Oral Arguments and Civil Appeals
Houston Appellate Attorneys for Civil, Federal and 5th Circuit Matters Across Texas
Civil appeals are a legal realm unto their own. Though they may concern matters of the law like any other civil case, they entail a unique process complete with its own focus, courts, and rules and procedures. This includes oral arguments.
We do not take criminal appeals cases. Continue reading to learn more about the types of cases we take.
What are oral arguments?
Though brief in scope, oral arguments are an important initial step in the Texas appeals process, and especially so in close cases or with cases of first impression. They provide the opportunity for both parties to make their voices heard, convey the legal reasons for why errors occurred in an original trial and / or why they should prevail, and engage in dialogue with the court. Making the most of oral arguments can be critical to the success of a case, as is preparation, keen insight, and the experience of proven lawyers.
At Hendershot Cowart, P.C., our Texas appeals attorneys work with trial lawyers and clients throughout the state on all types of civil appeals. Our breadth of experience in this area of law allows us to identify the most important issues, prepare and condense large amounts of information into succinct arguments, and tackle even the most challenging cases.
If you have a potential case to discuss, whether you are challenging or defending a decision, you can find the support you need from our award-winning legal team. Call (713) 909-7323 or contact us online to learn more about our appellate services.
Why Oral Arguments Matter
Civil appeals are high stakes matters for both appellants (the party seeking an appeal) and appellees (the party who prevailed in the original case). This is why our legal team works closely with clients on developing appellate strategies most appropriate to their unique issues and goals, as well as with conducting the necessary research and writing to construct thorough briefs.
While strong and well-structured briefs can provide direction in a case, and in some cases form the basis on which courts make their decision, briefs alone are not always enough. Oral arguments become the most direct way to argue a case to the court.
At oral argument, each side is given a short period of time to speak before the court. The brevity of oral argument in and of itself makes the task of raising valid points, without redundancy or restating known facts, a difficult and more weighted endeavor. Though brief, oral arguments should accomplish several important objectives:
Clarify points made in the written brief, without restating the facts of a case or simply repeating parts of the brief
Explain, in plain and succinct terms, the most important points of the arguments
Answer questions from appellate court judges
Expound on or redirect the focus of judges based on questioning and comments
Respond appropriately in any rebuttal
Ensure the court understands the key issues of the case
Participation in oral arguments is not mandatory, and it can be waived. In fact, an old saying in law often notes that although you can win an appeal on the brief, you can only lose it at oral argument. While that may be subject to debate, it accurately underscores the important role oral arguments can play when working to ensure the judicial “audience” understands your arguments, and when guiding the overall trajectory of the case toward the most positive outcome possible.
Hendershot Cowart, P.C.: Experienced Texas Appellate Lawyers
Oral arguments can be challenging for even the most battle-tested trial lawyer, which is why preparation and experience in this unique area of law are so crucially important. Whether serving as lead counsel or consultants, our appellate attorneys at Hendershot Cowart, P.C. work closely with trial attorneys with all aspects of research, written briefs, and preparation of oral arguments, in addition to litigation strategy and mandamus and interlocutory matters.
Our civil appeal team is led by Managing Shareholder Trey Hendershot, who has conducted oral arguments before the State Court of Appeals throughout Texas and the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Court of Appeals in Texas. With an approach centered on preparation and thoroughness, our entire appellate team aligns our goals with that of our client, and provides guidance through every step of the Texas civil appeals process.
To learn more about our appellate services and how our law firm can help you, or to discuss a potential civil appeals case in any Texas court, fill out our online contact form or call (713) 909-7323 to speak with a member of our team.