Tag Archives: Top 10 from Texas Bar Today

Advocate v. Advisor: Estimating Likelihood of Success

Laura P. Haley
“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

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

Jeff Nobles
“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

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

Maitreya Tomlinson
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Court of Appeals memorandum decision is rife with lessons for attorneys defending favorable summary judgments made on superseded motions.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

More on iPads and Appellate Arguments

D. Todd Smith
Happy New Year! After seeing my recent post on how I’m using my iPad Pro for appellate arguments, the good folks at the Texas Bar Journal asked if I’d like to publish a version of it in print. That version appears in the just-released January issue, an electronic copy of which is available here. I’ve since … Continue Reading

How I’m Using My iPad Pro for Appellate Arguments

D. Todd Smith
I just completed my second Fifth Circuit argument using my big iPad Pro in a more prominent role than ever before. Inspired by Jeff Richardson’s post about how he used an iPad to prepare for and present an appellate argument, I thought I’d share how I’ve integrated the device into my preparation and presentation strategy. Documents … Continue Reading

Second Bites at the Summary-Judgment Apple (Part I)

Laura P. Haley
All litigators file or respond to dispositive motions, including motions for summary judgment. Dispositive motions are an opportunity for trial attorneys to implement their trial strategy, using the facts in their cases to gain a tactical advantage, whether by eliminating claims or defenses, educating the judge, or poisoning the well. But dispositive motions also require … Continue Reading

Confessions of a Litigation-Support Lawyer

D. Todd Smith
I have a confession to make: I’m doing a lot of litigation-support work these days. And I like it. In one context, the phrase “litigation support”—like “contract lawyer“—can have an almost-negative connotation. It might imply document review, presentation assistance, or other services that are not high revenue generators or don’t require a law license at all. The phrase has … Continue Reading

What’s the Expiration Date on That Mandamus?

Maitreya Tomlinson
It doesn’t come up very often. In fact, as I type this, a number of soon-to-be filers are frantically drafting their petitions, compiling their records, and perfecting their emergency motions in reaction to a recent ruling. Whether to salve the recent wound of an adverse ruling or to preserve a fleeting right, parties typically file … Continue Reading

We’re All Contract Appellate Lawyers

D. Todd Smith
Every so often, I hear about someone looking for a “contract appellate lawyer” to help with a particular case. Most of these inquiries are from other attorneys, but they sometimes come directly from the person in need of legal services. A contract is fundamental to the relationships that provide business to appellate lawyers. In that sense, … Continue Reading

Arbitration in Attorney Fee Agreements After Royston v. Lopez

I had the pleasure of briefing and presenting argument to the Texas Supreme Court in Royston, Rayzor, Vickery & Williams, LLP v. Lopez (Nos. 13–1026 and 14–0109, opinion available here), a case dealing with the enforceability of arbitration clauses between attorneys and clients. Earlier this week, I participated in a webcast about the case titled “Engagement Letters/Arbitration … Continue Reading

Texas MDLs and Appellate Lawyers

Last week, I spoke at TexasBarCLE’s Advanced Civil Appellate Practice Course about transfer proceedings before the Texas Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. For anyone interested, my presentation slides appear at the end of this post. MDLs may not seem all that relevant to appellate practice at first blush, but it is important for appellate lawyers … Continue Reading

Short-Citing to the Record in the Fifth Circuit

D. Todd Smith
I received a copy of this letter in one of my cases: What’s wrong with using the short citation form “id.” when citing the record? As I wrote about here, the Fifth Circuit recently standardized the format for citing electronic official records on appeal to require the short form “ROA” followed by volume and page. The … Continue Reading

Are Lawyer-Hyperlinked Briefs Headed for Extinction?

D. Todd Smith
When used appropriately, hyperlinks to specific portions of the record or to on-point authorities can be a very effective tool in the appellate lawyer’s arsenal. But are recent developments enhancing that tool or effectively taking it away? Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit standardized the format for citing electronic official … Continue Reading
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