Cleveland v. Taylor

In Cleveland v. Taylor, 397 S.W.3d 683, 701 (Tex. App.--Houston 1st Dist. 2012, pet. denied), the court held that the amount being requested in attorneys' fees based on a forty percent contingency fee agreement was unreasonable, even though the attorney provided "clear, direct and uncontroverted evidence" that his costs incurred were reasonable and necessary. 397 S.W.3d at 701-02. The court held that this evidence was sufficient to show the reasonableness and necessity of the $155,075.54 being requested by the appellees in that case, but it did not justify a forty percent contingency fee agreement when that agreement increased the award to $500,000. Id. at 701-02 ("However, appellees' attorney's statement that 40% of the judgment would be a reasonable and necessary fee in light of his firm's 40% contingency fee agreement . . . does not justify increasing the fee award beyond the specific amount requested by appellees").