Writing a legal brief
Know Your Audience The presiding judge probably will not read a single word of any legal brief that you file with the court. What is the law that supports your conclusion.
How to write a legal brief pdf
You might be wondering why annotating is important if you make an adequate, well-constructed brief. This section will describe the parts of a brief in order to give you an idea about what a brief is, what is helpful to include in a brief, and what purpose it serves. One subject in which Procedure History is virtually always relevant is Civil Procedure. In addition, Highlighters are particularly useful in marking off entire sections by using brackets. The case brief represents a final product after reading a case, rereading it, taking it apart, and putting it back together again. Although you might think a pencil might smear more than a pen, with its sharp point a mechanical pencil uses very little excess lead and will not smear as much as you might imagine. H36 ; For 3rd ed. Forcing yourself to think of the whole of the case in concise terms early can help you concisely draft your Argument section. On the other hand, if you find that having more elements makes your brief cumbersome and hard to use, cut back on the number of elements. Because yellow is the brightest, you may be inclined to use yellow for the Conclusions in order to make them stand out the most. A mechanical pencil will also give you the freedom to make mistakes without consequences. Repeat Arguments and Legal Authority In Reply Briefs Courts will often instruct counsel to not repeat legal and factual arguments from the moving papers, in the reply briefs. Just keep in mind that the more quickly you get to the point, the better. Board of Education involved the applicability of a provision of the 14th Amendment to the U. When a judge takes the bench to hear oral arguments by counsel, he or she is usually equipped with nothing more than a short written synopsis provided by the research attorney.
First, buy yourself a set of multi-colored highlighters, with at least four, or perhaps five or six different colors. Usually, I will ignore this instruction, and repeat my arguments anyway.
Sample case brief template
A statement of the relevant law, with quotation marks or underlining to draw attention to the key words or phrases that are in dispute. What are the elements of a brief? A brief is also like a puzzle piece. Paul, Minn. Personally, I feel that is an unfortunate practice, but I have heard that it does happen on occasion. Who will read your brief? Highlighting takes advantage of colors to provide a uniquely effective method for reviewing and referencing a case. You will actually be explaining why you feel the research attorney made a mistake in the analysis that became the basis for the tentative ruling. Because briefs are made for yourself, you may want to include other elements that expand the four elements listed above. This section will describe the parts of a brief in order to give you an idea about what a brief is, what is helpful to include in a brief, and what purpose it serves. What is the conclusion you want to judge to make after reading your brief. Yellow, pink, and orange are usually the brightest.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure that it works for you, regardless of what others recommend. A summary of the complaint in a civil case or the indictment in a criminal case plus relevant evidence and arguments presented in court to explain who did what to whom and why the case was thought to involve illegal conduct.
Paul, Minn. Write a court that made the decision and the year when final opinion was published. Writing and analysis in the law Rev.
The case brief represents a final product after reading a case, rereading it, taking it apart, and putting it back together again. Whatever elements you decide to include, however, remember that the brief is a tool intended for personal use.
Judges are not above being selective about the facts they emphasize. Find out, whether the case comes up from the trial court on appeal or it comes from another appellate court. For example, a case that has a long and important section expounding dicta might call for a separate section in your brief labeled: Dicta.
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