Appellate Law

A case on appeal presents issues and procedural questions different from those at the trial court. Whether fighting to preserve a hard-won victory or to overturn an adverse lower-court decision, an appellate lawyer must be able to spot and evaluate the issues that are important to the appellate court, and write, brief and craft an oral argument that presents those issues in a compelling manner most favorable to the client. Doing that requires experience and expertise unique to an appellate attorney.

Our appellate practice section is led by Jim Moseley, a former appellate justice on the Dallas Court of Appeals. Jim’s eighteen years of experience on the judicial side of the bench allows him to anticipate how a proposed argument in a brief will be read and perceived by the appellate courts. In addition, Jim can call on the full resources of the firm, including four of our attorneys who clerked for justices on the Texas Supreme Court. Our team can provide insights—based on real-world experience—into the timing, procedures, and influencing factors involved in the appellate decision process. These insights help maximize the client’s chances of success.

Our appellate law section has successfully represented clients at all levels of the federal and state court systems, including U.S. Supreme Court, federal circuit courts of appeal, the Texas Supreme Court, state appellate courts, and before federal and state agencies. These cases involved a wide variety of matters that often involved complex factual issues as well as emerging or unsettled law, including business disputes, personal injury claims, oil and gas litigation, and construction litigation. We have also filed amicus briefs on behalf of clients who are not parties to a particular appeal but who have a substantial interest in the outcome.

Our appellate team often consults with trial counsel—from within our firm or elsewhere—to shape trial strategies, preserve important issues for appeal, and examine options to obtain immediate relief at the appellate courts from trial court rulings. By participating in key pre- and post-trial motions and strategy sessions, we can help set the stage for success at trial and on any subsequent appeal.

Gray Reed's Expertise

Specifically, our appellate lawyers are available to:
• Analyze and research legal issues, including potential liability and damage theories
• Prepare and respond to motions seeking dismissal or summary judgment
• Draft jury charges and participate in jury charge conferences
• Prepare and respond to post-verdict motions
• Assess the trial record to evaluate issues for appeal
• Write briefs and motions for the appellate court level
• Present oral arguments to the court or assist others in oral argument preparation

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