Wednesday, December 22, 2010

how to avoid writing bad briefs

Recently re-called to my attention was a very helpful article by Sarah Ricks & Jane Istvan, Effective Brief Writing Despite High Volume Practice: Ten Misconceptions that Result in Bad Briefs, 30 University of Toledo Law Review 1113 (2007).  As the authors themselves so aptly say:
"There is an art to writing effective briefs and each brief is different. But many ineffective briefs contain the same mistakes, regardless of the brief's subject matter or the brief's intended judicial audience. Many recurring brief writing errors may be caused by the demands of a high volume law practice, which allow little time for the brief writer to achieve the critical distance from the document necessary to edit and revise effectively.

"Lawyers can avoid committing many common brief writing errors if they are more able to put themselves in the place of their intended readers, the busy judge and the often inexperienced law clerk. Understanding recurring brief writing misconceptions and errors can assist lawyers in assessing the effectiveness of a brief from the perspective of the intended reader."

hat tip:  Nolan Wright


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