Did you know that as of January 1, 2021, there have been new Rules of Civil Procedure in Texas?

These changes impact all parties in a lawsuit and require information to be shared with the other parties at the beginning of a lawsuit. If the information is not shared by the deadline stated in the new rules, there are consequences.

Not everyone can afford or has access to an attorney. Thus, Lone Star Legal Aid has developed a tool to help people create documents that share this information with the court or the other party in the case. With generous funding from Texas Access to Justice Foundation, LSLA, in collaboration with Texas Legal Services Center, created an interview that asks visitors about their lawsuit, teaches them about the new rules, and creates the relevant documents for their situation. This tool supports lawsuits involving divorces (with or without children), child custody actions, and civil lawsuits in county and district courts.

“The new tool will educate people who are representing themselves in court about the new disclosure requirements. But most importantly, it will also allow them to create the documents they need to fulfill those requirements simply by answering a series of questions,” says Lauren Figaro, Staff Attorney Content Developer with LSLA’s Disaster Pro Bono Team.

This tool is available to the public on LSLA’s Self-Help Resources page and on TLSC’s Required Initial Disclosures in Texas Civil Cases page. As part of the project, we have also created brief videos to explain the new rules and what “discovery” is in a civil lawsuit.

We encourage that all parties in a lawsuit seek an attorney and hope these tools will benefit those who cannot obtain one. You can apply for free civil legal help by calling 1-800-733-8394 or by visiting http://www.lonestarlegal.org.

Lone Star Legal Aid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm focused on advocacy on behalf of low-income and underserved populations. Lone Star Legal Aid serves millions of people at 125% of federal poverty guidelines that reside in 72 counties in the eastern and Gulf Coast regions of Texas, and 4 counties of southwest Arkansas. Lone Star Legal Aid focuses its resources on maintaining, enhancing, and protecting income and economic stability; preserving housing; improving outcomes for children; establishing and sustaining family safety and stability, health and well‐being; and assisting populations with special vulnerabilities, like those who have disabilities, or who are elderly, homeless, or have limited English language skills. To learn more about Lone Star Legal Aid, visit our website at http://www.lonestarlegal.org.

Media contact: Clarissa Ayala, cayala@lonestarlegal.org