EFFECT OF RES JUDICATA WHEN PROPERLY ASSERTED AS AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
Res judicata bars claims that were brought, or could have been brought, in an earlier lawsuit that resulted in a final judgment on the merits. Igal v. Brightstar Info. Tech. Grp., Inc., 250 S.W.3d 78, 86 (Tex. 2008). To prevail on the defense, a party must show that (1) in a previous action, a court of competent jurisdiction rendered a final determination on the merits of a claim, (2) the parties in the earlier action are identical to, or in privity with, the present parties, and (3) the pending claim (a) is identical to the prior claim or (b) arises out of the same subject matter as the prior claim and could have been litigated in the previous action. Travelers Ins. Co. v. Joachim, 315 S.W.3d 860, 862 (Tex. 2010).
SOURCE:HOUSTON COURT OF APPEALS - No. 01-12-01114-CV. - 7/11/2013
RES JUDICATA AS TO COUNTERCLAIMS - PRIVITY
Res judicata prevents the relitigation of a finally-adjudicated claim and related matters that should have been litigated in a prior suit. Barr v. Resolution Trust Corp., 837 S.W.2d 627, 628 (Tex. 1992). Under Texas' transactional approach to res judicata, a defendant must bring as a counterclaim any claim arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the opposing party's suit. State & County Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. Miller, 52 S.W.3d 693, 696 (Tex. 2001); Barr, 837 S.W.2d at 630. It requires proof of three elements: (1) a prior final judgment on the merits by a court of competent jurisdiction, (2) identity of 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. Amstadt v. U.S. Brass Corp., 919 S.W.2d 644, 652 (Tex. 1996).
"People can be in privity in at least three ways: (1) they can control an action even if they are not parties to it; (2) their interests can be represented by a party to the action; or (3) they can be successors in interest, deriving their claims through a party to the prior action." Id. at 652-53. Privity does not exist when persons are interested in the same question, but requires an identity of interest in the legal right actually litigated. Tex. Real Estate Comm'n v. Nagle, 767 S.W.2d 691, 694 (Tex. 1989); Pyles v. Young, No. 06-07-00066-CV, 2007 WL 4462738 (Tex. App.-Texarkana Dec. 21, 2007, no pet.) (mem. op.).
SOURCE: TEXARCANA COURT OF APPEALS - No. 06-13-00033-CV. - 9/5/2014B