Archives: Motions

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No More Telephone Briefing Extensions in the Fifth Circuit?

D. Todd Smith
In this post from several years ago, I expressed how pleased I was with the informal procedure by which the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit accepted and granted routine briefing extension requests. At the time, the Court allowed the clerk’s office to approve short, unopposed extensions over the telephone and had … Continue Reading

Certificates of Merit: Don’t Let Your Lawsuit End Before It Begins

Maitreya Tomlinson
Clients have called upon me with increasing frequency regarding certificate of merit issues. While somewhat innocuous, I have found that real danger lurks behind the certificate of merit requirements contained in Chapter 150 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Noncompliance, for example, may lead to dismissal with prejudice. Because of the potential harm … Continue Reading

An Appellate Lawyer Makes a Trial Team Better

D. Todd Smith
A while back, the folks at Texas Lawyer invited me to submit an article on how appellate counsel may play a supporting role in the trial court. The article is now available online and will appear in next week’s print edition. In the article, I focus on four areas in which an appellate lawyer can support … Continue Reading

What a Legal-Writing Professor Wishes He’d Known as a New Lawyer

D. Todd Smith
In this month’s Austin Lawyer, UT Law Professor Wayne Schiess published a short piece (also available here) pointing out four things he wishes he’d known about legal writing when he finished law school. I was struck by his first three points. Law Is a Writing Profession Professor Schiess posits that lawyers are professional writers rather … Continue Reading

Ethical Lapses in Motions for Rehearing

D. Todd Smith
Here is the second video from the "ethics intervention" presentation at the Advanced Appellate Seminar recently put on by the State Bar Appellate Section and TexasBarCLE,  Houston appellate lawyer David Holman once again demonstrates some things counsel should not do, this time in the context of preparing and filing a motion for rehearing in the … Continue Reading

The Adaptable (Appellate) Lawyer

D. Todd Smith
I recently attended the 2011 State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in San Antonio.  As mentioned here before, the Bar asked me to come back as a presenter this year.  It was quite an honor. My subject was e-filing in state and federal appellate courts.  In conjunction with my talk, I published a short article in … Continue Reading

Extensions of Time in the Fifth Circuit

D. Todd Smith
Let’s be honest. Most state-court appellate practitioners find the Fifth Circuit a little byzantine. But one thing the Fifth Circuit does right is allow the clerk’s office to grant short unopposed briefing extensions—up to 30 days—over the telephone. The circuit court has even done away with the requirement that the requesting counsel send a confirmation … Continue Reading

Extensions of Time in the Third Court

D. Todd Smith
Dealing with the ever-present problem of conflicting deadlines, I recently filed a motion for extension of time to file a reply brief in the Third Court of Appeals here in Austin.  My opponent kindly agreed to a 30-day extension, which I determined would be more than sufficient to get the brief done and manage my other cases. Several days … Continue Reading

Texas Supreme Court Orders 9/21/07

D. Todd Smith
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

Interesting Recusal Motion in Supreme Court

D. Todd Smith
Appellate geeks like me are already interested in In re Columbia Medical Center, Subsidiary, L.P.  (No. 06-0416), a case in which the Texas Supreme Court will re-examine whether a trial court’s decision to grant a new trial is reviewable by mandamus.  (Oral argument is set for September 27.)  But the real parties in interest have … Continue Reading