Helping Trial Lawyers Navigate the Appellate System

Oral Arguments on Rise in Third Court?

At today’s Austin Bar Appellate Section Luncheon, Justices David Puryear, Alan Waldrop, and Diane Henson (the Court’s newest member) gave a panel presentation about the goings-on at the Third Court of Appeals.  Justices Waldrop and Henson both chimed in about the relative dearth of oral arguments, as previously discussed here.  Justice Waldrop indicated that he believes the number of arguments will be rising, but will remain limited becauseof the Court’s workload.  Justice Henson, a self-proclaimed advocate of oral argument, stated that she intends to do what she can to facilitate it in appropriate cases.

Justice Waldrop offered a helpful tip to those desiring oral argument in the Third Court.  Don’t simply request it on the cover of your brief.  Go beyond what the rules require and include a separate statement inside the front cover explaining why the Court should hear oral argument in your case.

D. Todd Smith
About the Author

D. Todd Smith is an Austin-based civil appellate specialist who works with trial teams from the earliest stages of litigation. In trial courts, he takes the lead on strategic analysis and briefing, jury charges, and potentially dispositive motions, all with a focus on preserving error and positioning cases for appellate review.

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