An appeal in Texas can either be a big deal, involving complex issues, or it could all be over in a blink of an eye. That’s the challenge of appeals and a challenge that Daniel Wannamaker, board certified criminal defense attorney of Wannamaker and Associates, is more than up to handling.
“In Texas, any decisions made by district judges may be appealed to the Court of Appeals and from there the appeal goes to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in criminal matters,” explained Wannamaker. If the case happens to be a federal one, any decisions by a Federal District Court are appealed to the 5th Circuit and then on to the U.S. Supreme Court. Decisions that go forward to the U.S. Supreme Court may involve extremely interesting issues of law that the Court is interested in commenting on.
“The whole process, when you start with a case,” explained Wannamaker, “is that all the cases we try, start in a trial court. That’s the basic nuts and bolts of the system.” At the trial level, the judge has the discretion to dismiss on the pleadings early in the case, or dismiss after a summary judgment motion – further along in the litigation process.
In some cases, the plaintiff and defendant deal with a judge alone, in others there may be a judge and jury. In either instance, a decision may be entered after the trial. Of interest, is that in some cases, the judge may elect to pronounce a judgment different from a jury verdict. While this is unusual, it does happen. Anyone not too thrilled with the outcome of the case when the trial is over, is free to appeal the decision, and it isn’t always the loser who appeals either.
“If someone does want to appeal the decision in their case,” said Wannamaker, “a motion for appeal is filed with the trial court. At this point, whoever is appealing is no longer called the plaintiff, but the appellant.”
Daniel Wannamaker of Wannamaker and Associates in Austin, Texas, specializes in handling appeals at all levels within the Texas justice system, and is noted to have won some major victories. This is one criminal defense lawyer anyone would want on their team if they happened to be in major trouble with the law.