Good news, Texas! Your judicial system is now no longer officially "a hellhole."
Of course, the people making that assessment are the "tort reform" groups that have spent the last few years making sure that the average Joe is going to have as much luck suing an incompetent doctor or a big corporation as Roger Clemens would taking a drug test.
The Texas Civil Justice League, which is a group of superheroes disguised as corporate defense lawyers and lobbyists, has issued its annual "Judicial Hellholes" report. And you know they're serious about it, because they've trademarked the name "Judicial Hellholes."
Texas has been removed from the "hellholes" list.
"Getting off the judicial 'hellholes' list is an important milestone in Texas legal reform," said George S. Christian, president of the Texas Civil Justice League. "It's further proof that Texas is no longer the 'world's courtroom' and that curtailing lawsuit abuse improves access to health care, the state's business climate and economic competitiveness."
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It's not all good news, though: Texas is still on the "watch" list. Which means, we guess, that unfortunately it is still possible for a plaintiff to actually file a lawsuit against a powerful entity, even though chances are pretty good that the entity will eventually win.
The report notes: "This year the Judicial Hellholes® report specifically cites 'no-nonsense appellate courts' and medical liability reform for the state's improved ranking. Texas's success in dealing with a 2003 medical liability crisis is highlighted as a 'point of light' best practice for states trying to maintain fair and predictable legal climates."
There's a hellhole around here somewhere, but it might only apply if you're a victim of medical malpractice.
-- Richard Connelly