Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

What is the effect of RES JUDICATA when it applies?

RES JUDICATA Res judicata precludes the relitigation of a finally adjudicated claim and related matters that should have been litigated in a prior suit. State & Cnty. Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. Miller, 52 S.W.3d 693, 696 (Tex. 2001) (citing Barr v. Resolution Trust Corp., 837 S.W.2d 627, 628 (Tex. 1992)). The doctrine bars matters actually litigated and causes of actions or defenses that arise out of the same subject matter and that could have been litigated in the first suit. Barr, 837 S.W.2d at 630. “[A] claimant generally cannot pursue one remedy to an unfavorable conclusion and then pursue the same remedy in another proceeding before the same or a different tribunal.” Igal v. Brightstar Info. Tech. Group, Inc., 250 S.W.3d 78, 86 (Tex. 2007). Texas follows the transactional approach to res judicata, which requires that a defendant bring as a counterclaim any claim arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the opposing party’s suit. Miller, 52 S.W.3d at 696. For res judicata to apply, these elements must be present: (1) a prior final judgment on the merits by a court of competent jurisdiction; (2) the same parties or those in privity with them; and (3) a second action based on the same claims as were raised or could have been raised in the first action. Igal, 250 S.W.3d at 86. SOURCE: Houston Court of Appeals 01-09-00816-CV 4/28/11 LEGAL TERMS: res judicata, claim preclusion, collateral estoppel, dismissal with and without prejudice; effect of prior judgment on subsequent lawsuit involving same or similar claims and parties