Corporations are often treated like people in civil and criminal law for disputes, property claims, asset ownership, and due process, which bother non-lawyers.
For decades, Republicans and Democrats have opposed giving corporations human rights. However, US law states that organizations with state certification as a corporation, company, partnership, or other corporate entity have rights and protections similar to those of you and your neighbors.
Texas Governor Abbott Proposes Separate Courts For Business Disputes
As an American citizen, you have the right to have your legal issues resolved by an expert, knowledgeable, and competent court system. You are denied due process if a court lacks the expertise or time to hear your complaint. No way.
Texas has specialized family courts, probate courts, municipal courts, and justice courts to ensure that the most qualified arbitrator hears your dispute. As a Texan, your case should be heard quickly by a court that understands you. Texas corporations have the same rights.
Yet, every day in Texas, we deny our most significant job creators—Frost Bank, Southwest Airlines, H-E-B, AT&T, etc.—an expertized, qualified, and efficient forum for their legal disputes. Due to a backlog of non-business cases, Texas courts rarely hear business disputes. Sometimes, conflicts between these large businesses are too complicated for a non-expert jury to resolve.
Twenty-two states have specialized business courts for complex business legal issues. Delaware, New York, California, Florida, and Nevada all have highly specialized and expertized courts created to resolve complex business disputes.
These business-oriented states’ courts have developed an understanding of business law, making it easier to resolve business parties’ common misunderstandings. These courts’ legal precedents make it easier for businesses to predict how their disputes will be resolved, a trait all companies want.
Unfortunately, Texas has not followed these states. Texas judges are not incompetent. Our judges are the best in the nation. It’s not because Texas doesn’t want to streamline business disputes into an efficient, fast-acting court that resolves disputes quickly.
Our economic success as a business-friendly state has caused our court system problems in Texas. Texas doesn’t need a business court because it’s the best state for business and has the ninth-largest economy in the world. Why fix the unbroken?
Shakespeare’s “the past is a prologue” doesn’t apply to business. Texas must establish a court to efficiently adjudicate complex business disputes to maintain the US’s most robust legal climate and business ecosystem.
Gov. Greg Abbott has prioritized creating and installing a Texas business court in this session. As a governor who has built his reputation on making Texas the most business-friendly state in the nation, he understands that a specialized business court is necessary for Texas to compete nationally and internationally. Despite his leadership flaws, Gov. Abbott knows the Texas business ecosystem better than anyone else. He’s right about establishing a business court. He’s helped Texas’ business succeed.
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I am a business attorney representing several large Texas companies and the original author of the Texas business courts proposal from 2015. I know that without strengthening our judiciary, large corporations like those that create so many high-wage jobs for our families and bring so much tax revenue to our state will move their headquarters and jobs to other more business-friendly states.
Corporations are not people. I’m not law. As a Texas legislator, I learned that corporations create jobs, pay taxes, feed Texas families, send our kids to college, and pay for biannual Gulf of Mexico vacations. Corporations aren’t people. I hope Texans will create a business court, so job-creating companies that serve our families don’t leave Texas for a better business climate.
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