Helping Trial Lawyers Navigate the Appellate System

State Waived Attack on Attorneys’ Fees by Failing to Raise It in Supreme Court

In another chapter of the most recent school-finance case, Neeley v. West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District, the Third Court of Appeals has rejected the State’s challenge to the district court’s $4 million attorneys’ fee award.  The court of appeals held that the State waived its argument that certain constitutional provisions precluded the districts from recovering such fees by failing to raise the argument in its direct appeal to the Texas Supreme Court.  Applying the Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act, the court further held that that the award was “equitable and just.”

D. Todd Smith
About the Author

D. Todd Smith is an Austin-based civil appellate specialist who works with trial teams from the earliest stages of litigation. In trial courts, he takes the lead on strategic analysis and briefing, jury charges, and potentially dispositive motions, all with a focus on preserving error and positioning cases for appellate review.

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