Is ''Lawyer Talk'' Enough to Prove Settlement Credit ?

In Mobil Oil Corp. v. Ellender, 934 S.W.2d 439 (Tex. App.-Beaumont 1996), the intermediate appellate court held that "lawyer talk" was not sufficient proof for purposes of supporting a settlement credit. The supreme court reversed this holding, however, and stated that a dollar-for-dollar election which states the settlement amount is sufficient where the opposing party does not offer controverting evidence. See Mobil Oil Corp. v. Ellender, 968 S.W.2d 917, 927 (Tex. 1998). The settlement credit provision of the code begins with "If the claimant has settled with one or more persons." TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REMEDIES CODE 33.014 (Vernon 1997). The party seeking the credit has the burden of proving the settlement amount. See Ellender; First Title Co. of Waco v. Garrett, 860 S.W.2d 74, 78 (Tex. 1993).