Texas Appellate Law Podcast

The Texas Appellate Law Podcast, proudly presented by Butler Snow LLP, covers topics of interest to lawyers handling appellate matters in Texas courts and beyond. The podcast demystifies appellate law and pulls back the curtain on the appellate system through conversations with judges, court staff, and top trial and appellate practitioners. Listeners discover best practices and tips for successfully presenting their cases, managing their dockets, and promoting efficiency through legal technology. Transcripts of each episode are available.

Hosted by D. Todd Smith and Jody Sanders.

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If the COVID-19 pandemic taught attorneys anything, it’s that technology can change the practice of law and maximize efficiency in ways we never thought possible. But, even before the pandemic, lawyers and innovators were looking at how technology can benefit legal practice. In this week’s episode, Todd Smith and Jody Sanders visit with Jacqueline Schafer, founder and CEO of Clearbrief, about how her company has combined artificial-intelligence technology with brief writing

Unlike many states, Texas has separate high courts for civil and criminal cases. Criminal practitioners follow the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals closely because its decisions impact criminal law in every corner of the state. As a former appellate prosecutor, Judge David Newell brings a unique perspective to that Court. Judge Newell joins Jody Sanders and Todd Smith in this episode to discuss his background, his experience as a prosecutor, and

Transitioning from private practice to the bench is an adjustment even in the best of times. But First Court of Appeals Justice April Farris made the switch in the middle of a pandemic when court operations and proceedings were fully remote. In this week’s episode, Justice Farris joins Todd Smith and Jody Sanders to talk about her experiences in the Texas Solicitor General’s office, private practice, and as a new appellate justice. She

Traditionally, the path to appellate practice often came through a judicial clerkship. But, in recent years, lawyers have worked to forge alternative routes. Mia Lorick, a partner at Locke Lord in Houston, is one of those lawyers. With a background in fine arts, Mia paved her own way into both trial and appellate practice by actively seeking out advocacy opportunities. In this week’s episode, Mia shares her journey and offers tips for other lawyers

While this podcast focuses primarily on civil appeals, criminal appellate practice takes up a significant portion of appellate court dockets. In this episode, Todd Smith and Jody Sanders explore criminal appellate work with Naomi Howard, a Houston criminal defense attorney with Rusty Hardin & Associates. Passionate about criminal defense since her law school days, Naomi has handled defense and appellate work in Texas and federal courts, including the Texas Court of

Judges, particularly appellate judges, don’t get much public interaction in their jobs. So, judges are learning to use social media to connect with and educate the public about their roles. Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Dillard has helped blaze that trail, adopting the mantra that, “If you’re a judge and you’re not on social media, that’s political malpractice.” In this week’s episode, Judge Dillard explains why it’s crucial for judges to