When your Texas business goes to trial, you and other stakeholders have a lot on the line, both emotionally and financially. For this reason, if you lose, you there may be reasons you want to challenge the decision. If there are grounds to challenge the trial court decision, an appeal is your next option. An appeal, however, is drastically different than trial, differences which many litigants often underestimate. This underestimation often leads litigants to make costly mistakes. In one article, FindLaw explores a few of the more common mistakes appellants make and how you can avoid them.
Selecting the wrong counsel is one mistake many litigants make. Most business owners and shareholders who wish to pursue an appeal presume that their original counsel knows best and is equally equipped to handle an appeal. The truth is that trial attorneys rely on oral advocacy and charisma to persuade deciding parties (the judge or a jury) while a strong appellate lawyer relies almost exclusively on written arguments that focus on a detailed analysis of applicable law, and then, in the event of oral arguments, brings strong oral advocacy to the table. Appealing parties are best served by appellate counsel that can serve both needs.
Another common mistake many appellants make is underestimating the costs of appeals, which can be just as high, if not higher, than the costs of going to trial. The largest expense you will accrue when appealing a decision is for counsel to read the record, research applicable law, analyze the case and draft a brief.
Many litigants also often overlook the hazards of an appeal. It is not uncommon for an appeal to make things worse, even in the event that the appellate wins. Before pursuing an appeal, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of both winning and losing.
Shunning alternative dispute resolution is also a common mistake individuals make when pursuing an appeal. In an attempt to reduce their overburdened dockets, many courts now offer ADR programs which utilize outside mediators or court personnel to help parties reach a compromise. Though ADR is not always effective, it is worth looking into and determining whether it may be a fit for your case needs.
This content is for educational purposes only. You should not view it as legal advice.