In this episode of the Legal Marketing 2.0 Podcast, Guy is joined by Todd Smith and Jody Sanders. Jody and Todd both practice civil appellate law. Traditionally, that involves writing appellate briefs and presenting oral arguments to appellate courts, but they both do a lot of work in trial courts as well. Their trial court work involves legal strategy, potentially dispositive motions, jury charges, and other activities necessary to preserve error and prepare cases for appeal.
1. How The Texas Appellate Law Podcast Started
Jody and Todd, who were not familiar with each other, had the idea to start a podcast about appellate law and interview friends. Blake Hawthorne, the clerk of the Texas Supreme Court, suggested recording the first couple of episodes at the Texas Supreme Court Courtroom. After discussing the idea, they decided to give it a try. They recorded their first few episodes at the Texas Supreme Court in March 2020. Todd suggested using Zoom, a tool that allowed them to record from different cities. After a week everyone in the world had a Zoom account and their podcast prospered from there.
They both brought a different skill set to the Texas Appellate Law Podcast. Todd is a tech oriented person who could string together and put together the technology side of the podcast, while Jody is great at talking. With that being said, they were able to work off the set of strengths they both have to develop the podcast together.
2. The Reasoning Behind The Texas Appellate Law Podcast
Many people who practice appellate law know each other. They go up against each other in cases or co-counsel regularly, which sparked an opportunity to talk about topics that interest appellate lawyers and educate not only other appellate lawyers, but also trial lawyers, and even clients about what goes on in practicing civil appeals. They wanted to provide some education about what it is that they do and what the appellate system in their state is all about. The Texas Appellate Law Podcast has succeeded in having a show that follows that approach.
3. The Process of Finding Guests For The Texas Appellate Law Podcast
The podcast started with friends with interesting backgrounds and specialties, and as it gained popularity people started suggesting speakers. The podcast hosts attend appellate CLEs where they ask interested individuals to join, or new justices joining the Texas Supreme Court or courts of appeals. As a former member of the State Bar Board of directors, Todd would have the privilege of going and getting together with about 50 or 60 bar leaders who are from around the State where he would talk to individuals and invite them on Texas Appellate Law Podcast.
4. Future Plans For The Texas Appellate Law Podcast
Jody and Todd are not planning to change the podcast, as they enjoy it. They have been on a semi-summer hiatus, but they have plans and want to talk to more people. They aim to release an episode every other week, which is good for them and their audience. The podcast covers marketing trends, technology, and esoteric appellate issues. As technology evolves they plan on covering topics related to AI as well as ethical aspects.They have had judges and other practitioners on the show including 6 of the 9 current Texas Supreme Court justices. They want to close the loop and have all 9 Texas Supreme Court justices as guests.
The podcast has also covered humanistic aspects of law practice, such as work-life balance, setting boundaries, mental health, and self-care. They want to continue discussing issues related to Texas appellate law and ensure that their colleagues are educated about related topics that affect them in their practices. They look forward to producing more episodes in the future.
A podcast takes a lot of work to be successful, but with planning, execution, and a good niche topic, almost any lawyer can do it.
You can find the The Texas Appellate Law Podcast, here.
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