A recent decision by a divided 1st Court of Appeals panel in Texas moves a Houston firm back to square one in its eight-year dispute with a client over attorney fees.

On Sept. 7, 2006, the three-justice panel unanimously affirmed two Harris County Court-at-Law No. 2 judgments awarding $241,208, plus interest, to the Sacks Firm in Houston and its president, David J. Sacks, in their effort to get former client Charles McIntyre Haden Jr. and his business, Haden & Co., to pay the balance on a legal bill the firm claims it is owed. But on March 8, acting on a motion for rehearing by Haden and his company, the panel withdrew its earlier opinion and, in a 2-1 decision, held that fact issues remain as to whether Sacks and Haden had a “meeting of the minds” on the terms of the engagement-letter contract.

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