Texas Supreme Court Advisory
December 9, 2010
Contact: Osler McCarthy, staff attorney for public information
Local Rules Archive Ready
Texas Bar Foundation-financed project includes rules
approved by Court since 1984
Once buried in files available only at the Texas Supreme Court,
local rules approved for Texas courts are now available by computer,
the result of a year-and-a-half-long project financed by the Texas Bar
Supreme Court administrative orders from 1990 through 2001 also
have been archived and posted on the Court’s web site.
“The creation of a one-stop, completely free repository of
Court-approved local rules and administrative orders not only saves
everyone a great deal of time,” Court archivist Tiffany
Shropshire said, “but it also enhances public access to records
while simultaneously preserving them.”
Click here for local rules.
Click here for administrative orders.
Before this initiative, local rules governing lower courts might be
available on that court’s own web site, but no central, free
repository existed for all local rules in the state. Texas Rule of
Civil Procedure 3a requires all courts to submit local rules to the
Texas Supreme Court for approval, but verifying whether the given
rules were approved would require time to inspect Supreme Court
The new local rules web site allows quick and accurate verification
of local rules of the courts of any county, court of appeals or
administrative judicial region in the state and provides a complete
history of local rules for that court since Rule 3a was approved in
The bar foundation provided a $7,500 grant in June 2009 to convert
to digital format local rules and more than a decade of administrative
orders predating those first posted online in 2002. In the end,
Shropshire said, the cost was $2,760 to scan and archive 15 boxes of
In 2002 the Supreme Court began posting copies of all administrative
orders – including local-rules approval orders – on its web site.
Those postings did not include administrative orders approved before
2002. Before 1990 administrative orders were entered in oversized
bound volumes that would be too expensive to copy and scan.
The objective of the Texas Bar Foundation grant was to post all
orders dating to 1990 in the searchable PDF/A format that bolsters
long-term preservation by assuring the self-contained digital document
will be read according to its original characteristics without need
for proprietary software.
“In this way,” Shropshire said, “this intrinsically
valuable information is available in an archival digital format to
citizens, historians, attorneys and judges for generations to
Original paper records also have been arranged and processed for
long-term preservation, she said.