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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:B. J. Hall sued the firm of White, Getgey & Meyer Co. LPA (White, Getgey) for legal malpractice in a diversity suit governed by Texas law in which a federal magistrate presided. A jury concluded that the firm was negligent, Hall’s damages were $675,000, the firm was 51 percent responsible for Hall’s injuries, and a settling party was 49 percent responsible for those injuries. The magistrate allowed a dollar-for-dollar settlement credit of $270,000 against the $675,000 awarded by the jury and entered judgment in Hall’s favor against the firm for $405,000, together with pre-judgment interest at 10 percent per annum from the date the federal suit was filed, which was Feb. 10, 1997, and post-judgment interest at 10 percent per annum. That judgment was entered Sept. 21, 2001. Both parties appealed, and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that the settlement credit should have been only $80,000. The body of that opinion stated, “We modify Hall’s damages award so that it reflects a reduction by this proper amount.” The case was remanded for the entry of an amended judgment in Hall’s favor in the amount of $595,000. On remand, the magistrate initially entered a judgment against White, Getgey in the amount of $595,000, plus pre-judgment interest at 10 percent per annum from Feb. 10, 1997, until Sept. 21, 2001, and post-judgment interest from Sept. 21, 2001, at 10 percent per annum. This judgment was entered October 31, 2003. White, Getgey filed a motion with the district court seeking to alter or amend that judgment, contending that this court’s opinion and mandate failed to contain instructions regarding interest, and therefore, the district court lacked authority to award interest. The firm asserted in the alternative that if interest were to be awarded, the rate of interest should be limited in accordance with amendments to the Texas Finance Code and pursuant to 28 U.S.C. �1961(a). Hall countered by filing a motion to enforce the Oct. 31, 2003 judgment and sought discovery in aid of that judgment. Shortly thereafter, in June 2004, the magistrate entered an order in which she concluded that she had no authority to award interest because this court had modified the 2001 judgment on appeal without giving any instructions regarding interest. The magistrate’s June 2004 order further concluded that “the appropriate procedural vehicle” for Hall to recover an award of interest was “a motion to recall and reform the mandate[,]” presumably meaning this court’s mandate. A Second Amended Judgment against White, Getgey awarding Hall $595,000 was entered June 7, 2004. No provision for any interest, pre- or post-judgment, was included. Hall filed a notice of appeal on July 7, 2004, from the magistrate’s June 7, 2004, Second Amended Judgment. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. The court first stated that the law of the case doctrine did not foreclose a motion to recall and amend the mandate as part of the appeal. The court then decided the rates of pre- and post-judgment interest. It stated that the post-judgment interest rate for judgments in federal courts is governed by federal statute, 28 U.S.C. �1961(a) and ordered that on remand, �1961(a) should be applied. The court then decided the rate of pre-judgment interest. Issues regarding pre-judgment interest in a diversity case “are governed by applicable state law.” At the time the magistrate entered the September 2001 judgment, the Texas Finance Code provided for a floor of 10 percent for pre-judgment interest. In 2003, the Texas Legislature amended the Texas Finance Code and the floor was lowered to 5 percent. The judgment before the court was entered on June 7, 2004. Accordingly, the court found that the 2003 amendments govern the rate of pre-judgment interest rather than the law in effect when the original Sept. 21, 2001, judgment was entered in the district court. The court stated that pre-judgment interest was recoverable from Feb. 10, 1997, until entry of judgment following the remand that the court ordered in its opinion. The court also stated that post-judgment interest was recoverable from the date of entry of judgment on remand until paid. OPINION:Owen, J.; Jones, C.J., and DeMoss and Owen, J.J.

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