My name is Bill Pedersen, and I am running for a place on the Dallas Court of Appeals. I have practiced law in D/FW for my entire 16-year career, and have litigated almost every type of case, including jury trials, in all six counties served by the Dallas Court of Appeals. I have been a prosecutor, a defense attorney, and have been on both sides of a civil trial docket. I know the judges whose decisions are reviewed by Dallas Court of Appeals, and have practical, local experience that makes me the best candidate to review the decisions of those courts. No other candidate for this bench has that experience. I am the only Democrat running for this bench, and my Republican opponent spent the vast majority of his career working for Greg Abbott in Austin, and only came to D/FW a couple of years ago.
Why Bill Pedersen?
- Dedicated to our legal system and the ethical practice of law
- 15 years of litigation experience in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area
- Former Prosecutor with the Collin County District Attorney’s Office
- Experience in civil, criminal and federal matters
- AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell
- Admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit and the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas
About Bill Pedersen
Bill Pedersen was born and raised in Nacogdoches, Texas.
He attended Texas Tech University, graduating in the spring of 1998, earning a Bachelor of Arts in History, with minors in Spanish and Philosophy.
He received a Juris Doctor from Baylor University School of Law, where he was admitted to the Order of Barristers, and served as a student assistant to the Professors administering the Practice Court program.
He was called upon by those professors to demonstrate different examples of courtroom advocacy for the next class.
Mr. Pedersen graduated from Baylor University School of Law on in 2001 and immediately began his work as an Assistant Criminal District Attorney in Collin County, at the age of 24.
During his approximately two and one-half year tenure in that office, Mr. Pedersen tried over sixty criminal jury trials to verdict.
He was called upon by the First Assistant of that office to assist him in the trial of a second-degree felony after only seven months of practice, and served as Chief of the Domestic Violence section of the Family Justice unit, among other responsibilities.
In September of 2003, Mr. Pedersen left the Collin County Criminal District Attorney’s office to enter private practice.
Since that time Mr. Pedersen has managed criminal and civil litigation matters for a wide array of clients in both Texas and Federal courts.
Mr. Pedersen is admitted to practice before the United States District Courts of both the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Mr. Pedersen has managed complex litigation matters for foreign corporations, local businesses, and individuals in everything from traffic citations to murder investigations to complex financial conspiracies, in small collection matters to complex interstate litigation involving parties throughout the United States and Europe.
In April, 2010, Bill was selected by his peers as one of the Top Young Lawyers in Texas as published in Texas Monthly Magazine’s Super Lawyer and Rising Star Section.
What Does the Court of Appeals Do?
When you get called for jury duty, you are there to serve as a juror during a trial. This is the courtroom activity we see on television and movies. You no doubt have seen closing arguments famously recreated in film and television, and in popular literature.
“Objection, you honor!” “Overruled, counselor.” “The jury will be so instructed.”
The trial judge makes the rulings that the parties require her to make. After the trial is over, the trial judge’s decisions may be appealed. That appeal occurs in the Court of Appeals. In an appeal, a panel of judges/justices reviews the rulings of the trial judge. They grade her paper, in other words. If the Court of Appeals determines that the trial judge made mistakes, the Court of Appeals will then decide if those errors are so serious that the judgment needs to be modified, dismissed, a different decision should be rendered, or if the parties have to go back to the trial court and start all over.
How Appeals Are Decided
A case is not decided by the Court until the record of the proceedings in the trial court and the briefs are filed by both parties to the appeal. The case is then “submitted” for decision. Each case is set for submission before three justices on the Court. In certain circumstances, cases may be heard by a panel consisting of all of the justices (en banc). Cases are generally set for submission on Tuesday and Wednesday of each week and a panel of three justices hear all of the submitted cases that are argued. Each case is assigned to one of the justices on the panel to author the opinion. At times, other justices may author concurring and/or dissenting opinions.