As the Texas Legislature convenes and begins the arduous process of determining new laws and how budget dollars will be spent over the next two years, the citizens of Texas need to know the real story about what is being proposed. Our law firm obviously has an interest in keeping the courthouse doors open for the citizens of the state of Texas. Governor Perry has recently given his State of the State address, and has made one very drastic recommendation: if plaintiffs in Texas sue and lose, then those plaintiffs should be required to pay any attorney’s fees and court costs of the defendant.
Governor Perry’s proposal is designed to keep average Texans from pursuing their claims in court for fear that the defendant’s attorneys fees bills and court costs will put them into bankruptcy. This draconian recommendation by the governor runs contrary to the very tenets our country was founded on. Prior to the birth of our nation, the King of England controlled the courts of our colonies. Our founding fathers recognized this as one of the basic prohibitions to freedom of all people. The Constitutional right to a jury trial was thus inserted in the Sixth and Seventh Amendments of our Bill of Rights. This proposal by the governor also flies in the face of less government – – not more government.
On a separate note, it appears the budgetary issues that our state is facing, will now include drastic cuts into both our statewide education and higher education. Needless to say, the education of our young people is vital to the growth of our state in the future. All citizens of Texas – rich and poor – should let our government officials know that we cannot make drastic cuts to our budget if it involves our education system. It is time to get into the rainy day fund, as it may not get any rainier than the budget shortfall we are facing today.