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Texas Supreme Court Advisory
July 6, 2009

Contact: Osler McCarthy, staff attorney for public information 512.463.1441

Online Local Rules Effort Financed by State Bar Foundation Grant

The Texas Bar Foundation has approved a $7,500 one-year grant to scan for posting on the Texas Supreme Court's Web site all local-rules orders and all administrative orders dating to 1990.

The grant to the Office of Court Administration will pay for scanning all local-rules approval orders since 1984, when Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 3a first required Supreme Court approval of local rules, and all administrative orders from 1990 through 2001.

Legislators approved separate financing for scanning Supreme Court records, but the foundation grant will allow Web access to rules governing courts across the state that must be approved by the Court.

Local rules for certain courts are available at county-level or appellate court Web sites, but no site exists for one-stop viewing of all local rules for state courts. Last year the State Bar Court Rules Committee began collecting all approved local rules in Texas for posting on the Supreme Court's Web site http://www.supreme.courts.state.tx.us.

Scanned, local-rules approval orders will be placed with the approved local rules so that Web site users may verify that the online version of any particular set of local rules conforms to applicable approval orders.

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 that were approved before 2002. The Texas Bar Foundation grant will enable posting of all orders dating to 1990 in searchable PDF format.

Before 1990 administrative orders were entered in oversized bound volumes that would be too expensive to copy and scan.

Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $9 million in grants to law-related programs. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Foundation is the nation's largest charitably funded bar foundation.

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