The outcome of a $177,000 sanctions fight involving firebrand Texas attorney Bill Brewer may rest on whether Texas Supreme Court justices believe a pretrial telephone survey that Brewer conducted was fair and balanced, as he claims, or untruthful and biased, as opponents allege.

In an oral argument, justices on the Texas Supreme Court peppered attorneys with questions about the circumstances where trial courts can sanction a lawyer for sending out a pretrial survey about a case.

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