Wednesday, August 25, 2004 
                                     9:30 a.m. 
                           Capitol Extension, Room E1.012 
         Pursuant to a notice posted in accordance with Senate Rule  
         11.18, a public meeting of the Senate Committee on Jurisprudence  
         was held on Wednesday, August 25, 2004, in the Capitol  
         Extension, Room E1.012, at Austin, Texas. 
         MEMBERS PRESENT:                        MEMBERS ABSENT: 
         Senator Jeff Wentworth                  Senator Mario Gallegos,  
         Senator Robert Duncan                   Senator Kip Averitt 
         Senator Chris Harris                    Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. 
         Senator Royce West 
         The chair called the meeting to order at 9:31 a.m.  The  
         Committee was in recess from the previous meeting. 
         The chair gave opening remarks. 
         The chair laid out Charge 1:  Study the jurisdiction of all  
         local and state courts, including civil and criminal justice  
         courts.  Make recommendations for changes to any court's  
         jurisdiction to improve the efficiency or effectiveness of the  
         judicial system.  Review and make recommendations relating to  
         concurrent jurisdiction of county courts at law and district  
         courts over eminent domain proceedings.  
         The following witness testified: 
         Chief Justice Tom Phillips, representing Self 
         The clerk called roll.  There was a quorum present. 
         Senator Harris moved approval of the minutes from the previous  
         meeting held on May 6, 2004;  without objection, it was so  
         The following witnesses testified:  
         Justice Scott Brister, representing the Texas Supreme Court 
         Judge Sharon Keller, representing the Court of Criminal Appeals 
         Justice Kenneth Law, representing the Intermediate Courts of  
         Judge Stephen Ables, representing the Administrative Judges 
         Judge Mark Atkinson, representing the County Courts at Law of  
         At 11:15 a.m. Senator Duncan assumed the chair.   
         The following witness testified: 
         Justice David Cobos, representing the Justice Courts 
         At 11:27 a.m. Senator Wentworth resumed the chair.   
         The following witnesses testified: 
         Judge Robin Ramsay, representing Municipal Judges 
         Cathy Sisk, representing Harris County 
         H. Dixon Montague, representing Self 
         Judge Orlinda Naranjo, representing Self 
         Randy Ward, representing the Texas Department of Transportation  
         (Right of Way Division)  
         At 12:25 p.m. Senator Wentworth moved that the committee stand  
         recessed until 1:30 p.m.; without objection, it was so ordered.   
         At 1:32 p.m. the committee reconvened.   
         The chair laid out Charge 3:  Study arbitration statutes and the  
         role of the American Arbitration Association.  Specifically, the  
         Committee shall make recommendations to improve and ensure the  
         efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness of arbitrators and  
         The following witnesses testified: 
         John Fleming, representing Self 
         Richard Naimark, representing the American Arbitration  
         Kim Lawrence, representing the Better Business Bureau of  
         Metropolitan Houston, Inc. 
         Stephen Thomas, representing the Texas Residential Construction  
         John Cobarruvias, representing Homeowners Against Deficient  
         Susan Duvso, representing the Texas Residential Construction  
         Bobby Bowling, representing Self and the Texas Association of  
         Steve Henry, representing Self 
         William H. Lemons III, representing Self 
         Ron Moss, representing Texans for Lawsuit Reform 
         Mark Eberwine, representing public 
         The following witness registered but did not testify: 
         Reggie James, representing Consumers Union 
         There being no further business, at 4:17 p.m. Senator Duncan  
         moved that the Committee stand recessed subject to the call of  
         the chair.  Without objection, it was so ordered.   
                                          SENATE COMMITTEE ON JURISPRUDENCE 
                                                 Wednesday, August 25, 2004 
                                                                      page   3 
         Senator Jeff Wentworth, Chair 
         Stephanie Hoover, Clerk