For decades, the common logic at many Texas firms was that it wasn’t worth it to sue a client over unpaid legal fees because it was bad for business. But if recent state district court filings are any indication, that attitude is changing.

Three professional-liability lawyers say fee-dispute suits against former clients inevitably lead those former clients to file legal malpractice counterclaims against the firms; sometimes the fee disputes cost more money to litigate than the fees owed; and such litigation may lead to higher legal malpractice insurance premiums. But more firms are willing to take that risk for a variety of reasons.

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