FAQ

An appeal is a review by at least three judges to see if the complaining party proved its case at trial and to see if the trial was fair.

From $5,000 to $100,000, depending on the seriousness of the case, the amount of responsibility, the time involved, whether the matter is an emergency requiring immediate action, and so on.

Yes. You can make a down payment and make monthly payments.

Yes. The attorney’s fee is a fixed amount, and you do not owe anything or have to pay anything unless and until you agree and know what the lawyer is promising to do.

No. Our policy is to encourage people to confer with lawyers, so we do not charge a conference fee.

Yes, but not in criminal cases or family law cases. If there is an insurance policy or a fund like social security, we might agree to a contingent fee. Contingent fees are not permitted in criminal cases. Contingent fees are only allowed when there is insurance or a fund like social security to recover from.

From a few hours to six years. Most normal appeals last eleven months from notice of appeal to a decision by three judges. In S.S. v. State, No. 13-04-CR(Tex. App.–Corpus Christi, 2004), Mr. Warner filed an application for writ of prohibition at 8 am; at 1 p.m. that same day, the Court of Appeals stopped the trial.

In Beasley v. State, S.W.2d (Tex. Crim. App.), Mr. Warner persuaded the Court of Criminal Appeals to set aside a death sentence and order a new trial for one who had fled and confessed when captured; the process lasted six years. There are more appellate courts now, so most appeals last less than a year.

Yes. The clerk’s record and the reporter’s record are additional costs.

In state court the clerk’s record costs $1 per page; so, a typical clerk’s record costs $100. In state court the reporter’s record costs $5 per page. The record of a two-day trial would cost $1,600.

In federal (United States) courts, there is a docketing fee of $455. There is no cost for the clerk’s record. The reporter’s transcript is much less expensive; a two-day trial’s transcript would probably cost $400.

The client does. We ask you for the funds when we need them; we give them to the clerk/reporter and send you a receipt.

Yes. In federal court we have to do a preliminary brief before we present the motion for bail so that we can show what questions we intend to raise. In Texas courts, bail on appeal is only permitted if the sentence is less than ten years.

Yes. We can ask all the judges of the Court to hear our case, rather than just three. We can ask the state Court of Criminal Appeals or the Supreme Court of the United States to hear our case. Applications for writs of habeas corpus are possible. Applications for Pardon from the governor or the President are possible. Sometimes the trial court judge can lower the sentence.

Board Certification is a voluntary designation program for attorneys and legal assistants. Initial certification is valid for a period of five years. To remain certified, an attorney and legal assistant must apply for recertification every five years and meet substantial involvement, peer review and continuing legal education requirements for the specialty area. To become Board Certified in a specialty area, an attorney must have:

  • Been licensed to practice law for at least five years
  • Devoted a required percentage of practice to a specialty area for at least three years.
  • Handled a wide variety of matters in the area to demonstrate experience and involvement.
  • Attended continuing education seminars regularly to keep legal training up to date.
  • Been evaluated by fellow lawyers and judges.
  • Passed a 6-hour written examination.