Trial Support

Everything a trial attorney does in the lower court should be done with an eye toward a potential appeal—by either side.  In providing litigation support and trial support to fellow attorneys, Samples Ames brings an analytical view of the pertinent issues of law and a fresh perspective on the case. This support is different from co-counsel. Rather, we work with trial lawyers on the key issues and strategies that will be important not only to successful resolution of the case but also to best position the case for any appeal. This “second set of eyes” is critical to achieving the desired outcome.

The litigation and trial support tasks that Samples Ames performs include:

Pre-Trial Support

Research and analyze key issues of law, prepare petitions and complaints, brief and argue Daubert motions, create proposed jury instructions, develop strong legal analysis, prepare motions for summary judgment and motions to dismiss—or strong responses to such motions—and argue them to the trial court.  Effective research and preparation in the pretrial or trial phases can often mean the difference between ultimate success in the case and success or failure on appeal. You should always assume that a case may be appealed.

Trial Support

During the trial, we will focus on capturing the necessary legal issues and preserving objections in the trial record so that the trial lawyer can better focus on the flow of the trial. We appropriately frame the salient legal issues in preparation for a possible appeal. Preservation of the trial record is critical on appeal.

Our litigation and trial support assistance can be invaluable in ensuring that all possible bases for either arguing or defending a judgment on appeal have been identified and will be available to use in the appellate court. Our experience has earned the trust of trial attorneys who consult with us to shape litigation strategy before and during a trial. Collaboration with our firm is a valuable resource that greatly benefits both attorneys and their clients.

We are experienced in several civil court practice areas including Personal Injury, Family Law, Probate, and Commercial Litigation. Our understanding of the law encompasses all practice areas, and it is our depth of knowledge and research skills that set us apart.

Personal Injury Appeals

Insurance companies and corporate defendants fight hard to minimize the amounts they have to pay in claims, and if you won a large jury verdict, the defendant may appeal in hopes of getting the verdict reversed, having the jury award reduced, or simply applying additional settlement pressure. Likewise, if the carrier denied coverage, or if the jury verdict was not in your favor, you may have grounds for appeal on the issues of liability, damages, or procedural error. Some examples of errors committed at trial may include whether the testimony of expert witnesses was allowed, expert testimony exceeded the scope of the expert’s qualifications, other evidence was admitted improperly, or the judge gave the wrong instructions to the jury. You have only a limited time of 30 days to start the process following a judgment, so it is important to have a qualified appellate attorney review the record or trial transcript to determine whether errors may have been committed which would justify a new trial or reversal on appeal.

At Samples Ames, our representation of plaintiffs in Texas personal injury appeals has encompassed a wide variety of legal and factual issues across many different types of personal injury cases and issues, including:

  • Defense of a judge’s decision to submit a spoliation instruction;
  • Obtaining a ruling from the Texas Supreme Court that abrogated the common-law unlawful acts doctrine;
  • Upholding at the Texas Supreme Court a ruling from the trial court and the Court of Appeals regarding the scope of a judgement;
  • Obtaining a ruling from the Court of Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court that the trial court’s decision to exclude a minor from an arbitration agreement was correct;
  • Securing an affirmative ruling from the Fort Worth Court of Appeals that upheld a trial court’s decision to allow loss-of-use damages in a total loss situation;
  • Successfully defending a trial court’s ruling regarding the application of res judicata and limitations defenses;
  • Securing a ruling from a Court of Appeals on whether a default judgment must be set aside;
  • Mandamus of a district court’s decision to allow a parent to proceed as next friend in a wrongful death case despite a probate court’s appointment of an administrator to that role;
  • Defense of a trial court’s decision to submit a punitive damages question;
  • Affirming various trial court decisions regarding an expert’s qualifications under Daubert, Robinson, et al.; and
  • Numerous appeals of summary judgment decisions.

If you lost your case at the trial level, contact us for a consultation with one of our appellate attorneys to find out whether you should appeal your case to the Court of Appeals in your jurisdiction. And if your opponent appeals, call us to discuss defending against the appeal.

Commercial Appeals

In commercial litigation, the stakes are often high, and while one party may be pleased with the trial court’s judgment, the other party will not be. While an appeal is not a second trial or a second chance to argue the merits of your case, the losing party in litigation may often find some valid reason to appeal the judgment. At Samples Ames, we represent petitioners and respondents in commercial litigation appeals in state and federal courts throughout Texas and across the country. Appellate work is our primary focus, and our attorneys have handled appeals across the broad spectrum of business and corporate law and commercial litigation matters, including:

  • Breach of Contract
  • Business Torts
  • Construction Disputes
  • Corporate Fraud
  • Denials of Insurance Coverage or Claims

You can reach Samples Ames at (817) 605-1505 and (214) 308-6505. We are happy to consult with you on the case to determine if we can add value for you and your client.