January 2009 Edition

Welcome to the January 12, 2009 edition of the Appellate Lawyer -- the monthly newsletter of the HBA Appellate Section.

Click on these titles to view the contents:

1 - Tips from The Top, by Roger D. Townsend
2 - Tips from the First and Fourteenth Courts of Appeals, edited by Beth Crawford
3 - Calendar of Appellate Events, prepared by Derek Bauman

Please note that the March Appellate Section Luncheon
has been rescheduled to March 12 to accomodate Spring Break.





Tips from the Top

When adverse counsel lies about the record, don’t call your adversary a “liar.” Suggest, instead, that adverse counsel has “overlooked” a fact, “misread” the record, or “forgotten” certain testimony. To be kind, you can add “inadvertently.” To be mean, as was once done to me, you can add “perhaps” before “inadvertently.” The latter will never win you friends and is unlikely to persuade the court. It’s always better to practice acts of kindness — whether random or planned. In the rare case, where neither side will back down about its recollection and tempers are threatening to flare, you might simply say, “Here is the page (or exhibit) number, the Court will have to review it and decide for itself.” But use that only as a last resort.


Roger D. Townsend, Alexander Dubose Jones & Townsend LLP



Current Practices of the First and Fourteenth Courts of Appeals

Topic 5. Issuance of Opinions

The First Court of Appeals

Opinions are generally issued by the court on Thursdays.

The Fourteenth Court of Appeals
Opinions are issued on Tuesdays and Thursdays with the exception of emergency matters, including original proceedings.



This regularly-appearing column will answer your questions about current practices in the internal operating procedures at the First and Fourteenth Courts of Appeals. Please submit your questions that would benefit the entire Section. The responses from the Courts relate to their “current” practices. Both Courts continually make changes to address new concerns and experiment with new procedures to improve the operations of the Courts and increase effectiveness and efficiency. The Courts may decline to answer those questions that implicate the confidentiality of the Courts’ inner workings.
This column would not be possible without the willingness of the Courts to participate and answer questions. My very special ongoing thanks to the Chief Staff Attorneys from the First and the Fourteenth, Janet Williams and Nina Indelicato, and to both Courts generally.

Houston Appellate Calendar

January 2009 through March 2009

* Please note that appellate practice luncheon for March is in the second week of the month, not the third due to spring break considerations.

January 1:

New Year’s Day

The following courts will be closed:

· Texas Supreme Court

· Fifth Circuit

· First Court of Appeals – the late filing box will not be available

· Fourteenth Court of Appeals – the late filing box will not be available

January 15:

HBA Appellate Practice Luncheon

The Honorable Sherry Radack, Chief Justice of the First Court of Appeals and the Honorable Adele Hedges, Chief Justice of the Fourteenth Court of Appeals: First and Fourteenth Courts of Appeals Update.

Place: Coronado Club, 919 Milam Street, 5th Floor

Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Cost: $25 members; $30 non-members with RSVP and section walk-ins; $35 non-member walk-ins

CLE Credit: 1.0 hr. participatory credit

RSVP Deadline: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 by NOON. Please note that, if you RSVP and do not attend, you will be billed for the cost of the lunch. RSVP’s are transferable.

Contact: scampbell@rustyhardin.com or call Shannon Campbell at 713-652-9000

Additional Information: If you would like a vegetarian or fruit plate, please note this request when making your RSVP and kindly inform your waiter at the luncheon that you requested a vegetarian entrée/fruit plate.

January 19:

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

The following courts will be closed:

· Fifth Circuit

· First Court of Appeals – the late filing box will not be available

· Fourteenth Court of Appeals – the late filing box will not be available

February 16:

Presidents’ Day

The following courts will be closed:

· Texas Supreme Court

· Fifth Circuit

· First Court of Appeals – the late filing box will not be available

· Fourteenth Court of Appeals – the late filing box will not be available

February 19:

HBA Appellate Practice Luncheon

The Honorable Leslie Yates, the Honorable Terry Jennings, and Kent Rutter: Advanced Appellate Practice in the 1st and 14th Courts of Appeal: Understanding and Navigating the Thicket.

Place: Coronado Club, 919 Milam Street, 5th Floor

Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Cost: $25 members; $30 non-members with RSVP and section walk-ins; $35 non-member walk-ins

CLE Credit: 1.0 hr. participatory credit

RSVP Deadline: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 by NOON. Please note that, if you RSVP and do not attend, you will be billed for the cost of the lunch. RSVP’s are transferable.

Contact: scampbell@rustyhardin.com or call Shannon Campbell at 713-652-9000

Additional Information: If you would like a vegetarian or fruit plate, please note this request when making your RSVP and kindly inform your waiter at the luncheon that you requested a vegetarian entrée/fruit plate.

February 24:

Mardi Gras

The following courts will be closed:

· Fifth Circuit

March 12:

HBA Appellate Practice Luncheon

Speaker and topic TBA

Place: Coronado Club, 919 Milam Street, 5th Floor

Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Cost: $25 members; $30 non-members with RSVP and section walk-ins; $35 non-member walk-ins

CLE Credit: 1.0 hr. participatory credit

RSVP Deadline: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 by NOON. Please note that, if you RSVP and do not attend, you will be billed for the cost of the lunch. RSVP’s are transferable.

Contact: scampbell@rustyhardin.com or call Shannon Campbell at 713-652-9000

Additional Information: If you would like a vegetarian or fruit plate, please note this request when making your RSVP and kindly inform your waiter at the luncheon that you requested a vegetarian entrée/fruit plate.

Please note: The appellate practice luncheon for March is in the second week of the month, not the third due to spring break considerations.

To have your event added to the Appellate Lawyer calendar, contact us at submissions@hbaappellatelawyer.org. The Appellate Lawyer accepts calendar submissions for appellate court events, HBA Appellate Section events, appellate CLEs, and other events relevant to the appellate community in Houston and surrounding areas.

This calendar is maintained by the HBA Appellate Lawyer and may contain errors. Please contact the relevant party to verify the information provided is correct. If you notice an error, please call it to our attention by contacting us at submissions@hbaappellatelawyer.org.