Can a Texas DTPA Defense Attorney recover his or her attorneys' fees if that same Texas DTPA Defense Attorney wins the case?
The short answer is no. But then again, maybe.
There are only a few circumstances when a Texas DTPA Defense Attorney can recover his or her attorneys' fees. One is if the case is brought without any basis in law or fact. The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act has a provision for what is commonly called a "frivolous lawsuit". The statute allows for the Judge of the case to determine if the case had no basis in law or fact. If the court finds as much, then the court can award the defendant his or her attorneys' fees.
Additionally, many Texas DTPA cases involve a contract and therefore, the Defendant can win the lawsuit and under a "prevailing party" clause in the contract, the Texas DTPA Defendant Attorney can recoup the defense fees IF THE DEFENDANT MAKE A RECOVERY OF DAMAGES OR EQUITABLE RELIEF. This inlcudes the recovery of nominal damages. Without the damages, though, there can be no recovery of attorneys' fees.