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Small Claims: Generally:if other side is a business-may outside attorney represent business? In Texas?

Dallas, TX |
Filed under: Litigation

In some states the Small Claims courts do not allow a non full time employees outside law firm or attorney represent a party which is a business entity ( such as a corporation), because they want the actual parties in courts and make it less formal. In General : in states where this is the case are there any specific codes or rules or laws describing this? If you know of any state could you please be specific as to the state/ city you quoting or where to look up the specific code or?. Specific as to Texas: any such code, rule or law ?

This question is not related to cost of attorney, but simply if there is a hearing or matter in fromnt of Small Claims court may the business not appear through an officer or full time employee, but hire an outside attorney who would make the appearance? For example Pamela Kosly in CA posted: "While Small Claims courts doesn't allow lawyers to appear for clients,..." does Pamela mean specifically CA only? If so, where is CA code addressing specifically such point?

Attorney Answers 5


Don't know about Texas, but states are generally split on this: if it is small claims court where either side can appeal, a corporation generally can be represented by an officer or employee. This is very common for residential landlord-tenant matters. In Georgia, this is the law.
As to your question, most courts want at least a representative from each side there (not just attorneys) because otherwise, there is likely no admissible evidence: if just from the lawyer, it is hearsay.
Last piece of advise: contact the clerk of the Court in question. They likely have a rule or general set of instructions for their court that they can direct you to.

Mr. Eby is a licensed member of the Georgia bar only. The foregoing is general information only, not specific legal advice. No attorney/client relation has been created or should be implied. Try and use your own common sense about your situation and if still in doubt about what to do or your options, contact a lawyer.

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TX apparently allows corporations to sue lawyers im their Small Claims courts.

Avvo doesn't pay us for these responses, and I'm not your lawyer just because I answer this question or respond to any follow-up comments. If you want to hire me, please contact me. Otherwise, please don't expect a further response. We need an actual written agreement to form an attorney-client relationship. I'm only licensed in CA and you shouldn't rely on this answer, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it's impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.

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Texas requires that a business have a representative in court. Since a representative would be taking on the role of an attorney, that representative would need a law license. So yes, in any kind of proceeding in Texas where an entitiy (Corporation, Estate, etc) is a party, that entity needs to have a lawyer represent them.

Hope this helps. If you think this post was helpful, please check the asnwer was a good answer tab below. Thanks. Mr. Geffen is licensed to practice law throughout the state of Texas with an office in Dallas. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States and is licensed to practice in US Tax Court as well as The Court of Claims. This answer is provided as a public service and as a general response to a general question, it is not meant, and should not be relied upon as specific legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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You should look to the Texas Government Code 28.003 regarding your questions. A corporation does not have to be represented by an attorney in small claims court. However, they certainly can hire a lawyer if they want to.

Cheryl A. Wulf
Cheryl Wulf and Associates, Attorney at Law
305 S Broadway Ave Ste 403
Tyler, Texas 75702
(903) 525-9869

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1 lawyer agrees


If I am reading your question correctly, then I will state that I am not aware of any statute, rule, or provision in common law that would prohibit an attorney from representing a business entity in any Court in the State of Texas. Of course, in Texas almost all courts require any business entity to be represented by an attorney, but there are two exceptions to this general rule.

In Texas only two levels of our court system allows for a business entity to be represented by an individual that is not a licensed attorney, and those courts are called "Justice Court" and "Small Claims Court." For statutory references that support my position please see Texas Government Code Section 27.031(d) for Justice Court and Section 28.003(c) for Small Claims Court. You may review these code sections for free at

These code sections are identical and specifically state: "[a] corporation need not be represented by an attorney in (insert "Justice Court" or "Small Claims Court" as applicable). In these courts a business entity can be represented by any authorized person whether or not the person is an employee of the business entity.

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