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Texas Appellate Law



INSIGHT & COMMENTARY ON CIVIL APPEALS & LITIGATION



Last Build Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2017 19:39:38 +0000

 



How Appellate Work Saved Me from Diabetes and Diabetes Made Me a Better Appellate Lawyer

Fri, 29 Sep 2017 13:12:48 +0000

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 44 years ago, on September 24, 1973, and have practiced appellate law full-time since 1989. Appellate law has played a major part in helping me live a longer and healthy life. In 1973, the life expectancy for a teenager diagnosed with diabetes was 50. I turned 59 last … Continue Reading

The post How Appellate Work Saved Me from Diabetes and Diabetes Made Me a Better Appellate Lawyer appeared first on Texas Appellate Law.




Advocate v. Advisor: Estimating Likelihood of Success

Fri, 08 Sep 2017 12:38:10 +0000

“We’re going to win,” a board-member announced, pointing at the application for a temporary restraining order, and looking around the room. Turning her gaze to me, she reiterated, “it says, ‘Plaintiff Will Likely Succeed on the Merits,’ and then you give a bunch of reasons why. That means we’ll win the case, right?” “From a … Continue Reading

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Talking Legal Tech on New Solo

Tue, 05 Sep 2017 11:15:09 +0000

Anyone familiar with me as a lawyer knows I have a penchant for legal technology. It’s a regular topic of discussion around here, particularly as it relates to modern-day appellate practice. I’m always looking for ways to implement legal tech and related tools to make things run more smoothly and efficiently in my firm and … Continue Reading

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Texas Supreme Court Jurisdiction, Part III: What’s Old May Be New in the Statutory Renovation

Fri, 01 Sep 2017 12:28:09 +0000

  As discussed in my previous two posts (here and here), the Texas Legislature has made significant changes to statutes demarcating the Texas Supreme Court’s jurisdiction. In what appears to be an effort to renovate, the legislature has done more than change the wallpaper. It has tried to simplify jurisdiction by applying the same jurisprudential-importance … Continue Reading

The post Texas Supreme Court Jurisdiction, Part III: What’s Old May Be New in the Statutory Renovation appeared first on Texas Appellate Law.




Lawyers in the Living Room: “Texas Lawyers” Facebook Group

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 13:23:32 +0000

“I feel like I’m visiting your home every time I read a post,” I told Andrew Tolchin, the founder of the “Texas Lawyers” (TL) Facebook Group. “Visiting my home is precisely what it is supposed to feel like—like you are in my living room,” he replied. Andrew describes TL as a “judge-free online legal community … Continue Reading

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Texas Supreme Court Jurisdiction, Part II: The Times They Are a-Changin’ (Or Are They?)

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:01:11 +0000

My previous blog post briefly outlined the Texas Supreme Court’s jurisdiction and the soon-to-be-effective legislative changes. As the title of these posts suggests, the next step is to examine the potential effects, if any, that these changes will have on courts, practitioners, and clients. Admittedly, by doing so, I tread into uncharted territory armed solely … Continue Reading

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Properly Pleading Attorneys’ Fees in Suits Against Partnerships and LLCs to Avoid Zombie Litigation

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 21:12:45 +0000

“Zombie litigation” broadly refers to cases that generate unending piecemeal litigation. Attorneys’ fees disputes often spawn zombie litigation—after the merits of the case have been decided but the lawyers continue to litigate and appeal whether and how they will get paid. Over the last 20 years, Texas appellate courts have crafted new tools to help … Continue Reading

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Texas Supreme Court Jurisdiction, Part I: The Times They Are a-Changin’ (Or Are They?)

Fri, 11 Aug 2017 02:31:36 +0000

Likely obscured by the legislative din emanating from the capitol these days, the Texas Legislature has somewhat quietly altered the Texas Supreme Court’s jurisdiction by passing HB 1761. The Governor signed it, without much fanfare, on May 26, 2017, and the bill is now effective on September 1, 2017. For the uninitiated, at its most … Continue Reading

The post Texas Supreme Court Jurisdiction, Part I: The Times They Are a-Changin’ (Or Are They?) appeared first on Texas Appellate Law.




Marking Milestones

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 12:08:37 +0000

Eleven years ago today, I started the practice that became Smith Law Group LLLP. One year later, on the first anniversary of what was then a solo shop, I posted these words: One year ago today, I departed big firm life to start my own appellate boutique—if you can call one lawyer a boutique! The … Continue Reading

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It’s Alive! Revive Your Dead Motions and Defend a Favorable Judgment With a Proper Appeal

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 21:59:54 +0000

While relatively short, a recent Third Court of Appeals memorandum decision is rife with lessons for attorneys defending favorable summary judgments made on superseded motions. The dispute in Larivee v. Louis meant to center on tenant-landlord issues concerning a carpet’s condition. Unfortunately, especially for the appellant, the case’s procedural posture forced the Third Court to focus … Continue Reading

The post It’s Alive! Revive Your Dead Motions and Defend a Favorable Judgment With a Proper Appeal appeared first on Texas Appellate Law.