Tips for writing a legal brief

Good reply briefs focus on each point raised by the opposition rather than simply restating opening arguments. Be accurate in your references to the authorities. Organizing the Argument Before an attorney begins drafting a legal brief, she identifies the exact legal points at issue.

To write an effective legal brief, it is necessary to understand the function of these documents as well as the variations in procedural requirements. Remember, if you win, they lose. We need to know.

Chief Justice John G. Writingquoting Justice Breyer. Be accurate in your references to the record. They recoil from any attempt even to ask them to consider such matters, and are always embarrassed by the request.

You should aim to persuade the judge by the power of your reasoning and not by denigrating the opposing side.

A legal brief is generally prepared for submission to a particular court in a particular case, with the goal of convincing the judge to rule in a particular way on certain issues. Such things can irritate; they can never persuade.

For example, there are very specific format requirements for a brief that supports a motion for summary judgment in a trial court that vary considerably from the requirements for an appellate brief before the state supreme court.

The mind of an appellate judge is habitually receptive to the suggestion that a lower court committed an error. Given this, only someone comfortable with legal research and familiar with the facts of the legal matter should undertake the task of writing a brief. Well-written legal briefs include only information essential to the argument; a critical point can be lost if hidden in verbal bloat.

Bar, reprinted in 7 Precedent 20 Winter But judges talk with each other — their club is a small one.

To that end, she reviews all the documents filed in the case that relate to these issues, researches the law and determines what types of evidence she will need to support her argument. Tip 9 makes good sense.

Sep 12, 2018

But neither objective defined by Judge Jones leaves much room for lawyers who argue that is, bicker in the lay sense of the word. Be sure … to explain why the factually dissimilar case is applicable to your situation. Brandeis, The Living Law, 10 Ill.

How to Write a Legal Brief

The facts often incline a judge to one side or the other. Make sure they are accurate and that each case you are relying on is still good law. Formats Vary Widely The term "legal brief" is used loosely to mean any type of written statement that presents law, fact and argument, so the format for a legal brief varies considerably not just among different courts, but also within one jurisdiction.

These flaws weaken your entire presentation. Once this preparation is done, she organizes the argument to lead the judge, in logical and well-supported steps, from one point to the next, until the desired conclusion appears inevitable.

7 Tips For Writing A Kick-Ass Brief

Legal Briefs Are Arguments Legal briefs are written arguments that set out the relevant laws on an issue and describe how they should be applied to the facts of a particular case.

The most effective attack you can make is to persuade.The term "legal brief" is used loosely to mean any type of written statement that presents law, fact and argument, so the format for a legal brief varies considerably not just among different courts, but also within one jurisdiction.

Sep 02,  · How to Write a Legal Brief Three Parts: Understanding the Facts and Legal Issues Researching the Legal Issues Writing Your Brief Community Q&A A brief is a written argument that a lawyer (or party to a case) submits to a court to persuade that court to rule in favor of his client’s position%().

Conversely, you should assume the judge knows nothing about basic legal principles. A classic example is a major law firm that devoted ten pages of a brief to explain the concept of stare decisis to a veteran trial judge. Unfortunately, the “controlling” case was construing California law and the judge was applying Oregon law.

1 Susan Hanley Kosse & David T. Butleritchie, How Judges, Practitioners, and Legal Writing Teachers Assess the Writing Skills of New Law Graduates: A Comparative Study, 53 J. LEGAL EDUC. 80, 85 (). That’s to say, most legal brief writing by new lawyers is awful. And this isn’t 1Ls we’re talking about, but practicing lawyers.

10 Tips for Effective Brief Writing The audience is often the best critic, and rarely more so than when the writer is an attorney and the reader is a judge considering the attorney’s brief in a case before the court.

TEN TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE BRIEF WRITING (AT LEAST WITH RESPECT TO BRIEFS SUBMITTED TO JUDGE MICHAEL) I was once asked (OK, I once wished that I had been asked) what judges look for in written submissions.

After considerable thought, and with some trepidation, I have tried to set some general principles down in writing.

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Tips for writing a legal brief
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