Southeast Texas Record

Saturday, February 22, 2020

We may be ‘just us,’ but we deserve affordable justice, too

Our View

By The Record | Mar 19, 2019

General court 07

If justice delayed is justice denied, why would anyone seek to delay the administration of justice or oppose efforts to speed up the process and make it quicker?

Actually, that was a rhetorical question and we know the answer. Though hardly anyone would admit to such a thing in public, it’s clear even to the casual observer that certain parties involved in litigation can benefit from dragging things out. If the final decision is likely to go against them, why not put off the day of reckoning for as long as possible?  

Even naughty children who’ve been promised spankings when their fathers get home know intuitively that delay and distraction are the best options for avoiding their otherwise inevitable fate.

And who knows, a real live deus ex machina might appear at the last moment and rescue them from what seemed like certain doom?

Then, of course, there are the paid participants in courtroom battles, the attorneys for either side. They may not mind if an easily-resolved case becomes complicated and the meter keeps running.

To their credit, two Republican state legislators have introduced bills that seek to streamline and reduce the costs of civil litigation in Texas. Brandon Creighton in the Senate and Jeff Leach in the House have introduced legislation (SB 2342 & HB 3336, respectively) that would reduce discovery time and restrict continuances in the state’s county, district, and statutory probate courts.

“For many Texans, the time and cost of taking a small dispute to court is too high to pursue,” asserts Lee Parsley of Texans for Lawsuit Reform. “A person’s economic status should not cut off their right to the courts,” he argues. “Moving lawsuits more quickly through the courts helps ensure Texans of all backgrounds have access to an affordable, fair, and efficient legal system.”

Why not pick up the pace and make justice swifter – and more affordable, especially for those with the least means? Encourage your legislators to pass this sensible reform bill, swiftly.

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