Marilyn Tennissen Feb. 21, 2014, 4:52pm

Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse and Texans for Lawsuit Reform will host an informational forum titled “Vote Smart: The Texas Supreme Court Is Important To You” to discuss the history of the Supreme Court in Texas and what’s at stake in the upcoming 2014 primary elections.

The panel discussion will feature former Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Phillips, State Rep. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe), and State. Rep. Rick Miller (R-Sugar Land). A representative of the Southeast Texas Record will serve as the event moderator.

"This primary could be critical for the future of the Texas Supreme Court" a spokesperson for TALA wrote in an email,"For this reason, Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse and our friends at Texans for Lawsuit Reform are hosting this important event to help educate voters and encourage them to make an informed choice in this important primary election." 

Texans for Lawsuit Reform, says that while today the Texas Supreme Court is one of the most respected appellate courts in America, it wasn’t always so.

"In the 1980s, the personal injury trial bar elected friendly politicians to our State’s high court, with disastrous results," wrote TLR spokesperson Sherry Sylvester in an email. "That politician-led court created new causes of action, legislated from the bench by imposing the judges’ views of public policy, and expanded damages in civil litigation."

The result, she said, was that Texas became known as “The Wild West of Litigation” and “The Lawsuit Capitol of the World,”  and Sixty Minutes did a devastating expose of the personal injury bar’s influence on that Court entitled, appropriately, “Justice for Sale.”

But in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Texas business and professional community organized to engage in judicial elections, "rather than leaving the battleground to be occupied only by the plaintiffs’ bar."

"Now, the Texas Supreme Court is composed of men and women of integrity and accomplishment, who take an impartial and scholarly approach to deciding the cases that come before them," she wrote."But this Court is now under serious attack.

"This is an opportune time to learn about the modern history of the Texas Supreme Court, the challenge to this Court from the personal injury trial lawyers, and the important role the Court plays in our state’s economy and the lives of our citizens."

The forum will be held Thursday, Feb. 27, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Houston Club, One Shell Plaza in downtown Houston. A complimentary lunch will be provided.

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