If recovery on breach of contract claim reversed - attorney's fees based on
successful BoC claim must also be reversed
Both the award of attorney’s fees and prejudgment interest were predicated on the breach of contract award,
which we have determined to be supported by legally insufficient evidence. Because he did not prevail on the
breach of contract claim, and is therefore not entitled to an award of actual damages under that claim, Tommy
is not entitled to recover attorney’s fees and prejudgment interest. See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. §
38.001(8) (Vernon 2008) (permitting recovery of reasonable attorney’s fees for breach of contract); see also
First Am. Title v. Willard, 949 S.W.2d 342, 352 (Tex. App.—Tyler 1997, writ denied) (“Upon reversal of a
claimant’s judgment, all dependent causes of action are simultaneously defeated.”).
Dace v. Dace (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] July 31, 2008)(Higley)
(dispute over estate, breach of contract, deed, undue influence)
legally insufficient evidence supports the jury’s finding that Harry entered into a written agreement with his
parents to purchase the business
We review a trial court's granting of attorney's fees for an abuse of discretion. Bocquet v. Herring, 972 S.W.2d
19, 21 (Tex. 1998). A trial court abuses its discretion when it acts arbitrarily and unreasonably and without
reference to guiding rules and principles. Downer v. Aquamarine Operations, Inc., 701 S.W.2d 238, 241-42
(Tex. 1985). The legal and factual sufficiency of the evidence are not independent grounds of error in an abuse-
of-discretion standard case, though they are relevant factors in assessing whether the trial court abused its
discretion. Miles v. Peacock, 229 S.W.3d 384, 388-89 (Tex. App.--Houston [1st Dist.] 2007, no pet.); see also
Beaumont Bank, N.A. v. Buller, 806 S.W.2d 223, 226 (Tex. 1991); Johnson v. Oliver, 250 S.W.3d 182, 187 (Tex.
App.--Dallas 2008, no pet.) (applying this standard to award of attorney's fees). Any award of attorney's fees
must be supported by competent evidence. Ajudani v. Walker, 232 S.W.3d 219, 225 (Tex. App.--Houston [1st
Dist.] 2007, no pet.).
Source: American International Industries, Inc. v. Surgicare (Tex.App.- Houston [14th Dist.] July 17, 2008)
(Keyes) (indemnification for attorney's fees, establishing reasonable and necessary amount of fees)
The Texas Supreme Court has stated the following factors for courts to consider when determining whether
attorney's fees are reasonable: (1) the time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions
involved, and the skill required to perform the legal services properly; (2) the likelihood that the acceptance of
the particular employment will preclude other employment by the lawyer; (3) the fee customarily charged in the
locality for similar legal services; (4) the amount involved and the results obtained; (5) the time limitations
imposed by the client or by the circumstances; (6) the nature and length of the professional relationship with the
client; (7) the experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the service; and (8)
whether the fee is fixed or contingent on results obtained or uncertainty of collection before the legal services
have been rendered. Arthur Andersen & Co. v. Perry Equip. Corp., 945 S.W.2d 812, 818 (Tex. 1997) (citing
Tex. Disciplinary R. Prof'l Conduct 1.04, reprinted in Tex. Gov't Code Ann., tit. 2, subtit. G app. A (Vernon 2005
& Supp. 2007) (Tex. State Bar R., art. X, § 9)). A court is not required to receive evidence on all of the factors.
Burnside Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc. v. T. S. Young Corp., 113 S.W.3d 889, 897-98 (Tex. App.--Dallas
2003, no pet.).