Regardless of the case, litigation can become contentious and complicated quickly. And, when this happens, a judge may use a special master to help resolve difficult or complicated cases.
What is a special master?
A special master is a person appointed by a court to carry out some sort of action on its behalf. For example, a special master may oversee a receivership, monitor compliance with a court order or assist in complex litigation.
A special master is different from a master, who may be appointed to investigate or compile evidence to inform some future action by the court.
A Texas special master
In Texas, special masters are frequently used in receivership cases involving insurance companies. The Texas Department of Insurance is the statutory receiver for these cases, and the special master acts as an intermediary between TDI and the district court that oversees the receivership.
The special master reviews applications filed by TDI or other parties, conducts hearings and makes recommendations to the court. The special master also sets a docket schedule for the submission of applications and issues orders on procedural matters.
Expedites case resolutions
The role of a special master in Texas is important because it helps expedite the resolution of receivership cases and reduces the burden on the district court. A special master also brings expertise and experience to complex and technical issues that may arise in receivership cases. However, a special master is not a substitute for the court, and the court retains ultimate authority and discretion over the receivership proceedings.