Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Utah lawyer Bryan J. Pattison’s recent article Writing to Persuade includes some good tips for legal writers. He sets the stage by asking the reader, “What were you thinking about the last time you wrote a brief or trial court memorandum? Sticking it to opposing counsel ? . . . Impressing your client?” If the answer is yes, Pattison says, “hit reset,” because the only goal should be to persuade the judge. The article includes a judge’s list of five things not to do—for example, don't “develop a reputation as a ‘churner’—an attorney who files unjustified motions for ulterior motives.” That will damage a lawyer’s reputation with the court.