Appellate: Strategy, Support, Solutions.
Cowles and Thompson was one of the FIRST law firms in Dallas to recognize the value that appellate counsel can bring at all stages of litigation. Working closely with trial counsel, we identify legal issues pivotal to the success of the case. Early strategic targeting of these issues can lead to early resolution of the case, avoid the need for an appeal altogether, or result in success on appeal, if an appeal is taken — all results that ultimately help manage our clients’ legal budgets.
Professional Skill and Experience
Appellate practitioners possess experience and skills distinctly different from those of a trial practitioner. Our Appellate Practice Group actively tracks changes and trends in the law, sometimes even anticipating changes that benefit a specific case. Many of these decisions are reported on our blog under the Appellate category.
The Cowles and Thompson Appellate team develops theories and legal research necessary to write briefs that are not only persuasive, but interesting to the intended audience – trial and appellate judges and their staff – who are often drowning in a sea of cookie-cutter briefs. Our appellate attorneys are strong writers, and understand firsthand the types of concise, intelligent arguments the courts expect. The Group’s best oral advocates are used to present the most compelling appellate arguments. The result is advocacy that maximizes the likelihood of a favorable appellate decision. Mike Northrup, head of the Appellate Section, is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Civil Appellate Law.
Trial – Coordination and Preservation
Our Appellate Practice Group is often retained to handle post-judgment proceedings and appeals, and our attorneys provide vital support to trial teams in the early pre-trial stage of cases as well as during trials. Before trial, our appellate attorneys often review pleadings; prepare law-intensive, dispositive motions; handle temporary injunctions; draft motions to exclude expert testimony, and draft trial briefs. In addition, our team is positioned to handle extraordinary or emergency appellate review of some types of game-changing, pre-trial rulings in a case. Other important trial functions include preparation of the court’s jury charge and making objections to the charge.
Some clients appreciate the presence of appellate counsel at the trial itself to assist in preserving complaints for review on appeal. Other clients have relied on the services of our appellate team to form a second opinion as to the merits of a potential appeal. Finally, our team has prepared amicus (friend-of-the-court) briefs for trade associations, special interest groups, and other parties interested in a particular appeal.
State and Federal Court Experience
Cowles and Thompson’s appellate attorneys have appellate experience at all levels in federal and state courts. We have appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Texas Supreme Court, and all fourteen Texas intermediate courts of appeals.
Our Appellate Practice team has handled more than five hundred appellate matters. Our broad experience includes the following industry areas:
- Administrative law
- Alternative dispute resolution
- Business disputes
- Class action
- Commercial disputes
- Construction cases
- Default judgments
- Employment law
- Family Law
- Government contracts
- Guardianship matters
- Insurance matters
- Oil and gas issues
- Personal injury claims
- Products liability and tort cases
- Professional malpractice claims
- Real estate disputes
- Shareholder oppression disputes
- Trusts and estate issues
- Wrongful death and survival
- Zoning issues