St. Mary's Law Journal


Robert W. Clore


This Comment analyzes the Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 166a(i) for a “no evidence” motion and discusses its likely application in Texas courts. Part II reviews summary judgment practice in federal and Texas state courts in order to determine the likely construction of the new rule. Part III discusses Rule 166a(i) and explores the role of litigation reform in shaping the no-evidence motion. This part also addresses the procedural shortcomings of the new rule and compares Rule 166a(i) with federal summary judgment practice. Part IV assesses whether Rule 166a(i) violates the Texas Constitution by denying citizens the right to a jury trial. With this article topic analyzing the effect of a new civil procedure, the sources used by the author vary greatly. The author uses prior articles, other jurisdictions’ precedent, and expert views on the application of summary judgment practice. The author also relies on sources depicting how the Texas Supreme Court has treated the application of similar rules. Part V investigates whether the no-evidence motion will achieve the objective of increasing judicial expedition and dispatch. Part VI argues that the Texas Supreme Court should either reconsider the advisory committee’s recommendations or consider another proposed approach to prevent frivolous no-evidence motion filings and clarify standards for lower courts. Finally, Part VII concludes that revisions of paragraph (i) of Rule 166a should include sanctions for filing a frivolous motion and a definite time period for filing a no-evidence motion. This would allow summary judgments to further the objective of removing patently unmeritorious claims while preserving the established role of jury trials in Texas.


St. Mary's University School of Law