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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:After a partner withdrew from a two-member law firm, a dispute arose over distribution of the firm’s assets. The dispute consisted primarily of fees earned and to be earned from personal injury cases taken by the withdrawing partner. In accordance with the partnership agreement, the appellee filed suit seeking to compel arbitration. The court ordered the dispute to be submitted to an arbitration panel, which made a written award. The withdrawing partner, the appellant, requested the panel to submit findings of fact and conclusions of law; the request was denied. Appellant then filed a motion to compel such finding and conclusions; his motion was denied. Judgment was rendered on the award, and this appeal followed. HOLDING:Affirmed. The appellant presents four issues on appeal: 1. the trial court erred by adopting the arbitration award, because the arbitrators exceeded their powers by awarding attorneys’ fees from clients’ cases that did not agree to arbitration and were not a part of the arbitration; 2. the trial court erred by enforcing an illegal provision of the partnership agreement; 3. the trial court erred by adopting the award, because the arbitrators exceeded their authority by entering an award that affects the rights of third parties not subject to the arbitration; and 4. the trial court erred by enforcing the award, because the arbitrators refused to submit findings of fact and conclusions of law. The court addresses issues one and three jointly because they essentially allege the same error. The appellant furnished no authority for the support of issues one and three, and the court cannot find such support. The arbitration award does not affect the clients’ rights. Issues one and three are overruled. Issue two contends the court erred by enforcing an illegal provision of the partnership agreement. Appellant cites Rules 5.06 and 1.04 of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct in support of this contention. Appellant also cites Opinion 459 of the Texas Professional Ethics Committee, which states it is not proper for a firm to have an employment agreement or partnership agreement which provides that, upon leaving the firm, the associate or the partner would be required to pay to his former law firm a percentage of fees thereafter from clients brought from his former firm. There appears to be no question about the fact that the partnership agreement is contrary to the Ethics Committee opinion, the court states. Looking to the award of the arbitration panel, the court states that there is no question that a portion of the fees to be received by appellant were to be paid to appellee, along with specific amounts which the court presumes were expenses of litigation paid by the partnership. Certain other payments were ordered by the panel which the court presumes were portions from resolved cases handled by appellant after termination. There is no question about the fact that, for both plaintiffs and defendants, the cost of preparing litigation is not only the efforts by the lawyer handling the case but also the efforts of the firm’s legal staff or outside counsel, investigative staff, clerical staff, and the time and expense of expert witnesses in some cases. The ethics opinion fails to take into account these items. It appears the ethics opinion, in an effort to be fair to the withdrawing attorney, is not mindful of the rights of the firm or attorney remaining, the court states. The court holds that a violation of Opinion 459 of the Texas Professional Ethics Committee, under the circumstances of this case, is not contrary to public policy and should not be used as a procedural weapon. In his fourth issue, the appellant states that the court erred by enforcing the award, because the arbitrators refused to submit findings of fact and conclusions of law. The Texas Legislature has undertaken to enact into statutory law the procedures relative to arbitration. Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code 171.001-173.004. The statute is clear: the only requirement is that the award be in writing. The requirement of the statute was complied with. After examining the arbitrator’s award, the court states, “It appears that findings of fact and conclusions of law are implicit in the award even though they are not identified as such.” OPINION:Clyde R. Ashworth, J.; Cornelius, Boyd and Ashworth, JJ.

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