When a judge has made what you feel is an incorrect decision or a jury has made its ruling without evidence to support it, you still have legal options. The error can be in your favor or against your position. In Texas, all litigants have a right to an appeal, assuming you meet certain criteria. You may appeal the incorrect decision to an appellate court in an effort to obtain a reversal, which may offer the opportunity to allow the trial court to either correct its decision or to try the case all over again.
Being in a position to have to appeal a decision is, obviously, not desirable. We do have the greatest justice system in the world; and why would we not allow trial judges discretion in their decision-making? The belief is reasonable that, if the law is properly applied, then error should be viewed with a certain level of disdain. However, our system of justice is not perfect and an issue can, quite literally, be one that has never arisen before, i.e., one for which there is no precedent. We have an appellate system to allow the opportunity to correct such error and change the ruling/decision to what we believe is correct.
Filing an appeal can be both a complicated and lengthy process that involves numerous technical, legal requirements that, if not timely met, can end your appeal before it is even started. After an order or judgment is signed, time-tables are established for meeting all of the legal requirements to perfect an appeal. It is important to hire an attorney quickly if you desire to appeal. Fail to meet any of the certain requirements and your appeal will be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. After the appeal has been perfected, the Texas Supreme Court has established strict rules and guidelines for the form in which a brief is prepared and the procedure for its filing, which can also affect whether your appeal can even get started.
Our Dallas probate appellate attorneys at Spencer & Johnson, PLLC, have spent nearly two decades presenting appeals involving wills, trusts, guardianships, fiduciaries, administrations and other estate and trust litigation issues. We will work hard to effectively present and advocate your case in front of the Court of Appeals and will appeal it further to the next level, the Texas Supreme Court, if the appellate claims are viable.
Writing skills are a must in dealing with any appeal. We at Spencer & Johnson, PLLC, understand that an appellate brief is an oral argument on paper and that presentation of that argument/paper is key to not only making the point of reversal of an erroneous decision at the trial court level, but also to fascinate, stand out, and to connect with and keep the appellate court’s attention, such that its justices will be convinced that there is a real problem with the court’s ruling as opposed to simply a disgruntled losing party.
Appeals to the Texas Supreme Court are not a matter of right, but of discretion. As your appellate attorneys, we would develop a strategy for writing and preparing a petition for review that will catch the attention of one of the justices or someone on their staff. Compared to the number of appeals filed with the Texas Supreme Court only a small percentage are actually accepted by the court for consideration in its discretion. It is important to hire an appellate attorney who knows what the Texas Supreme Court’s discretionary jurisdiction requirements are and how to write with an eye toward not only meeting such requirements, but having the Texas Supreme Court decide that your case is one that should be considered by the Court in the interest of Texas jurisprudence. We would strive to present the best possible petition for review in hopes of meeting this goal.