Texas legislature approves ‘loser pays’

It’s official, or pretty darn near official: loser pays soon will be coming to a Texas courthouse near you.

The Texas House yesterday voted in favor of a bill that earlier won Senate passage and requires parties who lose a motion to dismiss their claims to pay the other sides’ court costs and attorneys’ fees.

The legislation is now headed to the desk of Republican Governor Rick Perry, who is expected to sign it.

Texans for Lawsuit Reform, a pro-business group, hailed the measure, saying in a statement that it was “bitterly opposed by the Texas Trial Lawyer Association until the last minutes of deliberation.”

The bill is less dramatic than the original version of the legislation, which would have made “losers” potentially responsible for a broader scope of court costs and fees. Here’s a report on the legislation from the Texas Lawyer newspaper.

The Texas bill also contains a provision that would, in some instances, penalize a litigant for rejecting a settlement offer that is greater than what a judge or jury awards at trial.


Texas Legislature Approves ‘Loser Pays’
Nathan Koppel
May 26, 2011
The Wall Street Journal