Client Alert: Dismissal Does Not Support Attorneys' Fee Award Under the DTSA

In a case of first impression, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently clarified that when a plaintiff obtains a dismissal without prejudice, the defendant is not deemed the “prevailing party” under the Defend Trade Secrets Act and thus not entitled to recover attorney’s fees. Consistent with federal authority interpreting other similar federal fee-shifting statutes, “[a] dismissal without prejudice means no one has prevailed; the litigation is just postponed with the possibility of the winner being decided at a later time in a new arena.”