Appellate Practice

At Cotten Schmidt, L.L.P., our appellate lawyers do much more than handle appeals once the trial decisions have been rendered.  They also have extensive hands-on litigation and trial experience that benefits our clients throughout their cases.  Our appellate attorneys bring their years of practical experience to bear by actively participating in all phases of a case, keeping potential appellate issues and strategies in mind throughout.  This includes the preparation of pleadings, identification of significant legal issues, development of motions and related briefings, and development of jury charges.  As a result, our appellate lawyers have an overall understanding of the case before it ever reaches the appellate stage and can help position the case to enhance the client’s prospects for success if the case must be appealed – or to obtain a result that may prevent an appeal.  Further, our appellate lawyers have a solid track record of collaborating with other counsel to obtain the best possible results for our clients.  This proactive, integrated approach to the trial and appeals processes benefits our clients by contributing to more efficient, economical, and successful outcomes.

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A few examples of such accomplishments by our appellate lawyers include:

E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. v. Robinson, 923 S.W.2d 549 (Tex. 1995): This landmark decision of the Texas Supreme Court established the rule in Texas that testimony by expert witnesses must meet standards of relevance and reliability similar to those adopted by the United States Supreme Court in the Daubert decision.  Our firm developed the trial-court record and obtained the trial court ruling, and then collaborated with additional counsel representing DuPont on appeal in ultimately obtaining the Texas Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the trial court’s decision.

Allstate Ins. Co. v. Receivable Finance Co., 501 F.3d 398 (5th Cir. 2007): A judgment for over $6 million based on claims of alleged fraud and conspiracy was reversed on appeal, and the court of appeals rendered a take-nothing judgment in favor of Rick Disney’s client and other defendants.

Joyner v. Liprie, 942 So.2d 620 (La. App. 2 Cir. 2006), and 983 So.2d 257 (La. App. 2 Cir. 2008): In litigation alleging claims for fraud, conspiracy, and conversion relating to advanced medical technology, Larry Abbott and Amy Maccherone successfully defended against the plaintiff’s attempt to transfer the case to a different trial court and then obtained a judgment in the trial court dismissing the plaintiff’s claims against their client.  They then won decisions from the appellate court upholding the trial court’s rulings.

In re E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 92 S.W.3d 517 (Tex. 2002): Our firm collaborated with additional trial and appellate counsel for DuPont to identify legal grounds on which to seek dismissal of claims brought in Texas by approximately 8,000 nonresident plaintiffs, develop a trial-court record that would support dismissal of the claims, seek a writ of mandamus from the Texas Supreme Court after the trial courts refused to dismiss the claims, and ultimately obtain dismissal of the 8,000 plaintiffs’ claims after the Texas Supreme Court granted mandamus.

Amalgamated Meat Cutters & Butcher Workmen v. Great Western Food Co., 712 F.2d 122 (5th Cir. 1983): This decision established the rule in the Fifth Circuit that an arbitration award under a collective bargaining agreement can be set aside for violation of public policy; the court set aside an arbitrator’s award requiring an employer to reinstate an interstate truck driver who had been terminated after admitting to drinking while on duty.