It's been interesting to see how tort reform - and in particular the loser pays rule - has come up again
in this sluggish economy. Texas recently adopted a loser pays rule, and the pundits
were quick to jump on the topic as an example of ways to help the economy.
The legislation (Texas H.B. 274
) includes two forms of loser pays: (1) a requirement that courts award reasonable attorneys fees against the losing party
if the party's claims are dismissed as having "no basis in law or fact" and (2) an 'offer of settlement' rule that
shifts attorneys fees to the losing party who recovers less than what was offered in the offer of settlement.
longtime readers know, I've written in the past
about how both forms of loser-pays should reduce the incidence and the expense of litigation. (Carter Wood has written
that the Texas legislation is not exactly loser-pays in its traditional form, but it's still a step in the right direction.)