Helping Trial Lawyers Navigate the Appellate System

How Do I Tell Which Appellate Court Has Jurisdiction Over My Case?


The Office of Court Administration has created an interactive map loaded with information about the judiciary in all 254 Texas counties. For lawyers like me who practice statewide, it’s an incredibly handy resource.

I highlight this tool here because it provides an easy way to determine which court of appeals has jurisdiction to decide cases coming from a specific county. Locate a county on the map, click on it, and up pops a list of all courts—starting with the relevant appellate court—plus information about all of the trial-court judges and clerks affiliated with that county.

If you select Harris County, for example, you’ll immediately learn that its appeals go to either the First or Fourteenth Courts of Appeals in Houston. For something a bit more challenging, select Sterling County, and you’ll learn that its appeals go to the Third Court of Appeals here in Austin.

I demonstrate how the tool works in the video embedded below.

Take my advice and bookmark now. You will use it again and again, no matter what county or court you’re in.

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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