and answer questions posed by the defendants’ lawyer.

The plaintiff’s case in a Texas civil case does not begin with the lawyers at the court house, but rather with the defendant or his or her attorney who is assigned to the case. In Texas, lawyers are not permitted to conduct “due diligence” before charging a client. “Discovery,” which is the process of investigating and gathering information pertinent to a case, is prohibited by Texas law as it relates to lawsuits.

Lawsuit Against Home Builder

As lead counsel, I discussed the complaint and answer process with clients, reviewed documents, discussed relevant issues with potential jurors, and argued oral points with opposing counsel. I argued that our model litigation statute, Tex. Civil Code should be changed to allow plaintiffs to introduce discovery into their lawsuit at trial.

Because I believed the plaintiffs’ case was strong, I recommended that we file a motion to compel discovery, which is the procedure of seeking documents that would assist in the case. After careful review of our case law, counsel jointly advised that we pursue such an action, and we filed the brief noted above.

We also filed a motion for assignment of attorney, which is a request that the judge assigned to the case to assign the plaintiff’s attorney to argue our position on the appropriate scope of the statute of limitations.

The Texas Rules of Trial Procedure allows the plaintiff to file such a motion within a reasonable time after the date of service of summons. We granted the motion, and on motion of the parties, the court granted us leave to amend the Complaint to include a reference of the date of assignment of counsel and entered an order granting the change.

Accordingly, the plaintiff filed her answer and the defendants filed their answer to the complaint. The plaintiff filed her final answer, and the defendants filed their answer. On our certification, this Court affirmed the dismissal of her complaint.

By Ricky

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