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Appellate Law
While others are arguing past case law, at Cooper & Scully WE SET PRECEDENT on the local, state and federal level.

Appellate Law

Cooper & Scully’s appellate team has experience in all aspects of appellate practice, ranging from evaluating potential appeals and original proceedings to perfecting appeal to preparing briefs and petitions for writ of mandamus to oral argument. Our appellate attorneys have briefed and argued several landmark cases in the Texas Supreme Court, Texas intermediate appellate courts, and federal appeals courts, creating both procedural and substantive law. As a result, clients frequently ask Cooper & Scully to take over their cases on appeal, and the firm routinely receives referral appeals from many established attorneys throughout the state. 

In addition, our appellate section provides litigation support for our trial teams throughout all stages of the litigation to protect our clients' interests in the event of an appeal. The appellate attorneys draft and argue complex discovery motions, dispositive motions, expert challenges, trial briefs, and jury charges. Of course, our appellate attorneys also assist with preservation of error at trial. Following the jury's verdict, our appellate team steps in to handle post-verdict motions, preparation of the judgment, and perfection of any appeal. 


Several attorneys on our appellate team clerked for state and federal judges, giving them special behind-the-scenes insight to the adjudicative process. Our appellate attorneys also serve on supreme court rules committees and the state bar Pattern Jury Charge committee, working with both practitioners and the judiciary in efforts to promote fairness, efficiency, and predictability in the litigation process. Also, various state bar and continuing education groups ask our appellate attorneys to give presentations on important topics relating to appeals, preservation of error, and ever-changing Texas law.

Representative Cases

  • Successful appeal to Fifth District Court of Appeals at Dallas, Texas of $22 million verdict in quadriplegia medical malpractice case, resulting in reversal and new trial for physician based on jury charge error involving settling persons
  • Successful challenge through Supreme Court of Texas of new trial grant after defense verdict in medical malpractice death case, overturning more than 100 years of precedent allowing trial judges to grant new trials for no reason at all
  • Successful challenge in Supreme Court of Texas to 50-year-old rule prohibiting trial judges from setting aside a new trial order unless they did so within 75 days of judgment
  • Successful appeal through Supreme Court of Texas of $2 million verdict in cancer medical malpractice case based on jury charge errors, resulting in reversal and new trial for hospital
  • Successful appeal through Supreme Court of Texas of $1.5 million verdict in nursing home medical malpractice case based on incurable jury argument, resulting in reversal and remand for new trial
  • Successful defense of summary judgment in appeal to Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where court applied Texas insurance law and held no covered property damage occurred during policy period
  • Successful defense of Louisiana hospital medical malpractice case and appeal through Supreme Court of Texas based on lack of jurisdiction, resulting in reversal and dismissal of hospital for lack of minimum contacts with Texas
  • Successful defense of summary judgment in appeal to Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, upholding judicial estoppel and allocation of settlement defenses in environmental liability case, resulting in $76 million settlement credit
  • Successful appeal through Supreme Court of Texas of medical malpractice claim resulting in reversal and rendition of claim in favor of treating physician, based on patient's contributory negligence
  • Successful appeal through Supreme Court of Texas in construction defect case, regarding supersedeas net worth finding against judgment debtor
  • Successful appeal to Supreme Court of Texas in underinsured motorist case, changing Texas law regarding accrual of claim for attorneys' fees under section 38.001 of Civil Practice & Remedies Code
  • Successful appeal through Supreme Court of Texas in medical malpractice case based on informed consent, resulting in reversal and render of judgment in favor of physician
  • Successful defense of summary judgment in appeal to Fifth Circuit, where district court held no duty to defend triggered when insured did not forward lawsuit papers until after it had settled with claimants and no duty to indemnify triggered when insured settled without insurer's consent
  • Successful appeal through Supreme Court of Texas resulting in reversal and dismissal in favor of defendant based on lack of availability of cause of action for spoliation
  • Successful appeals through Supreme Court of Texas interpreting various provisions of Texas Medical Liability Act regarding: (1) availability of rule 202 depositions prior to service of expert report; (2) ability to take interlocutory appeal in absence of service of report; (3) availability of sanction of dismissal with prejudice after nonsuit; (4) ability of defendant to have ex parte contacts with claimant's non-party medical providers; (5) entitlement of claimant to statutory joinder of physician after designation as responsible third party after limitations; (6) constitutionality of the statute of repose for medical malpractice claims; (7) standard for proof required to avoid summary judgment in emergency medical care case; (8) ability to collect non-economic damages in excess of statutory limit in wrongful death and survival medical malpractice suit; and (9) pleading requirements applied to statutory limitations on compensatory and exemplary damages
  • Successful challenge in Supreme Court of Texas that alleged negligence of psychiatric hospital was too attenuated to be a cause in fact of one patient's injury and another patient's death
  • Successful appeals through Supreme Court of Texas in various actions resulting in rendition of judgment in favor of defendants based on procedural errors of trial and appellate courts
  • Successful appeal through Supreme Court of Texas of $6 million dollar judgment in retinopathy of prematurity case involving twins, resulting in reversal and rendition of judgment in favor of physician
  • Successful appeal through Supreme Court of Texas interpreting Chapter 33 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code to entitle non-settling defendant to settlement credit based on non-settling plaintiffs' benefit
  • Successful appeal through Supreme Court of Texas in insurance bad faith case, resulting in reversal and render of judgment based on holding that duties of good faith and fair dealing did not extend beyond judgment in favor of insured in UIM case
  • Successful appeal to Third District Court of Appeals at Austin Texas, regarding interpretation of Texas' post-conviction DNA testing statute, resulting in DNA testing and, based on that testing, the ultimate exoneration of guilt based on actual innocence and release of inmate after serving 25 years on a wrongful homicide conviction