It took only a few minutes this afternoon for the Texas Senate to pass unanimously a new version of the loser-pays bill, with changes limiting types of suits subject to early dismissal and limiting attorneys' fees parties can recover after some unsuccessful settlement offers. “I’m very pleased the bill was passed unanimously out of the Senate. I think it's testament to the fact that it’s good legislation — fair,” says state Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Southside Place, who sponsored the bill in the Senate. Because the Senate version differs from the bill the House passed on May 9, both chambers must now appoint members for a conference committee to negotiate a final version of House Bill 274. “Every word of the bill has been carefully crafted. Hopefully the House will follow suit and concur. I’ve spoken with the House author, and I believe his commitment is to honor that and to do what he can to get it out of the House in the form the Senate sent it to him. I’m very confident that’s going to happen,” Huffman says. H.B. 274 author state Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, e-mailed a statement through a spokeswoman that the bill was “a major landmark for tort reform in Texas.”
He adds, "I am pleased with the outcome in the Senate today, and am positive that this bill, once enacted, will make litigation in Texas fair, expedient, and affordable.” Read more about the Senate version of H.B. 274 here.
-- Angela Morris