Yesterday afternoon, I gave a one-hour presentation to a group of 11 intermediate appellate justices on the topic of “Principled Appellate Decisions.” The presentation was part of the Texas College for Judicial Studies, a program providing educational opportunities to judges who desire to improve their adjudication skills and acquire specific training in their jurisdictional specialization. My involvement resulted from efforts to facilitate a relationship between the College and the State Bar Appellate Section.
The 11 attendees represented nearly half of the 14 Texas intermediate appellate courts. As I joked with the group, this was a little like an en banc argument on steroids. Fortunately, the attendees chimed in with questions and actively engaged in the discussion. I may have been there to help educate them, but I came away better educated myself.
The “sound bites” come from a survey of appellate specialists reported in Stacy R. Obenhaus, Ten Things The Texas Courts of Appeals Could Do Better (According to the Appellate Bar), University of Texas 22nd Annual Conference on State and Federal Appeals (2012).