Judges who preside over Texas personal injury cases have an immense amount of influence over the outcome of the case. While the judge is not usually the one who makes the ultimate determination regarding a defendant’s liability (that issue is reserved for the jury), judges make all pre-trial and evidentiary rulings that come up throughout the trial. Thus, it has been said that a judge creates the “landscape” in which a case is brought.
Of course, judges are elected officials who, at the end of the day, are human and can make mistakes. For this reason, the Texas court system allows a party who believes that a judge made a legal error during the proceedings to appeal the issue to a higher court. Typically, appellate courts will only review the issues that are raised on appeal, and will only hear claims that comply with the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure.
Appellate courts are designed to resolve conflicts between trial courts and to correct incorrect applications of the law. For example, if a court in Dallas is resolving an issue of state law differently than a court in San Antonio, an appellate court may decide to hear a case that presents the issue to clarify how the law should be interpreted. Also, appellate courts can reverse incorrect rulings that were made by trial judges.
One of the most common problems parties face when filing an appeal is learning that the issue they intend to raise on appeal was not properly preserved at trial. Under the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure Rule 33, a party filing an appeal must show that a “complaint was made to the trial court by a timely request, objection, or motion.” The party making the objection or complaint must state their basis on the record, to give the trial judge the opportunity to make the appropriate ruling. Thus, if a timely objection is made, but the basis of the objection is not clear from the surrounding context, the issue may not be preserved for appellate review.
In addition to making a complaint, a party must also obtain a ruling from the judge. If a judge refuses to rule on a complaint, the party must then object to the judge’s refusal to rule on their initial complaint. Again, a failure to do this may result in the issue being waived for the purposes of appellate review.
No attorney can guarantee that the judge will understand and agree with all of their arguments. Thus it is critically important to preserve all issues for appellate review if an appeal is necessary.
Do You Need a Texas Attorney?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Texas personal injury accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you have sustained. Depending on the nature of your injuries, you may be able to recover compensation for your past and future medical expenses and lost wages, as well as for any emotional pain and suffering you endured as a result of the accident. To learn more about how the dedicated San Antonio personal injury lawyers at Carabin Shaw can assist you in your pursuit of fair compensation, call 800-862-1260 to schedule a free consultation today.
Court Holds Judges Should Watch Video Evidence Before Ruling on Its Admissibility, Texas Injury Lawyers Blog, April 30, 2018
The Legal Doctrine of Negligent Entrustment in Texas Car Accident Cases, Texas Injury Lawyers Blog, December 11, 2018
Court Finds State Liable for Injuries Caused by Drop-off on Road’s Edge, Texas Injury Lawyers Blog, October 19, 2018