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Court of Appeals justice shares thoughts about appellate advocacy

I recently attended a continuing legal education seminar at which Justice Elizabeth Lang-Miers provided some tips about practice before the Dallas Court of Appeals.  Here are the highlights of her presentation:

1. An appellee’s brief should present arguments in the same order that they were presented in the appellant’s brief.  Although an appellee might be tempted to present her strongest arguments first, doing so would make it much tougher for the appellate justices to do their job.

2. Do not call opposing counsel a liar or state that she is misrepresenting something.  Lawyers who do so only make themselves look bad.  Instead, state that the parties disagree about a matter and the better interpretation is such-and-such.  If opposing counsel is truly being dishonest with the court, it will be easy for the justices to come to this conclusion by studying the case and/or the record at issue.