SDM’s appellate practice has its roots in the firm’s strong litigation practice. We try our cases with an awareness that the “law” aspect of cases must be developed as much as the “facts.” Appeals are generally won or lost on law, as opposed to fact, issues and we strategize accordingly at the trial court level. As a result, our trial lawyers are well-equipped to litigate the “law” aspect of cases in the trial court, and they often remain involved through the appellate process, teamed with appellate specialists within the firm. Many of our lawyers come to the table with the experience of state and federal judicial clerkships. Many are admitted to federal appellate courts in addition to the Texas state courts, in order to handle appeals originating from litigation around the country. One of our appellate specialists, Jane Webre, is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and was a member of the Exam Commission that drafts and administers the exam to lawyers seeking Board Certification. In addition, our administrative practice often involves appeals of agency decisions; our administrative lawyers regularly handle those appeals.
In addition to handling our own appeals, SDM lawyers frequently handle appeals and mandamus proceedings in cases tried by other firms. We are also often called upon to file amicus briefs on substantive law issues of interest to our clients. Our lawyers also use their expertise as “law” lawyers to work with other firms handling cases in the trial court, in order to assist with matters such as preserving error, Daubert issues, and jury charges.
Our appellate practice enjoys the solid underpinning of a substantial litigation firm. Indeed, it is an outgrowth of the firm’s broad practice. Attorneys in the firm provide invaluable expertise with respect to a wide range of substantive law areas, including oil and gas law, administrative law, class action litigation, business torts, professional malpractice, employment law, and insurance coverage matters.