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Overview of the Texas Court System

As a citizen of Texas, you will probably find yourself dealing with the state's court system at some point to resolve a legal issue, so it is important to understand how it works. The Texas court system is made up of five basic tiers. At the lowest level, local justice and municipal courts handle small claims cases, minor civil actions, misdemeanors and magistrate functions such as arrest and search warrants. Next, county-level courts have limited jurisdiction in some civil cases, misdemeanors, probate matters, juvenile cases and appeals.

At the middle level, the district courts handle civil cases of $200,000 or more, divorce cases, land titles, contested elections, felony trials and juvenile matters. Next are the 14 regional courts of appeals; these handle appeals from the trial courts in their districts. At the highest level, with final jurisdiction over statewide appeals, are the Supreme Court of Texas, which handles juvenile and civil appeals, and the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Texas Attorneys and Lawyers

When faced with a legal issue, contacting an experienced attorney is always the best bet. At LawInfo you can search for a skilled, Lead Counsel Rated Texas attorney by location and by practice area. We have Texas attorneys who dedicate their practice to specific areas of the law, so you will not only find an attorney, but an attorney who is knowledgeable to help you with your particular legal issue.

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Texas Legal Forms

LawInfo offers free Texas legal forms and documents to help resolve many of your issues on your own. Whether you need a power of attorney or you want to complete your will, we have you covered. You can click on our most popular forms located in the right column of this page. A user account is required to use the service, but it’s completely free.

Residential Lease Agreement help to protect the interests of both the tenant and the landlord during any rental period. A lease provides the rules, contract length and costs involved in any domestic rental. You can get this document for free as a download from LawInfo.

Two other essential legal documents are the Last Will and Testament and the Power of Attorney. The former document, also available from LawInfo, allows you to spell out to whom you wish to leave your property and inheritance and how you wish these to be divided or held. If you have children under the age of 18, this document can let the state know who should care for them when you die. If you die without a will in Texas, it will be up to the state's probate courts to decide these matters for you.

The general POA form from LawInfo allows you to grant permission to another person to handle certain business or legal arrangements on your behalf. This can include actions such as paying bills and selling property. You have the right to revoke this general power of attorney at any time. The durable POA is designed to allow you to transfer your decision-making power to another if you become incapacitated, such as through illness or injury. The designated person can then make medical, legal and financial decisions for you.

Starting a Texas Business

There are more than 2 million small businesses in Texas. If you are thinking of starting one, you will be helping to strengthen its diverse economy as you help yourself. There are many fantastic free resources available at Texas Wide Open for Business and the Texas Business Portal. These websites can guide you on numerous topics, including starting and growing your business, financing your venture and understand target="_blank"ing tax laws and procedures.

Texas Business Statistics

Businesses are a vital part of the Texas economy. In 2010, there were almost 390,000 small businesses, more than 5,000 large businesses and nearly 2 million no-employee businesses in the state. The private sector employs more than 8 million people in Texas, and the government employs another 1.8 million.

In addition to having a strong small-business presence, Texas is home to many Fortune 500 companies, including three companies in the top 10: Exxon Mobil (XOM.N), Phillips 66 (PSX.N) and Valero Energy (VLO.N).