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Bracewell's appellate group is one of the top in Texas and is recognized nationally. It is headed by Warren Harris, one of Texas' most experienced appellate lawyers, who has handled hundreds of appeals and other proceedings in the Texas and U.S. Supreme Courts, and in federal and state courts of appeals. The group includes former Supreme Court of Texas Justice Dale Wainwright, who served for a decade on the Supreme Court and authored more than 125 opinions. In addition, former U.S. Supreme Court clerk Jeff Oldham has argued and briefed numerous cases in federal and state appellate courts.

Our appellate group also includes former law clerks for numerous federal and state appellate courts. Working together, our appellate specialists challenge and build on each other's ideas, ensuring that each appeal benefits from our individual perspectives and collective experience.

Winning an appeal requires skills different from those needed at trial. Clients rely on Bracewell's appellate attorneys to analyze legal issues rigorously and creatively, write briefs that are sophisticated yet readable, and efficiently use the limited time at oral argument to persuade judges on the most critical points. We handle all types of appeals in federal and state courts nationwide. We also frequently join a client's legal team early in order to shape strategy for anticipated or ongoing litigation and preserve error with a view toward success on appeal. Our attorneys have a proven track record and a wealth of experience in high-stakes commercial cases and in many specialties, including intellectual property, insurance, environmental, energy, bankruptcy, labor and employment, and public law.

U.S. Supreme Court

Bracewell's appellate group has the specialized experience needed to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to view our clients' cases favorably. Our appellate lawyers have analyzed thousands of certiorari petitions and participated in crafting judicial opinions, giving them unique insight into the types of arguments that resonate with the Court.  Appellate group members have also briefed many cases on the merits and presented oral argument before the Court, prepared certiorari petitions and briefs in opposition to certiorari, organized amicus efforts and filed amicus briefs at both the petition and merits stages, and advocated their clients' interests when the U.S. Solicitor General was considering filing a brief.

Federal Courts of Appeals

Bracewell's federal appellate practice is national in scope. We have briefed and argued cases in federal appellate courts across the country, and the firm boasts former law clerks from many circuits.  Our attorneys write concise, accessible briefs and deliver oral arguments that are tailored to persuade the particular court hearing the appeal and are designed to grab the attention of busy generalist judges.

Texas Appellate Courts

Bracewell's appellate attorneys regularly brief and argue appeals and time-sensitive proceedings in the Texas Supreme Court and courts of appeals across the state. The firm's attorneys include ten former Texas Supreme Court briefing attorneys and many more former briefing attorneys for the Texas courts of appeals, as well as specialists who are Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. 

Amicus Curiae Briefs

Bracewell's appellate attorneys frequently represent leading organizations and businesses as amici in the U.S. Supreme Court, Texas Supreme Court, and other federal and state appellate courts. We also have experience securing support from amici who can make key arguments authoritatively and coordinating amicus efforts so that each brief makes a unique, targeted contribution to help shape an appellate court's decision.  

Trial Strategy

Judges, clients, and trial counsel agree that today’s appellate lawyer is an indispensable part of a client’s team at all stages of litigation — even before suit is filed.  Bracewell’s appellate attorneys frequently work with trial counsel to plan successful litigation strategies (with a view toward appellate review), brief dispositive motions and key legal issues, preserve error for appeal, prepare jury charges, and handle post-verdict motions. We also excel at developing and coordinating national litigation strategies for clients facing similar claims in multiple jurisdictions. And we often become experts on key issues that recur in a variety of cases, creating and implementing strategies for litigating those issues effectively.