The Dallas-based law firm of Bishop & Hummert, P.C. handles civil appeals in state and federal courts across Texas. Our attorneys have argued cases before the Texas Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court, and all levels of intermediate appellate courts. These appeals range from insurance defense cases and personal jurisdiction challenges to filing briefs as amicus curiae (friend of the court) on behalf of parties with a strong interest in the outcome of the case.
Insurance Coverage and Defense
Litigation is an adversarial process, and any trial that goes to judgment will result in a winner and a loser. Juries can be unpredictable, and no case starts with a guaranteed outcome. The firm's practice includes insurance defense across a wide range of cases, including products liability, premises liability, motor vehicle accidents, professional liability, and other matters. Our firm is often contacted by other attorneys or clients who have lost at the trial level and require the assistance our experience and expertise can offer in persuading an appellate judge or panel of judges to overturn the decision of a lower court.
As a preliminary matter to any trial involving insurance, it may be necessary to litigate the issue of whether coverage exists to require representation (defense) in the particular matter. Whether in a first party or a third party dispute, we may undertake insurance coverage litigation in both trial and appeal to fully determine the rights of the parties regarding the underlying matter. Appeals in this are not uncommon due to the importance of this threshold issue.
Initially, coverage issues are often decided by a declaratory judgment action in court. Since a declaratory judgment is a binding determination of the present and future rights of the parties regarding the litigation, it is vital to preserve all evidence and objections and appeal any adverse ruling within the applicable statutory timeframe.
The firm engages in personal jurisdiction challenges on behalf of out-of-state individuals and businesses, and a large portion of our appellate practice involves these personal jurisdiction disputes. The question of personal jurisdiction is debated extensively in scholarly journals and the opinions of appellate court judges. This sometimes esoteric body of law is at times best addressed in an appeal, where the questions can be fully addressed in a thorough brief submitted to the court prior to the date set for oral argument.
Litigation first and foremost establishes the rights and obligations among the parties to the lawsuit, but quite often has broader implications as well for individuals, businesses, and organizations who were not a party to the litigation. Interested parties will often seek leave to file an amicus curiae brief, also known as a friend of the court brief, in order to shed light on how the case may affect a particular segment of the population or the broader public interest. These briefs are read and considered by the appeals court, in addition to the briefs and arguments put forward by the parties themselves.
Our firm is often called upon to prepare and file amicus briefs on behalf of parties interested in the outcome of an appeal. This aspect of our practice speaks to our reputation as a firm that possesses the depth of experience and requisite skill to prepare a brief that will have an influence on the appellate decision.
Seek Experienced Legal Representation
Successfully handling an appeal requires a different skill set than is required for winning at trial or settling a dispute. Whether you are filing or responding to an appeal, trust the firm that attorneys, insurance companies, and their clients trust to defend their interests. Contact Bishop & Hummert, P.C.