Lawyers' Duties to the Courts
Back to Texas Standards for Appellate Conduct
As professionals and advocates, counsel assist the Court in the administration of justice at the appellate level. Through briefs and oral submissions, counsel provide a fair and accurate understanding of the facts and law applicable to their case. Counsel also serve the Court by respecting and maintaining the dignity and integrity of the appellate process.
- An appellate remedy should not be pursued unless counsel believes in good faith that error has been committed, that there is a reasonable basis for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law, or that an appeal is otherwise warranted.
- An appellate remedy should not be pursued primarily for purposes of delay or harassment.
- Counsel should not misrepresent, mischaracterize, misquote, or miscite the factual record or legal authorities.
- Counsel will advise the Court of controlling legal authorities, including those adverse to their position, and should not cite authority that has been reversed, overruled, or restricted without informing the court of those limitations.
- Counsel will present the Court with a thoughtful, organized, and clearly written brief.
- Counsel will not submit reply briefs on issues previously briefed in order to obtain the last word.
- Counsel will conduct themselves before the Court in a professional manner, respecting the decorum and integrity of the judicial process.
- Counsel will be civil and respectful in all communications with the judges and staff.
- Counsel will be prepared and punctual for all Court appearances, and will be prepared to assist the Court in understanding the record, controlling authority, and the effect of the court's decision.
- Counsel will not permit a client's or their own ill feelings toward the opposing party, opposing counsel, trial judges or members of the appellate court to influence their conduct or demeanor in dealings with the judges, staff, other counsel, and parties.