Tips, stories, and updates about our activities. Subscribe today!

A Different Box

The latest fad in the business world — especially hi-tech — is to encourage people to “think outside the box.” This works only if you first have some notion of what “the box” is. “The box” is the way people usually …

It's All in the Timing

Timing is crucial in bluegrass music, tennis, and sex. Brief-writing? Same thing. Too Early I see many briefs that discuss things too early. For example, opening briefs include lengthy…

A recent Supreme Court oral argument

Check out this link. Click on White (Robert E.) et al. v. Square, Inc., S249248 on the left side of the page. Square provides credit card services to businesses that want to accept Mastercard &…

Little Things Mean A Lot

Some time ago, I received an email from a lawyer complaining about one of my columns, where I had quoted one of my reply briefs. I had written: “In our opening brief, we contended that …” The lawyer didn’…

Easy on the Adjectives

The following sentences have appeared in many of the appellate briefs I’ve reviewed over the years. What—if anything—is wrong with them? • “Appellant has utterly failed. . . .” • “The trial court was obvio…

They Got It All Wrong!

Despite your best efforts, the appellate court ruled against you. You just read their opinion, and you are mad as hell. They got it all wrong! The rules allow you to file a petition for rehearing,…

A "Great Brief" Makes Good Use of the Record

An attorney showed me a brief written by a well-known appellate lawyer, and said “This is a great brief. It’s well-written, logical and persuasive. You should write a column on how to write a great bri…