News Releases

Texas Law360: Teeing Up For Texas Tort Reform

HOUSTON, August 5, 2011 -- In a recent issue of Texas Law360, Baker Botts L.L.P. lawyers Paul Elliott and Ben Geslison describe how Texas has implemented additional tort reform legislation, known as House Bill 274, aimed at expediting the resolution of lawsuits and discouraging plaintiffs from bringing nonmeritorious suits. The new law goes into effect Sept. 1, 2011, and will apply to suits filed after that date.

Its highlights include:
• New rules to allow for pre-discovery dismissal of suits that have no basis in fact or law
• Recovery of costs and attorney fees by the prevailing party in a motion to dismiss
• Rules permitting interlocutory appeals involving controlling questions of law
• Enhancement of “loser pays” provisions following offers of settlement
• Provisions requiring the Texas Supreme Court to adopt new rules to lower discovery costs and expedite resolution of cases with less than $100,000 in controversy
• Limitations on a defendant’s ability to delay designation of responsible third parties

The complete article, that reviews each of these points, is available here.

Paul Elliott’s trial practice focuses on complex commercial and pharmaceutical litigation. Mr. Elliott has represented clients in lawsuits and arbitrations, including federal and state multidistrict litigation, class actions and derivative actions. His bio is available here.

Ben Geslison’s practice focuses on commercial litigation and appeals, where he has represented public and private companies in a variety of matters including securities litigation, oil and gas matters, contract disputes and general commercial litigation. His bio is available here.

About Baker Botts L.L.P.
Baker Botts is an international law firm with over 725 lawyers and a network of 13 offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients’ industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology and life sciences sectors. Throughout our 170-year history, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit


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