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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Deep East Texas Self-Insurance Fund (Deep East) is an unincorporated association that provides workers’ compensation insurance to its members. Cunningham Lindsey Claims Management Inc. contracted with Deep East to handle workers’ compensation claims beginning in the early 1970s. In 2003, Deep East sued Cunningham Lindsey. Cunningham Lindsey’s liability insurer, American International Specialty Lines Insurance Co. (AISLIC), retained Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons LLP to defend Cunningham Lindsey. Before the trial, the parties entered into a high-low agreement. Representatives of both parties signed the agreement as did the attorneys for both parties. Under the terms of the agreement, the parties agreed to a bench trial with limited evidence. They further agreed that if the trial court entered judgment for Deep East or Cunningham Lindsey in an amount equal to or less than the remainder of Cunningham Lindsey’s insurance under AISLIC’s primary insurance policy, Deep East would be entitled to the amount remaining under that policy as its minimum recovery. Moreover, the terms of the agreement limited Deep East’s maximum recovery to the amount of the trial court’s judgment in excess of the remaining primary policy limit or $6 million, whichever amount was greater. The matter proceeded to trial in June 2005, following which the trial court entered a judgment in favor of Deep East for $4,800,412.37. Subsequently, a dispute arose between the parties concerning the amount owed to Deep East under the AISLIC policy. Among other contentions, Deep East claimed that Thompson, Coe charged an excessive amount of attorneys’ fees and thereby improperly eroded Deep East’s entitlement to recover under the policy. In November 2005, Deep East sued Thompson, Coe. Deep East alleged that Thompson, Coe charged excessive fees and expenses that resulted in the improper erosion of Deep East’s recovery under the agreement. Deep East further alleged that Thompson, Coe was a party to the agreement and breached its duty of good faith and fair dealing inherent in all contractual arrangements. Thompson, Coe filed a plea to the jurisdiction arguing that Deep East lacked standing to sue Thompson, Coe regarding fees Thompson, Coe charged Cunningham Lindsey. Following a hearing, the trial court denied Thompson, Coe’s plea to the jurisdiction. Thompson, Coe subsequently filed a motion for reconsideration, which the trial court denied. Thereafter, Thompson, Coe filed a petition for writ of mandamus to the 12th Court of Appeals. HOLDING:The petition for a writ of mandamus was denied. Mandamus will issue to correct a clear abuse of discretion where there is no adequate remedy by appeal, the court stated. Pleas to the jurisdiction are generally considered incidental rulings for which appeal is an adequate remedy, the court stated. An appellate remedy is not inadequate merely because it may involve more expense or delay, the court stated. Several Texas courts of appeals, the court stated, have considered the issue of whether there is an adequate remedy by appeal in cases involving the denial of a party’s plea to the jurisdiction. Only one recently determined that there was no adequate remedy by appeal in such a situation, the court stated. Here, the court stated, although Thompson ,Coe will undoubtedly face further expense and delay by participating in a trial before being able to raise the issue of Deep East’s standing, Thompson, Coe’s burden did not rise to the level of the extraordinary circumstances that warrant an appellate court’s grant of a mandamus petition. OPINION:Griffith, J.; Worthen, C.J., and Griffith and Hoyle, J.J.

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