In re Estate of Longron, 211 S.W.3d 434 (Tex. App.—Beaumont 2006, pet. denied).

 Estate Administration

Attorney’s Fees

Award of Fees Via a Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict


The jury determined that unsuccessful will Proponent did not act in good faith and with just cause in attempting to probate a lost will. Nonetheless, the trial court granted a judgment notwithstanding the verdict and awarded Proponent his attorney’s fees under Probate Code § 243.

The appellate court determined that the trial court acted improperly. The court conducted an extensive review of the evidence and concluded that Proponent did not establish as a matter of law that he acted in good faith and with just cause. Consequently, the lower court’s judgment notwithstanding the verdict was erroneous.

Moral: A judgment notwithstanding the verdict is difficult to sustain on appeal.