Smith Law Group

Smith Law Group Blogs

Blog Authors

Latest from Smith Law Group

  It’s difficult for new lawyers to transition into legal practice, but appellate practice is especially tough. This sometimes deters firms from investing the time and resources necessary to train new appellate attorneys, particularly when they are between law school and future clerkships. But, M.C. Sungaila, head of the appellate practice group at Buchalter, has developed a pilot fellowship program that seeks to address these issues. M.C. joins Todd Smith and Jody Sanders…
  While they share the Red River as a border, Texas and Oklahoma have lots of differences in their court systems—different court structures, different judicial selection processes, and different federal circuits. But they share one important similarity—they each have a podcast devoted to appellate practice. In a crossover episode between the Texas Appellate Law Podcast and the Oklahoma Appeals podcast, Todd Smith and Jody Sanders sit down with lawyers Gabe Bass and Jana Knott to…
  For over a decade, the Texas Supreme Court has tightened the proof necessary to recover attorney fees in Texas. That, coupled with Legislative expansion of fee shifting, makes understanding the standard even more important. This is particularly true about appellate fees, which, unlike federal court, must be estimated and proven before the appeal. This week, Todd Smith and Jody Sanders discuss the evolution of attorney-fee proof in Texas and ways attorneys can make the…
  Every other year, the Texas Legislature meets to take on the State’s challenges. Few people follow that process more closely that Jerry Bullard of Adams, Lynch, and Loftin. Jerry’s years of experience and newsletter keep legal practitioners throughout the state on top of bills and laws that affect the way they practice. In his spare time, Jerry also chairs the State Bar Appellate Section. This week, he talks to Todd Smith and Jody Sanders…
  While some counties have many district courts, some district courts have many counties. Few judges have a larger territory to cover than Judge Roy Ferguson author of the 394th District Court. Given the size of his district, with few local attorneys, Judge Ferguson served as one of the early adopters of remote proceedings when COVID-19 hit. In this conversation with hosts Todd Smith and Jody Sanders, he shares how the adoption of virtual…
  Growing up in meager circumstances, Judge Don Willett never imagined he would serve as the Tweeter Laureate of Texas or, more notably, as a justice on the Texas Supreme Court and now on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Willett credits his rise to the work ethic and sacrifices of his mother—a widow who worked long hours as a waitress to support him. Judge Willett applied that work ethic in both legal and policy jobs that put…
  Although private civil appellate practice can be its own niche, there are many ways to do it—solo or in a boutique, mid-sized firm, or large firm. While the basics remain the same, the individual experience may vary greatly depending on the practice setting. Todd Smith and Jody Sanders sit down with Reagan Simpson of Yetter Coleman LLP to compare and contrast each of their experiences in various practice settings. Both Todd and Reagan started at large firms, with Reagan…
  For years, appellate attorneys and judges have stayed on top of the latest appellate news with the How Appealing blog. Howard Bashman, the attorney behind the blog, joins Todd Smith and Jody Sanders to share his journey into appellate law and starting his blog. Howard’s career has seen the full spectrum, starting as a clerk for Judge William Hutchinson of the Third Circuit, working at various-sized firms, and finally settling into solo practice.…
  When representing clients, attorneys often think of constitutional rights only in terms of the federal constitution. But this narrow focus leaves out the 50 state constitutions, which can offer different and more protective rights than their federal counterpart. From his experience as Ohio Solicitor General through his time on the 6th Circuit, Judge Jeffrey Sutton has seen the impact that state constitutions can have on the rule of law. In his 2018 book, 51…