The Dallas Court of Appeals reaffirmed the requirement that a claim be presented to the opposing party in order to recover attorney's fees under Chapter 38 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Here, the party seeking fees argued that the offers exchanged at mediation constituted presentment for purposes of CPRC Section 38.002. The Court rejected the argument holding that the evidence of mediation did not prove that "prior to trial, [the defendant] had the opportunity, by taking specific action, to avoid paying attorney's fees." The Court further stated that there was no evidence of a specific demand demonstrating the amount owing. Finally, the Court rejected the argument that the trial court should have reopened the evidence on attorney's fees because the party failed to show it was entitled to fees by failing to prove presentment. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the trial court's refusal to award attorney's fees. The Court's opinion in Helping Hands Home Care, Inc. v. Home Health of Tarrant County, Inc. can be found at this link.
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