Writing a Good Supreme Court Brief on the Merits ( View PDF )

Kevin Dubose – This paper provides both an overview of effective writing techniques and strategic considerations in drafting a brief on the merits in the Texas Supreme Court, and also a step-by-step approach for putting together a brief on the merits.

Writing a Persuasive Supreme Court Brief ( View PDF )

Kevin Dubose – A chapter in the 2005 Texas Supreme Court Practice Manual providing an overview of how to write persuasive briefs for the Texas Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Briefing Trends ( View PDF )

Robert Dubose – This landmark paper is a unique statistical survey of the stylistic choices that advocates are making in briefs to the Texas Supreme Court.

The Ultimate Petition for Review ( View PDF )

Douglas W. Alexander – Doug interviewed Texas Supreme Court justices, staff, and prominent practitioners for this article, recognized as the definitive guide to petition for review and mandamus practice.

Ten Practical Tips for Making Your Case Appealable (or, How Not to Lose Your Appeal at Trial and When to Call in the Cavalry) ( View PDF )

Alex Albright (co-author) – Practical tips to help litigation counsel better plan for an appeal, preserve the record, and effectively use appellate counsel before, during, and after trial.

Briefing Visually ( View PDF )

Bill Boyce and Robert Dubose – For some types of information and legal arguments, visual images can inform and persuade judges more effectively and persuasively than the written word. This paper illustrates different ways in which visuals can be used in appellate briefs. And it offers tips for creating effective visuals.

What is Persuasive Authority and When Does it Stop Being Persuasive? ( View PDF )

Bill Boyce and Robert Dubose – Courts must follow some legal principles because they are “controlling” or “binding” authority — such as when those principles are announced by a higher court to which lower-ranking courts must defer under stare decisis.

Legal Writing for the Rewired Brain ( View PDF )

Robert Dubose – Computers bring us more information, faster. But researchers have discovered that reading from computer screens has changed the way we read. It increases the demands for our attention. It causes us to skim instead of reading line by line. It reduces our concentration and focus. And the more we read on computer screens, the more difficult it becomes to read long texts on paper.

Appellate Brief Writing ( View PDF )

Robert Dubose – Based on Robert’s experience of teaching appellate brief writing to law school students and practicing attorneys for more than a decade, this paper highlights the most important tools to make appellate briefs easier to read and more persuasive.

Oral Argument ( View PDF )

Kevin Dubose – Kevin Dubose was asked to write the chapter on Oral Argument in the 1993 version(2nd ed.) of the Texas Appellate Practice Manual. This basic primer still provides a useful overview to the oral argument process.

Appellate Advocacy – Whose World Is It?, 51 For the Defense 52 (Nov. 2009) ( View PDF )

Anna Baker and Amy Warr (co-authors) – This paper explores the tensions between appellate counsel’s approach to briefing and argument and the client’s desires.

A Court-Centered Approach to Appellate Advocacy ( View PDF )

Kevin Dubose – This paper describes a sea-change in the authors’ approach to appellate advocacy, from a view of advocacy as an advocate-centered performance that attempts to manipulate the court and hide the ball and reach a desired result by any means necessary to a court centered approach that recognizes what the court needs out of the process and engages in a frank discussion aimed at helping the court.
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Appellate Ethics in Texas Adhereing to a Higher Standard ( View PDF )

Kevin Dubose – As one of the architects of the Standards For Appellate Conduct, Kevin Dubose is acutely aware that those guidelines raise the bar for professionalism and ethics, and require more of appellate lawyers than the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. To illustrate that point, this paper presents a series of factual scenarios arising out of the same hypothetical appeal that raise ethical questions. Each question is analyzed under both the Disciplinary Rules and the Standards of Appellate Conduct, and in most cases the Rules and the Standards result in different answers.

Civility as a Strategy for Effective Advocacy ( View PDF )

Kevin Dubose (co-author with Jonathan Smaby, Executive Director, Texas Center for Legal Ethics) – For 27 years, the Texas Lawyer’s Creed has been encouraging Texas attorneys to practice law with civility and professionalism. Yet some lawyers continue to express concern that being polite and agreeable is inconsistent with the duty to zealously advocate for their client.

Why Does Conduct Matter? Why the Standards for Appellate Conduct Came Into Being 25 Years Ago and Remain Vital Today ( View PDF )

Kevin Dubose (co-author with Charles Skip Watson of Greenberg Traurig) – Dubose and Watson were the principal driving forces behind the conception, drafting, and eventual promulgation of the Standards of Appellate Conduct. On the 25th Anniversary of the inception of that process, they were asked to reflect on why the Standards were initiated, how they were created, and why they remain important to this day.”

“Fitness” to Practice Appellate Law ( View PDF )

Kevin Dubose – Interested in becoming a better lawyer? Then become a better person who happens also to be a lawyer. Kevin Dubose offers advice on putting law and life into a balanced perspective in order to improve both.