Partners Jim Pikl and Byron Henry recently obtained a major appellate victory for firm clients when the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Rohrmoos Joint Venture v. UTSW, 2019 WL 1873428 (April 26, 2019). The decision not only vacated a fee award of $1,025,000 that UTSW obtained in the trial court, but set several consequential precedents.
As Jim describes the case: “This is without question the most important Supreme Court decision relating to attorney’s fees in 50 years. Not only did the court’s opinion clarify existing law in many ways, it also set a new standard in Texas for recovery of fees in every case, especially those in so-called ‘fee-shifting’ situations. The impact of the case deals mostly with the type of proof the court is now requiring parties to put on in order to recover fees, and calls into question the long-standing ‘traditional method’ of supporting fee awards.”
Jim has been a frequent speaker on the topic of attorney’s fees in CLE presentations and other venues, and has advocated for this clarification of the law for over 10 years. “Lawyers and clients should be relieved that the issues in this case are finally resolved because it allows them not only to draw up their contracts with the best chance of allocating fees as they see fit, but also gives trial lawyers a firm blueprint for recovery of their fees in court.”
Jim is Board Certified in Consumer and Commercial Law, and Byron is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.