Effective litigators in Texas State courts need to be familiar with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure (“the Rules”) and need to follow them. The consequences of being ignorant or indifferent to the Rules can be harsh.

Rule 4 governs the way that lawyers count deadlines. The Rule has been reproduced in its entirety, along with its published comments, at the bottom of this page.

If a firm or its client has a 30-day deadline, then it better be prepared to deliver on or before the expiration 30 days. Being even a day late can result in the exclusion of key evidence or eliminating your chance at a meaningful appeal.

Lawyers and non-lawyers often run into problems with time deadlines for three reasons:

1) Not paying attention to the calendar;
2) Not knowing whether the count the first day; or
3) Not understanding what happens if a deadline falls on a weekend.

Bower PLLC clients trust us to properly advance offensive claims and to defend them from opposing Parties. We pay careful attention to Rule 4 and the computation of time to make sure that our clients meet deadlines and that opposing parties are held to the same standard.


“RULE 4. COMPUTATION OF TIME

In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these rules, by order of court, or by any applicable statute, the day of the act, event, or default after which the designated period of time begins to run is not to be included. The last day of the period so computed is to be included, unless it is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays shall not be counted for any purpose in any time period of five days or less in these rules, except that Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays shall be counted for purpose of the three-day periods in Rules 21 and 21a, extending other periods by three days when service is made by mail.

Comment to 1990 change:

Amended to omit counting Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays in all periods of less than five days with certain exceptions.”

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This page was originally posted on 6/7/2018.