Pecos County Appraisal District v. Iraan-Sheffield Independent School District (Opinion)Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court held that no statute expressly authorizes a school district to retain a lawyer on a contingent-fee basis to prosecute litigation designed to increase the appraised value of property so as to generate more tax receipts for the school district and that authority for such an arrangement cannot be implied from a school district's express authority to bring litigation regarding appraisals.
Iraan-Sheffield Independent School District employed attorney D. Brent Lemon on a contingent-fee basis to pursue claims designed to increase the appraised value of property so as to generate more tax receipts. After the Appraisal Review Board denied the challenge the school district appealed. The district court granted Defendants' Rule 12 motion challenging Lemon's authority to represent the school district and then dismissed the case with prejudice. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that Tex. Tax Code 6.30(c) authorized the contingent-fee arrangement. The Supreme Court affirmed on different grounds and remanded the case, holding that the district court (1) correctly granted Defendants' Rule 12 motion; but (2) erred in dismissing the case with prejudice.