'Loser pays' bill passes Texas House in emergency session

Marilyn Tennissen May 10, 2011, 11:00am


AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) - In an emergency session on Saturday, the Texas House of Representatives passed a "loser pays" bill that could change who pays legal fees in certain civil lawsuits.

House Bill 274, authored by state Rep. Brandon Creighton, a Republican from Conroe, allows the winning party to recover the costs of litigation in breach of contract suits or cases in which a judge has granted a motion to dismiss if there is no contractual attorneys' fees agreement.

On Friday, Gov. Rick Perry declared tort reform an emergency issue, allowing the measure to go ahead of all other bills in the House on Saturday.

"I applaud the House and Rep. Brandon Creighton's leadership for moving Texas one step closer to implementing a loser pays system that will help expedite legitimate legal claims and crack down on junk lawsuits," Perry said in a prepared statement on Monday.

"This legislation will also protect Texas jobs and stimulate economic opportunity by relieving Texans and employers of the costs and burdens created by frivolous and drawn-out lawsuits. I encourage the Senate to quickly take action on this important legislation."

Supporters say the bill would encourage parties to settle, would make it easier to dismiss frivolous lawsuits and would expedite cases, improve court efficiency and decrease court costs,

To view the entire article, visit the Southeast Texas Record.

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