Must Attorney Fees Be Superseded on Appeal?

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A split is developing among the intermediate Texas appellate courts on an issue important to civil trial lawyers and their clients: whether attorney fees must be included in the amount of security a judgment debtor must post to prevent execution on the judgment pending appeal.

Under former Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 24.2(a)(1), an appellant seeking to supersede a money judgment had to post security in “at least the amount of the judgment, interest for the estimated duration of the appeal, and costs.” House Bill 4, the 2003 tort-reform package, altered the amount of security required to supersede a money judgment by substituting “the amount of compensatory damages awarded in the judgment” for “the amount of the judgment.” The Texas Supreme Court amended Rule 24.2 accordingly.

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