Appellate Counsel - Principal Office In Dallas

Providing Representation In Civil & Criminal Appeals


972 802 1788


Law Degree

University of Houston Law Center, J.D.

Graduated in the top 26% of the class. Concurrently enrolled as a Ph.D. student and a law student. As a law student I worked in the law library as a reference librarian, and I was the only law student who did so. Additionally, I worked for an attorney who did writs of habeas corpus while in law school.

Doctoral Degree

Texas A&M University

Ph.D. Nineteenth-Century-German History Dissertation on Imperial Germany’s relationship with the Ottoman Empire. Most arguments about German imperialism have focused on connecting it with the rise of the Nazis. This dissertation shows that the Germans were imperial powers in the Ottoman Empire, but their imperial presence differed little from that of the French, the British, or the Russians. The dissertation then questions the connection that historians have made between German imperialism and the rise of Nazism.

Master’s Degree

Clemson University M.A. German History Thesis: The Vicissitudes of Fortune: An Analysis of the Life of William Rhodes Davis. This was a study of an American businessman who owned oil property in Mexico. Mexico expropriated all foreign oil properties, except those owned by Davis, in 1936. Davis began to barter his oil with Nazi Germany.


Texas A&M University

B.A. History

Niles Illich – Appellate Attorney

I am happily married.  We have one daughter and a dog with three legs. My parents still live in Dallas as does my brother. My sister is an attorney in Houston.

I was born and raised in Dallas.  I went to Good Shepherd Episcopal School and then to Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas.  I graduated from Jesuit in 1992.  I serve as a board member for the Jesuit Legal Society.

My Office

I am an Appellate Attorney. I am not a general practitioner. This is a distinction with real substance.  You should have a different attorney prepare your will or draft your HR policies.

I worked as a briefing attorney for a Justice on the First Court of Appeals in Houston. There I learned how to write in a way that will convince appellate justices. This is not a skill that is acquired easily and it is not a skill that I learned in law school. Rather, successful appellate representation turns on a manner of thinking and a way of writing that can only be acquired by employing these skills on a regular basis.

Appellate Representation
Oral argument: Many cases are resolved through the briefs.  But if the Court asks for oral argument, appellate representation is required.
Brief writing: This is the most important aspect of appellate representation. This requires identifying the correct issues and then writing a clear and convincing brief utilizing the best possible authority.
Motion for New Trial: This is a critical component when trying to preserve or overturn a verdict.  Often overlooked by attorneys who do not do appellate work on a regular basis.
Trial consultation: Motions, trial briefs, judgments, and jury charges.
Unique Research Skills

A successful appeal often depends on finding the best possible authority. An attorney should always be prepared to tell a justice what the best case authority is.  Only rarely should this work commence on with queries in commercial database.

I learned to conduct research as a Ph.D. student. Research is messy and can be frustrating, but if done correctly often leads to unexpected and exciting results.  I refined this skill by working at the reference desk in a law library.  There, I directed attorneys to research materials when those attorneys did not know which resource to use.

Some appellate arguments rely on very technical and particular resources.  These are not resources that attorneys use frequently. Such resources are critical for arguments that rely on statutory interpretation and legislative history.

Necessary Skills and Abilities

Appellate practice requires particular abilities and skills.  These abilities and skills are obtained and refined by doing appellate work on a daily basis.  Click here to view a selection of my recent appeals.