Rule 11 agreements are often used in
family law and cases. I have had clients and potential clients ask me about what a Rule 11
agreement is and what they are used for. Many lawyers use Rule 11 agreements
to settle an issue or a whole case. Attorneys often use the term “Rule
11 Agreement” as if it were a specific type of agreement.
What is a Rule 11 Agreement?
However, Rule 11 is a rule of procedure and does not do much to define
the form or substance of settlement agreements.
A rule 11 agreement refers to Rule 11 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedures
which provides that an agreement between lawyers in a case is enforceable
if the agreement:
- Is in writing and
- filed in the papers of the court or unless it be made in open court and
entered of record.
Uses of Rule 11 Agreements
Rule 11 Agreements or stipulations are useful tools that can be used for:
- To narrow complex issues
- Alleviate the need to call witnesses and
- Resolve the entire lawsuit.
Rule 11 agreements are revocable before judgment is rendered
However, rule 11 agreements are revocable at any time until judgment is
rendered. A settlement agreement upon which an eventual judgment will
be based when entered into the record is subject to withdrawal by either
party until judgment is rendered by the court. In other words, a party
may revoke consent to a settlement agreement at any time before judgment
is rendered. San Antonio Rest. Corp. v. Leal, 892 S.W.2d 855, 857 (Tex. 1995).
Adding the phrase “THIS AGREEMENT IS NOT SUBJECT TO REVOCATION”
to a Rule 11 Agreement does not necessarily make it irrevocable.
The Prerequisites of an Enforceable Rule 11 Agreement
Parties can enter into an enforceable Rule 11 agreement if it is made in
open court and entered of record. To be enforceable a rule 11 agreement must:
- An Agreement to Settle a Pending Lawsuit
- Clear and Unambiguous
- In writing and
- Filed with the court of record
An Agreement to Settle a Pending Lawsuit
A Rule 11 agreement is only valid if it is entered in a pending lawsuit.
A compromise and settlement of a claim prior to the filing of a suit does
not fall within Rule 11.
Clear and Unambiguous
An agreement or stipulation must be clear enough so that enforcement of
the agreed terms can be accurately reflected in a judgment. Further, an
agreement or stipulation that is ambiguous or unclear should be disregarded
by the court.
The Rule requires that agreements, stipulating to certain facts, "between
attorneys or parties concerning a pending suit to be in writing, signed
and filed in the record of the cause to be enforceable.”
File with the court of record
When made in open court, the Rule is satisfied if the terms of the agreement
are dictated before a certified reporter, and the record reflects who
was present, the settlement terms, and the parties' acknowledgment
of the settlement.
Enforcing Rule 11 Agreements
A trial court is not authorized and cannot render a judgment on a Rule
11 stipulation if it is repudiated before rendition of judgment. Davis
v. Wickham, 917 S.W.2d 414, 416 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 1996, no writ).
The remedy for a failed stipulated agreement is a suit for breach of contract.
Although a court cannot render a valid agreed judgment absent consent at
the time it is rendered, this does not preclude the court, after proper
notice and hearing, from enforcing a settlement agreement complying with
Rule 11 even though one side no longer consents to the settlement. The
judgment in the latter case is not an agreed judgment, but rather is a
judgment enforcing a binding contract.
In that situation, not only is the suit in regard to family matters not
resolved, but a whole new suit must be initiated to enforce the attempted
If you want to know more about what you can do,
CLICK the button below to get your
“16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Dos and Don'ts Regarding Electronic Communications in a Texas Divorce
- Can I Sue My Ex for Hacking My Computer in My Texas Divorce?
- Cell Phones, Mail, Computers, Spying on your Spouse, and Privacy Rights
in a Spring, Texas Divorce
- Do I Need to Change My Passwords for a Divorce in Texas?
- Legalities of spying on a child’s cell phone in Texas
- How Social Media Can Hurt You in Divorce
- Why do divorces cost so much in Texas?
- How Can I Get My Spouse to Pay My Attorney's Fees in a Texas Divorce?
- How Much Will My Texas Divorce Cost?
- Can I sue my spouse's mistress in Texas?
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children
and families. If you have questions regarding
divorce, it's important to speak with one of our
Spring, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
divorce lawyers in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and
developing a strategy to meet those goals.
Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online
form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles
Divorce cases in Spring, Texas,
The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including
Fort Bend County and