Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Don't over-argue your case

U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly of the Northern District of Illinois recently advised lawyers to winnow their arguments down to the most effective ones. His article in the winter issue of Litigation quotes Judge Richard Prosser to caution against a "frivolous scattershot" approach to briefing.  Kennelly explains that a litigant has the judge's attention only briefly and should make the most of that time. Moreover, due to page or word limits, "weak arguments physically drive out better arguments." Kennelly's other advice on brief writing includes leaving out hyperbole and not making an argument that you are unwilling or unable to develop.



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