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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Loser pays winner pays

As many of you may know I have been working on a version of a loser pays tort reform bill. My house sponsor Vance Dennis has been helpful in pulling it back a little, and stopping it in some scenarios where it may not be a good idea for a blanket rule.

Oddly enough I have run the latest version by several lawyers and most seem to be OK with it. I thought they would be setting up the meeting at my house with pitch forks and torches, but even most of them realize we have problems with slap suits and the "volume lawyers".

I still have some bugs to work out of it but it is getting closer.

Some interesting ideas have been coming from other states and some lawyers I have been polling. Texas just passed legislation where the mediation and the pre trial offer to settle could be key.

It is really sort of interesting idea as it could be winner pays as well. If the final judgment was not at least 80% of something that was offered pre trial then the winner pays the other sides attorney fees. So if you offered me $100K to settle, I insist we go to court anyway and I win say $75K, I would still have to pay your attorneys fees.

It would make both sides come to the negotiating table with a more reasonable offer to settle and willingness to settle.

Your opinions are welcome.


  1. Why don't you make it where the government pays a criminal defendant's attorney's fees if the defendant winds up acquitted, or convicted of a lesser charge.

  2. Would this have any bearing on the government? Kind of like if you get a redlight camera ticket, you can fight it, but it doesn't make sense money-wise because you have to pay court costs and everything?


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