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Category Archives: Oral Argument

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Appellate Practice and Procedure Lesson 6: Oral Argument and the Decision

Posted in Appellate Practice, Appellate Practice and Procedure Course, Oral Argument

This post features the video and slidedeck for the sixth lecture in my Appellate Practice and Procedure course, which I introduced here. The presentation appears after the jump. This topic is timely for me as I prepare to stand at this podium and argue before the Texas Supreme Court later in the week. The courtroom—which… Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Adjusting Rules to Allow (Some) Technology in the Courtroom

Posted in Fifth Circuit, Oral Argument, Technology

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is considering the following change to 5th. Cir. R. 34.7; This proposal is open to written comment by sending an email to to changes@ca5.uscourts.gov on or before March 16, 2015. Shortly after the Court announced this change—the first to this rule since 1990—some speculated whether… Continue Reading

Mardi Gras or Not: When in New Orleans for Oral Argument, Where Should I Stay and Eat?

Posted in Appellate Practice, Fifth Circuit, Oral Argument

With Fat Tuesday having passed, the timing seems right to consider lodging and restaurant recommendations for those who occasionally venture to New Orleans for Fifth Circuit oral arguments. When I asked the 607 members of the Texas Appellate Law LinkedIn Group about their preferences, the response was overwhelming. The information was so helpful that I couldn’t… Continue Reading

How to Handle Cross-Appeals

Posted in Appellate Practice, Articles, Briefs, Fifth Circuit, Oral Argument, Procedure, Texas Supreme Court

Yesterday afternoon, I spoke at the Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course, an annual program sponsored by TexasBarCLE and the State Bar Appellate Section. My topic was “How to Handle Cross-Appeals.” I promised the attendees that I would make my paper and slides available over the web. Clicking the links should open each one in a… Continue Reading

Some Appellate Judicial Wisdom in 140-Character Bites

Posted in Appellate Practice, Fifth Circuit, Oral Argument, Procedure, Texas Supreme Court

Over the past week, I have attended two CLE events featuring a panel of appellate judges. At the 29th Annual Litigation Update Institute, Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson, Justice Paul Green, and Justice Debra Lehrmann enlightened attendees on current events at the Texas Supreme Court.  Today, Fifth Circuit Judges Pete Benavides and Pricilla Owen and U.S…. Continue Reading

SLG’s Brandy Wingate to Argue at Texas Supreme Court

Posted in Announcements, Oral Argument

After just over a year with my firm, Brandy Wingate has landed an oral argument at the Texas Supreme Court. The argument will take place at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow at the John B. Connally Center at the University of Texas School of Law here in Austin. The case is Rio Grande Regional Hospital Inc. and… Continue Reading

SCOTX Heading to the Valley

Posted in Appellate Practice, Oral Argument

I am looking forward to attending the Hidalgo County Bar Association’s “An Evening with the Texas Supreme Court” event next Wednesday, March 2, at The Club at Cimarron in Mission, Texas.  Through the efforts of HCBA President-Elect Brandy Wingate, Smith Law Group is among the firms helping to sponsor this event, which will include a… Continue Reading

Be Careful What You Wish For

Posted in Appellate Practice, Oral Argument

Regular followers of this blog know that I’m a fan of oral argument.  The challenge of synthesizing facts and law into a concise, well written brief is one thing—some say the main thing—but there’s nothing quite like standing before a row of appellate judges and defending the positions you’re taking on your client’s behalf. So,… Continue Reading

More Oral Arguments?

Posted in Oral Argument

As I prepare for an oral argument tomorrow, I came across this article from Texas Lawyer reporting that the intermediate appellate courts are granting argument in more cases.  That’s welcome news, if it holds up. The article quotes incoming Third Court Chief Justice Woodie Jones as supporting a default position that the Court should grant oral argument. … Continue Reading

Oral Argument Rituals

Posted in Oral Argument

Over at MyShingle.com, Carolyn Elefant has posted on some of the things she does to prepare for oral argument and has solicited others’ stories.  Here is what I told her: I don’t have what I would consider to be rituals or superstitions. It’s more of a process. I generally go back and read all the briefs and important… Continue Reading

Statistics I’d Like to See

Posted in Appellate Practice, Oral Argument

As I ponder yet another case in which the court of appeals has declined to hear oral argument, I’m wondering whether anyone has compiled statistics on how often the trial court’s judgment is reversed in that situation.  In other words, based on sheer numbers, should we be telling our appellant-clients that they’re probably hosed if oral argument has… Continue Reading

Some Third Court Practice Tips

Posted in Appellate Practice, Oral Argument

As discussed previously, Third Court of Appeals Justice Diane Henson spoke to the Austin Bar Association’s Solo and Small Firm Section last week.  With her permission, I am posting a copy of her handout here. Justice Henson gave a useful overview of how the Third Court conducts its business and offered some helpful briefing and oral-argument tips.  One thing I learned was that the… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rolling Out New Digitization Projects

Posted in Oral Argument, Technology

Even before the Texas Supreme Court began live webcasting oral arguments and archiving recent arguments last year (previously discussed here and here), the Court had ditched its old system of recording oral argument on audio cassette tapes.  Digital audio files from oral arguments dating back to 2004 are available through the Oral Argument Audio link on the Court’s website.  Now,… Continue Reading

Recap of Fifth Circuit En Banc Arguments

Posted in Oral Argument

Over at the relatively new Bartlett Blog, Tad Bartlett provides a blow-by-blow of the recent Fifth Circuit en banc arguments, including the In re Volkswagen venue case that’s generating a lot of discussion these days because it threatens the Marshall “rocket docket.” (See the recent discussion in Texas Lawyer and at the WSJ Law Blog.) … Continue Reading

Preparing for Argument

Posted in Oral Argument

I am preparing for an oral argument tomorrow, which explains my silence on a number of issues worthy of commentary, including media coverage of the Perry Homes v. Cull decision and Ted Cruz’s new position at Morgan Lewis.  The Supreme Court of Texas Blog  and others have covered these issues well.  I’ll get back to more regular posting soon.

Third Court Cancels FLDS Oral Argument

Posted in Oral Argument, Original Proceedings

By this order, the Third Court of Appeals has canceled the oral argument on the application for emergency stay in In re Sara Steed, et al. (No. 03-08-00235-CV) and has summarily denied the stay.  The court also denied the stay sought in the companion case, In re Faithann Jessop, et al. (No. 03-08-00236-CV). Before you rush to criticize this decision, consider… Continue Reading

Fourth Court to Begin Live Webcasts

Posted in Oral Argument, Technology

Although I haven’t seen an official announcement (or any publicity whatsoever), it looks as if the Fourth Court of Appeals will begin webcasting oral arguments through the St. Mary’s University web site on March 5, 2008. The Fourth Court would be the logical choice for expanding the webcasting program, considering that St. Mary’s (also in… Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court Orders 9/21/07

Posted in Motions, Oral Argument, Supreme Court Orders

The Texas Supreme Court issued no opinions with today’s orders.  Interestingly, the Court denied the motion to recuse filed in In re Columbia Medical Center, Subsidiary, L.P. (No. 06-0416) (previously discussed here and  here), which reportedly had been set for oral argument with the mandamus petition next Thursday. UPDATE: The Court’s spokesman, Osler McCarthy, has confirmed… Continue Reading