If a plaintiff is represented by counsel when filing suit, is the plaintiff immune from application of the vexatious litigant statutes? According to the Dallas Court of Appeals, the answer is "no."
In Drake v. Andrews, the trial court declared Drake a vexatious litigant under Chapter 11 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Drake appealed the order to challenge the application of Chapter 11 to his suit and argued that it did not apply because he was represented by counsel at the time it was filed. After review of the legislative history and text of the statutes, the court of appeals concluded, "we see no clear indication the Legislature intended the statute or its restriction to apply only to pro se litigants." Thus, the court held that Chapter 11 "is broad enough to reach all vexatious litigants, whether represented by counsel or not." Nonetheless, the court went on to reverse the trial court’s judgment of dismissal because it determined that Andrews had failed to establish that there was not a reasonable probability that Drake would prevail in the litigation against Andrews. The court’s opinion may be found here.