During the 2013 legislative session, the Texas Legislature enacted a new law that will combine 4 different regulatory specialty groups. Among those groups is the Guardianship Certification Board, upon which Mr. Ford has served as a board member since 2006. Under the new law, the functions of the GCB will be combined under one umbrella with 3 other existing boards – the Court Reporters Certification Board, the Process Server Review Board, and the Court Interpreters’ Board. The new governing body for these organizations will be called the Judicial Branch Certification Commission (JBCC), and it will operate under the auspices of the Supreme Court of Texas.
The JBCC will consist of 9 members appointed by the Supreme Court. Five of the members will be judges from across the state, and four of the members will be lay members representing each of the boards being combined under the JBCC. The JBCC will oversee the licensing of professional guardians, court reporters, process servers, and licensed court interpreters across the State of Texas.
The new commission will officially start on September 1, 2014, but in anticipation of its creation, the Supreme Court has assembled a task force to create the rules that will govern the specialty areas. As the chair of the Rules Committee for the Guardianship Certification Board, F+B partner Don Ford was asked to participate in the task force. So far, the task force has met in Austin three times to scrutinize the proposed rules and to propose changes and alternatives. The Task Force plans to publish the proposed rules for comment from the public in November, 2013.