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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Dreaded Parenthetical, Brian Wolfman Jan 2021

The Dreaded Parenthetical, Brian Wolfman

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay concerns the use -- and, particularly, the overuse and misuse -- of explanatory parentheticals in legal briefs. The essay describes four particular concerns about parentheticals that appear in briefs. Parentheticals shouldn't be used to repeat what you’ve just said or to say something that easily can be taken out of the parenthetical and placed in ordinary text. Generally, parentheticals shouldn't be used to drive the substance of a brief. The ordinary prose should do that work. And if there’s a good reason to use a parenthetical, try to place it at the end of a paragraph where it …


References To Movies In Judicial Opinions And Written Advocacy, Part 1, Douglas E. Abrams Sep 2019

References To Movies In Judicial Opinions And Written Advocacy, Part 1, Douglas E. Abrams

Faculty Publications

In opinions in cases with no claims or defenses concerning movies or the movie industry, trial and appellate judges often help explain substantive or procedural points, or help embellish the discussion, with references to themes, scenes, or characters from well-known films that have held Americans’ attention. Sometimes the reference appears in an opinion of the court, and sometimes it appears in a concurring or dissenting opinion.


Sanctions For Evading Maximum Page Limits On Court Filings, Douglas E. Abrams Nov 2017

Sanctions For Evading Maximum Page Limits On Court Filings, Douglas E. Abrams

Faculty Publications

Judge Marrero joins a growing lineup of judges who have imposed or threatened sanctions on counsel for attempting to evade court rules that set maximum page limits on briefs, memoranda, and other filings. Orders and reported opinions catalogue various strategies, including these: presenting the main text in a font smaller than the court's required font; presenting the main text with spacing less than required double spacing; using excessive footnotes, often single-spaced or in small fonts; or narrowing required margins on the sides, the top, or the bottom of pages.


10 Tips For Effective Brief Writing, Douglas E. Abrams Feb 2015

10 Tips For Effective Brief Writing, Douglas E. Abrams

Faculty Publications

The audience is often the best critic, and rarely more so than when the writer is an attorney and the reader is a judge considering the attorney's brief in a case before the court. Here are several judges' suggestions for writing briefs that will help your case. The first tip? Leave the venom at home!


Converting Benchslaps To Backslaps: Instilling Professional Accountability In New Legal Writers By Teaching And Reinforcing Context, Heidi K. Brown Jan 2014

Converting Benchslaps To Backslaps: Instilling Professional Accountability In New Legal Writers By Teaching And Reinforcing Context, Heidi K. Brown

Articles & Chapters

A search in published and unpublished court decisions for derivations of phrases like "poorly written brief" or "failure to follow court rules" yields an alarming multitude of case opinions in which judges admonish lawyers of all levels of experience for shoddy briefs or for flouting non-negotiable substantive and procedural rules. Legal bloggers have affectionately dubbed these public reprimands "benchslaps."

Section I of this article provides a contextual background that professors and practitioners can share with rookie legal writers, using judicial opinions to demonstrate the eight most-common ways that attorney work product falls short of judges' expectations and, more importantly, how …


Book Review, Richard B. Collins Jan 1986

Book Review, Richard B. Collins

Publications

No abstract provided.


Review Of Handbook Of Appellate Advocacy, By M. Josephson., Douglas A. Kahn Jan 1968

Review Of Handbook Of Appellate Advocacy, By M. Josephson., Douglas A. Kahn

Reviews

The practice of appellate advocacy may well be the most abused skill in the legal profession. The successful conduct of an appeal can preserve a client's favorable verdict or reverse his losses; and an appellate determination is often dispositive of the case. Yet, while most members of the bar recognize that trial litigation requires specialized training, too many attorneys regard appellate advocacy as commonplace and devote little or no effort to the study of the techniques of brief writing and oral argument. I have personally observed a sizeable number of cases which were lost on appeal, not because counsel failed …


The Trial Brief, Edson R. Sunderland, Clifford W. Crandall Jan 1924

The Trial Brief, Edson R. Sunderland, Clifford W. Crandall

Book Chapters

From the chapter Introduction: "The object of the preceding chapters is to show the brief maker where to find the material for his brief, how to find it, and how to select out of the mass of material found that which will be suitable for his use.... The present purpose is to outline a course of investigation suitable to the preparation of a case for trial and to suggest methods of making the material collected during the search for authorities readily available." [p.417-418]


The Trial Brief, Edson R. Sunderland Jan 1914

The Trial Brief, Edson R. Sunderland

Book Chapters

From the chapter Introduction: "The object of the preceding chapters is to show the brief maker where to find the material for his brief, how to find it, and how to select out of the mass of material found that which will be suitable for his use.... The purpose of this lesson is to outline a course of investigation suitable to the preparation of a case for trial, and to suggest methods of making the material collected during the search for authorities readily available." [p.353]


The Trial Brief, Edson R. Sunderland Jan 1909

The Trial Brief, Edson R. Sunderland

Book Chapters

Professor Sunderland writes in introduction to his chapter: "As this is not a book of practice, an extended discussion of the general subject of 'Preparation for Trial' would manifestly be out of place.... The purpose of this part is to outline a course of investigation suitable in preparing a case for trial and to suggest methods for making the materials so obtained readily available." [p.207]