How to write a case brief for law school: Excerpt reproduced from Introduction to the Study of Law:
Hirby and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff Writing competent and persuasive legal briefs is an essential skill for trial attorneys in common law jurisdictions. Some briefs are written with the specific purpose of not having to argue during a hearing, which means that confident attorneys who feel confident about the merits of their cases will expect to obtain a victory for their client simply by writing suitable legal briefs.
Objectives of Writing Legal Briefs All legal briefs require clear objectives that apply factual information in a clear and logical manner. The objective should always be conducive to meeting the client? In the interest of being persuasive, attorneys should not shy away from asking that the court makes a decision that favors their clients and that is supported by statutes or pertinent case law.
Legal Briefs Should Not be Too Long Attorneys should accept the fact that judges in most jurisdictions these days are likely to not read briefs in their entirety.
This is not the case at higher court levels, but even briefs addressed to appellate courts should not be long-winded and passionate arguments. Judges will always remember attorneys who are able to condense their arguments down to one page. This entails avoiding run-on sentences and the passive voice.
Using Proper Formatting Judges, by virtue of their chosen profession, tend to be sticklers when it comes to the proper formatting of legal pleadings. Attorneys should become familiar with the accepted formats and templates recommended by the jurisdictions and court sections they work in.
These formats and templates are found in legal libraries, State Bar Associations and the rules of procedure of each jurisdiction. Avoid Tangential Arguments Lengthy legal briefs are often caused by attorneys who try to cram too many sidebar arguments and end up going off on a tangent.
This is something that judges do not appreciate, and thus it is important to use the two most solid arguments in a legal brief.
Avoid Attacks and Respect All Parties When writing briefs in support of an appellate case, attorneys must avoid becoming overconfident when pointing out the apparent mistakes made by the lower court. It is easy to write? The same goes when writing about a plaintiff, a defendant, a witness, or opposing counsel; they should all be treated with respect and their personal flaws or shortcomings should never be written about.
More On This Topic.Sep 02, · How to Write a Legal Brief In this Article: 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%().
Also, avoid sticking to a script or formula when structuring a brief, which will almost certainly lead to dry, robotic writing, noted Dave Catuogno of Forman Holt Eliades & Youngman LLC. How to Write a Legal Statement of Fact 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.
The following documents offer some suggestions for drafting a brief to a court - broadly defined as a memorandum of law intended to persuade a court of the legal correctness of a position you have asserted on behalf of a client in a litigated case.
Find the Right Lawyer with LegalMatch% Confidential · Affordable Attorney · No Appointment Necessary · Top Rated Local LawyersServices: Family, Criminal Defense, Employment, Business, Real Estate. Use structural writing techniques to help guide the reader.
Structural writing techniques are the basic building blocks of organizational writing that often get short shrift from lawyers.
Or lawyers use them, but are completely awful at it. Effective Headings. Headings help give the reader an idea of what is going to be addressed in a particular section.