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Wilson v. Lamberth Ratcliffe Covington PLLC

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas

June 6, 2019

TRACIE WILSON, Appellant
v.
LAMBERTH RATCLIFFE COVINGTON PLLC, Appellee

          On Appeal from the County Court at Law Rockwall County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. 1-18-0520

          Before Justices Bridges, Brown, and Nowell.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          ERIN A. NOWELL JUSTICE.

         Tracie Wilson, appearing pro se, [1] appeals the trial court's summary judgment in favor of Lamberth Ratcliffe Covington PLLC ("LRC Firm") on its claim for breach of contract and, alternatively, quantum meruit. On appeal, Wilson argues the trial court erred by excluding email correspondence and evidence of attorney misconduct. We affirm the trial court's judgment.

         Wilson hired the LRC Firm to represent her in another lawsuit, and she signed a fee agreement. When Wilson failed to pay, the LRC Firm instituted this lawsuit for breach of contract and, alternatively, quantum meruit. The LRC Firm filed a motion for summary judgment; Wilson did not respond. The trial court granted the motion and awarded damages. This appeal followed.

         On appeal, Wilson asserts that during the summary judgment hearing she was not permitted "to present email evidence by Plaintiff [the LRC Firm] or evidence of Plaintiffs [sic] misconduct pursuant to Tex.R.Civ.P. 8.04 [sic] and 801."[2] She argues the trial court erred by excluding her evidence, which does not appear in the record but is attached to her appellate brief. Because Wilson did not file a response to the motion for summary judgment, the evidence was not before the trial court and, thus, is outside the scope of our review. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 166a(c) ("Issues not expressly presented to the trial court by written motion, answer or other response shall not be considered on appeal as grounds for reversal."); see also D.R. Horton Tex., Ltd. v. Markel Int'l Ins. Co., 300 S.W.3d 740, 743 (Tex. 2009) ("A non-movant must present its objections to a summary judgment motion expressly by written answer or other written response to the motion in the trial court or that objection is waived."). Thus, Wilson's appellate arguments do not form a proper basis to reverse the trial court's judgment. See Graff v. 2920 Park Grove Venture, Ltd., No. 05-16-01411-CV, 2018 WL 2949158, at *5 (Tex. App-Dallas June 13, 2018, pet. denied) (mem. op.) ("Because Stanley did not present this tolling doctrine argument or issue to the trial court in response to Park Grove's motion for summary judgment, it is not a proper basis to reverse the trial court's judgment and we will not consider it."). We do not consider Wilson's evidence and arguments that were not submitted to the trial court. We overrule Wilson's issues on appeal.

         Because Wilson does not present any proper basis to reverse the trial court's judgment, we affirm the trial court's judgment.

         JUDGMENT

         In accordance with this Court's opinion of this date, the judgment of the trial court is AFFIRMED.

         It is ORDERED that appellee LAMBERTH RATCLIFFE COVINGTON PLLC recover its costs of this appeal from appellant TRACIE WILSON.

         Judgment entered.

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Notes:

[1] Wilson is not represented by an attorney in this appeal. Pro se litigants, such as Wilson, are required to adhere to the rules of evidence and procedure, including the appellate rules of procedure. See Bolling v. Farmers Branch Indep. Sch. Dist., 315 S.W.3d 893, 895 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2010, no pet.). Pro se litigants will not be treated differently than a party who is represented by a licensed attorney. Id. We construe liberally pro se pleadings and briefs; however, we hold pro se litigants to the same standards as licensed attorneys and require them to comply with applicable laws and rules of procedure. In re N.E.B., 251 S.W.3d 211, 211-12 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2008, no pet.) (citing Mansfield State Bank ...


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