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Texas Pretrial Procedure
South Texas College of Law Houston
Carlson, Elaine A.


Damages Control
· Critics complain that the lawsuit reform is being used to force cut backs on legal protection for citizens and the courts have been reshaped by the movement to limit suits.

The Jurors are Bountiful
· Plaintiff’s attorney selected Eagle Pass for venue in a lawsuit involving two large corporations because of the population (Hispanic and poor). Plaintiff’s attorney claims this is a “little people” friendly environment.
· Defendant’s are Polaris and Prudential

Polaris Investment MGMT. Corp v. Abascal
· Per Curiam- the court as a whole has written the opinion not just one judge writing it
· Writ of Mandamus-A writ issued by a superior court ordering a public official or body or a lower court to perform a specified duty
· Polaris urges that the “tag along” venue statute be reviewed to allow for a change of venue because the venue selected as merely for legal tactic and there is only one plaintiff in this county. The statute states that as long as the court has venue of an action or claim against any one defendant the court has venue of all claims or actions against defendant.
o Venue could not be changed (unit of mandamus petition interlocutory appeal)
· This is a writ of mandamus by the defendant against the judge requesting the court to vacate his ruling
· Rule 52 of the appellate procedure – Original proceeding
· Polaris challenges the 3 rulings of trial judge Abascal
o Selection of the trial plaintiff: appellate court decided
§ Mandamus not allowed
§ Selection was an incidental ruling
· Is one of the things that the trial judge can do.
o Its abatement of discovery (stop discovery): appellate court decided
§ Incidental ruling and mandamus not allowed
o The propriety of venue in Maverick county: appellate court decided
§ Governed by statute 15.061
§ Mandamus not allowed if statute allows venue
· Requirements for writ of Mandamus- 2 Prong Test
o Abuse of discretion or legal error
o No adequate remedy on appeal
§ Look to rule of appellate procedure.
· Notes and questions (pg 16)
o At the root of all venue disputes is each parties concern about the person or persons who will ma

appeals the judgment and points to an error that the trial judge made in a pretrial ruling that constitutes reversible error.

Rulings on Pretrial Matters
· Requesting Action from the court: Motions pleas and other requests
o Safety Kleen Corp v. Garcia
§ Facts: Plaintiff a filed a motion to compel answers to interrogatories Jan 26, 1997. On Jan 27, Plaintiff requested a hearing on the motion. Feb 11, plaintiff sent a second request for a hearing and it was set for October.
§ Rule 52.1; 52.2 of appellate procedure: a trial court is required to consider and rule upon a motion within a reasonable time or a mandamus will be issued to force the judge to act within a reasonable time.
· “Relator” – designation of person who brings a writ of mandamus
· “respondent”- person responding to writ of mandamus
Served or propounded interrogatories to the other side