Keltex Properties , S. Gay , S. Herring , S. The awarding of fees under section Budd , S. A trial court's award of attorney's fees is thus reviewed for an abuse of discretion. Bocquet , S.
Progressive Voters League , S. A trial court abuses its discretion when it acts arbitrarily and unreasonably and without reference to guiding rules and principles. Downer v. Aquamarine Operators, Inc. When reviewing matters reserved for the trial court's discretion, a court of appeals may not substitute its own judgment for that of the trial court. See Flores v. Fourth Court of Appeals , S.
The determination of reasonable attorney's fees is a question for the trier of fact. See Ragsdale , S.
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Nielson , S. Factors to be considered in determining the amount of reasonable attorney's fees include: 1 the time and labor required, novelty and difficulty of the question presented, and the skill required to properly perform the legal service; 2 the likelihood that the acceptance of employment precluded other employment by the lawyer; 3 the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar services; 4 the amount involved and the results obtained; 5 the time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances; 6 the nature and length of the professional relationship with the client; 7 the experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer performing the services; and 8 whether the fee is fixed or contingent on results obtained or uncertainty of collection before the legal services have been rendered.
G app. A Vernon TEX. Perry Equip. The court is not required to receive evidence on each of these factors.grupoavigase.com/includes/142/477-mejor-chat-para.php
MERCIER v. SOUTHWESTERN BELL YELLOW PAGES INC | FindLaw
Burnside Air Conditioning Heating, Inc. Young Corp. The court can also look at the entire record, the evidence presented on reasonableness, the amount in controversy, the common knowledge of the participants as lawyers and judges, and the relative success of the parties. Citing Ragsdale , Southwestern Bell argues that its affidavit on attorney's fees was "clear, direct, and uncontroverted," and, therefore, established its entitlement to attorney's fees "as a matter of law.
Southwestern Bell further contends the trial court correctly awarded the fees because "Mercier had the means and opportunity of disproving the affidavit and failed to do so. Generally, the testimony of an interested witness, such as a party to the suit, though not contradicted, does no more than raise a fact issue to be determined by the factfinder. Where the testimony of an interested witness, however, is not contradicted by any other witness, or attendant circumstances, and the same is clear, direct and positive, and free from contradiction, inaccuracies, and circumstances tending to cast suspicion thereon, it is taken as true, as a matter of law.
This is especially true where the opposing party had the means and opportunity to disprove the testimony or evidence and failed to do so.
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Supply Co. Gulf Electroquip, Inc. This exception to the general rule regarding interested witness testimony, however, does not mean in every case in which a party offers uncontradicted testimony, such testimony mandates an award of the entire amount sought. Ragsdale , S. Hrabar , S. Our Redeemer Lutheran Church , S.
Even though the evidence might be uncontradicted, if the offered evidence is unreasonable, incredible, or its belief is questionable either from another witness or attendant circumstances, then such evidence would only raise a fact issue to be determined by the trier of fact. In the present case, Southwestern Bell provided an affidavit from its attorney, Ryan E. Stevens, in support of its request for attorney's fees. In the affidavit, Stevens states:. Plaintiff employed me to collect the claim on which this suit is based.
In consideration for such services, Plaintiff has agreed to pay reasonable attorney's fees.
Between then and the date of this affidavit, I performed and will perform several hours of work on this matter, including or causing to be done the following: Original Petition; file suit; receive correspondence from process server confirming service of process; calculate Answer date; review Defendant's Original Answer; prepare Motion for Summary Judgment; prepare Affidavit in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment; prepare Affidavit in support of Attorney's Fees in Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment; Correspondence to Plaintiff forwarding Affidavit for signature; review signed Affidavit; file Motion and Affidavits; get setting for hearing on Motion; review Defendant's response, if any; attend hearing; prepare Judgment; get Court's signature to Judgment; file same.
Stevens goes on to state that he expects "that an additional several hours of my time will be required to perform post-judgment discovery and to satisfy the judgment by writ of execution and other procedures. Mercier responded that Stevens' affidavit failed to detail 1 the contract of employment he has with Southwestern Bell, 2 the amount charged for his services, 3 the number of hours expended in the case, or 4 the amount of attorney's fees Southwestern Bell has paid him for his services.
To the extent Stevens implies he entered into a contingency fee agreement with Southwestern Bell, he failed to present any evidence of such contract. Rule 1. A contingent fee agreement shall be in writing and shall state the method by which the fee is to be determined. If there is to be a differentiation in the percentage or percentages that shall accrue to the lawyer in the event of settlement, trial or appeal, the percentage for each shall be stated.
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The agreement shall state the litigation and other expenses to be deducted from the recovery, and whether such expenses are to be deducted before or after the contingent fee is calculated. The absence of proof of a written contingency fee agreement creates an attendant circumstance surrounding the alleged existence of such an agreement. In light of the circumstances, we conclude Stevens' evidence was controverted and questionable. Thus, it did not rise to the level that would permit an award of attorney's fees as a matter of law under Ragsdale.
See Disbrow v. Healey , S. Homeowners' Ass'n v. Wilkes , S. Further, in Andersen , the supreme court held that a contingency fee agreement alone cannot support an award of attorney's fees. Arthur Andersen Co. The court explained that, while a contingent fee may be a reasonable fee from the standpoint of the parties to the contract, i. The court concluded that although a party's contingent fee agreement should be considered by the factfinder, a determination of the reasonableness of the fee must take into consideration the factors required by rule 1.
Accordingly, we conclude the trial court erred in awarding Southwestern Bell's request for attorney's fees. We affirm the trial court's order granting summary judgment in favor of Southwestern Bell and reverse and remand the award of attorney's fees to the trial court for proceedings consistent with this opinion.
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