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More Than

30 Years Of

The Texas Criminal Appeals Process

In 2011, the Texas Board of Legal Specialization designated a new specialty area — Criminal Appellate Law. Adam Seidel was in the first group of 84 Texas lawyers and judges who were awarded board certification in this specialized area of law practice.

Adam Seidel‘s appellate experience includes oral arguments before the nine-member Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, and several state intermediate appellate courts, including the Dallas Court of Appeals. He has filed appeals in numerous jurisdictions, including the United States Supreme Court.

Mr. Seidel has successfully represented clients in a number of appeals.

How Does The Appeal Process Work?

To begin the appeal process, a written notice of appeal must be timely filed. In criminal cases, transcripts of the underlying proceedings must be prepared by the official court reporter. All parties are notified once the trial record on appeal has been filed with the Court of Appeal. From the date the record was filed, the appealing party has a specified period of time within which to file an appeal brief. A “brief” is a written argument that an attorney prepares for the appellate court. It details the issues raised by the appellant, including challenges to trial court rulings or findings, and refers to applicable statutes and previous case decisions to support their position. The other side is then given an opportunity to file a responsive brief.

Once the briefs have been filed, the case is randomly assigned to a panel of justices. In some cases, an oral argument may be scheduled. Oral argument gives the attorneys for both sides a chance to argue their positions, and gives the appellate judges an opportunity to ask the attorneys questions concerning the legal issues raised.

Several weeks after oral argument, a member of the panel prepares and files an opinion, which is a written statement of the court’s decision.

In state appeals, decisions of the Courts of Appeal can be subject to discretionary review by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin.

What Is A Writ?

In most modern American jurisdictions, a “writ” is an order from a higher court to a lower court or to a government official such as a prison warden. Defendants may seek several types of writs from appellate court judges directed at the trial court or at a lower appellate court.

Writs, like appeals, are complex and involve picky details. Certain deadlines and rules apply that are strictly enforced by appellate courts. Defendants facing situations where they may be entitled to relief via a writ should consult counsel.

Could an Appeal Offer a Remedy?

To learn more , email us or call us at 214-528-3344 (Dallas) or 817-230-4442 (Ft. Worth) or  972-312-1212 (Plano).