TX Supreme Court Upholds (Arguably) One-Sided Lawyer Services Agreement

This spring, the Texas Supreme Court held that there was nothing “substantively unconscionable” about a lawyer-client services agreement specifying that the client and firm will arbitrate disputes that arise between them, except for claims made by the firm for recovery of its fees and expenses. Royston, Rayzor, Vickery & Williams, L.L.P. v. Lopez (2015 WL 3976101). The Court of Appeals had sided with the client in finding unconscionability in this “one-sided agreement,” concluding that the contract facially favored the law firm by giving it the right to litigate claims for its fees and expenses while requiring the client to arbitrate all disputes, including malpractice. The Court declined to require lawyers to explain such provisions, noting that prospective clients who sign such contracts “are deemed to know and understand the contracts’ content and are bound by their terms on the same basis as are other contracting parties.”

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