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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:F.W. Industries, Inc., sued its former lawyer. The lawyer represented F.W. in a state court collection suit against Permian Producers Inc. While the collection suit was pending, Permian filed for bankruptcy. Later, the state court dismissed F.W.’s collection suit against Permian for want of prosecution. F.W. brought this action, alleging that the lawyer committed negligence during his representation of it in the state court suit and that the alleged negligence proximately caused it to sustain damages. After the deadline for F.W. to designate expert witnesses passed, the lawyer filed a no-evidence motion for summary judgment. In part, he asserted that there was no evidence that his alleged negligence proximately caused damage to F.W. The trial court granted the lawyer’s motion for summary judgment. HOLDING:Affirmed. The lawyer filed his no-evidence motion for summary judgment three months after F.W.’s deadline for designating expert witnesses. The 1999 revisions to the discovery rules governed discovery in this case. The issue for determination is whether the deadline for designating expert witnesses under Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 195.2(a) applies to summary judgment proceedings. F.W. relies on Johnson v. Fuselier, 83 S.W.3d 892 (Tex.App. Texarkana 2002, no pet’n), in arguing that the discovery rules for designating experts do not apply to summary judgment proceedings. The lawyer relies on Ersek v. Davis & Davis, P.C., 69 S.W.3d 268 (Tex.App. Austin 2002, pet’n den’d), in arguing that the discovery rules for designating experts, as revised in 1999, apply to summary judgment proceedings. The Ersek court examined the 1999 changes to the discovery rules. The court noted that, before the revisions, courts held that the discovery rules relating to the designation of expert witnesses did not apply in summary judgment proceedings. Before the 1999 revisions, the discovery period began when the suit was filed and ended on the date set for trial. The rules required the parties to designate their experts 30 days before the end of the discovery period. However, a continuance of the trial setting extended the discovery period and the deadline for designating experts. The Ersek court explained that, under the 1999 revisions, there is a “date certain” for designating expert witnesses. The discovery period begins when the suit is filed and ends the earlier of 30 days before the date set for trial or 9 months after the earlier of the date of the first oral deposition or the due date of the first response to written discovery. A party seeking affirmative relief must designate all testifying experts 90 days before the end of the discovery period. These dates do not fluctuate depending on the date set for trial. In Ersek, the court determined that the plaintiff could not use his expert witness affidavit at the trial on the merits because he had not designated the expert witness by the “date certain.” The court agrees with the reasoning of the Ersek court. The lawyer did not file his no-evidence motion for summary judgment until after an adequate time for discovery had passed. Parties should be entitled to rely on the “date certain” for designating experts when preparing no-evidence motions for summary judgment. F.W. did not designate its experts by the “date certain.” The court holds that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in striking the affidavits of of F.W.’s experts. Expert testimony on causation was required because the effect of Permian’s bankruptcy filing, if any, on F.W.’s claims against Permian is not something within a jury’s common knowledge. F.W. did not present any expert evidence on the causation issue. Therefore, it failed to raise a material fact issue on the causation element of its legal malpractice claim. OPINION:McCall, J.; Arnot, C.J., Wright and McCall, JJ.

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