1502 Augusta, Dr., Suite 100, Houston, TX 77057

18756 Stone Oak Pkwy, Suite 200, San Antonio, TX 78258

  1341 West Mockingbird Lane, Suite 600W, Dallas, TX  75247

 

What is Appellate Law?

Although the vast majority of civil cases are handled and resolved at the trial-court level, if the losing party chooses to appeal an adverse jury verdict, a final trial-court judgment, or challenge an interlocutory (non-final) order to a higher court, or if the winning party wants to preserve their victory after an appeal has been filed to a higher court, that higher court is called the appellate court. Appellate law is different from trial law in that, once a case goes up to the appellate court, the trial-court record is generally closed so that the appeal primarily revolves around a review and analysis of that trial-court record, rather than conducting a new trial in the appellate court.

At the trial-court level, civil litigation involves investigating the case from the beginning by developing the facts and gathering evidence for the trial-court record by talking to clients, witnesses, and experts, and taking depositions before proceeding to motion practice, mediation, and/or trial in front of a single trial judge or the jury, if it proceeds to trial, at the trial-court level. By contrast, appellate law is different from trial law because appellate law mainly involves researching the applicable case law, applying it to the trial-court record to draft appellate arguments in briefs and, if necessary, then advocating during oral arguments in front of appellate judges. While most appeals on the merits arise from a final trial-court judgment after a dispositive motion (a motion that disposes of the entire case such as through a motion to dismiss or for summary judgment) or after a bench/jury trial, there are also interlocutory appeals, which arise from non-final, but appealable trial-court orders, or mandamus petitions, which can be thought of as a type of interlocutory appeal, but from non-appealable trial-court orders.

 

What Are the Advantages of Retaining LLG for Your Appellate Law Needs?

If your appellate law need arises directly from one of our firm’s cases, we will naturally have the advantage of having already become familiar with all of the pleadings, motions, correspondence, other documents, parties, witnesses, expert reports, and site inspections in the trial-court record, and the case law research involved, giving us the advantage of not having to waste time getting up to speed on the trial-court record. Then we will be able to quickly decide whether we can file a motion to dismiss the appeal, if we are defending a non-appealable trial-court judgment, or if we are defending/challenging an appealable final trial-court judgment, what types of arguments may be more successful in an appellate brief and then file that brief for you.

However, if your appellate law need arises from a non-LLG case, our firm has the combined trial and appellate litigation experience to help provide you the information necessary for you to make an informed decision on whether an appeal or a mandamus petition is the right decision to take and more likely to result in a successful appeal. We can help you preserve hard-fought jury verdicts or final trial-court judgments or help you challenge adverse final trial-court judgments on appeal or non-appealable orders through a mandamus petition.

Examples of our appellate experience include successfully moving to dismiss a non-appealable interlocutory order in a commercial construction defect case, successfully defending against an appeal of a non-appealable final judgment in a professional liability case, and successfully opposing a motion for new trial seeking to overturn and expand a limited jury verdict on damages after trial in a personal injury case. See Town & Country P’ship v. Dyad Construction, L.P. and Tex. Ext. Sys., LLC, No. 14-21-00162-CV, 2021 WL 2252142, at *1 (Tex. App.—Houston (14th Dist.) June 3, 2021, no pet.) (granting Texas Exterior System, LLC’s motion to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction); Hernandez v. Vazquez, No. 08-18-00223-CV, 2020 WL 6867065, at *3 (Tex. App.—El Paso (8th Dist.) Nov. 23, 2020, no pet.) (dismissing appeal for lack of jurisdiction).