Helping Trial Lawyers Navigate the Appellate System

A New Orleans State of Mind

27460085441_51b3252313_o-e1477694494873-960x720I’m on something of an oral-argument streak. As of November 9, I will have argued five cases in the Texas Supreme Court or the Fifth Court of Appeals in the span of 18 months.

As I’m preparing for another trip to New Orleans, I thought about this post listing my colleagues’ favorite places to stay and eat. The Lafayette Hotel is reasonably priced for what you get, and its proximity to the Court can’t be beat. (I took the above shot during my last stay there, and the John Minor Wisdom Building is as close as those shown.) Hotel Monteleone has been great too.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad meal in New Orleans. Herbsaint is an easy walk across the street from the Lafayette and is quite good. If I have time on my way out of town, I like to eat lunch at Commander’s Palace in the Garden District. Awesome.

I’m always struck by the relative formality of New Orleans, where many nice restaurants require a jacket. Here in Austin, you will see shorts and flip-flops in some of the nicest places, and nobody thinks twice about it.

One downside to living in Austin is not being able to enjoy the city as if I were a visitor. I suppose I could justify staying in a hotel the night before a SCOTX argument, but I’ve never done it. I tend to sleep better in my own bed anyway.

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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