Brief writing and oral argument preparation

This panel should be prepared with questions on issues that bother the panelists — those issues that they perceive may prevent the court from granting the relief requested.

The book makes effective use of high-quality and illustrative examples and writing exercises. The best way to reach that conversational tone is to moot your oral argument. After a day or so away from the case, the attorney, the appellate team and the members of the panel should join together for a critique.

Moot preparation can be a three-tiered process. You must direct your attention to the two or three points that you must get the court to listen to and focus its attention on, in order for you to win the case. Move on to the triage part of your preparation.

Needless to say, the oral argument is not likely to follow your outline and wedding yourself to the words used in the balance of the outline will not result in the conversational tone you want to have with the court.

It is very important to be able to construct a persuasive legal argument in support of a client s case while telling the client s story. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. While it may be easier to put some members of the appellate team on the moot bench that will not be as effective in presenting an experience close to live as having moot panelists who are no more familiar than the live panel.

Reading from your outline is not recommended — but the opening, road map and closing should be delivered as close to verbatim as prepared. From a selfish perspective, appellate judges enthusiastically consider the oral argument the most exciting part of their work.

But, the word discussion does not connote a two-way street or an even playing field. The book can utilized as an outline or a refresher for any type of brief that must be written, whether it s a main brief, reply brief, or sur-reply, and whether it s a lower court or appellate brief.

The pertinent statutory and case law authority relied on by both parties should be reread and known inside and out. You may very well have meritorious arguments, but if they are not dispositive points then they should not be the focus of your preparation oral argument.

Preparation gives you the tools and confidence to engage in a meaningful, lucid discussion with the court. Some courts may permit you to submit the case in advance with notice to your adversary.

The moot panelists should be asked to read the briefs and the cited portions of the record just as the live bench would. The aim of every brief is always the same: The attorney should try different ways of addressing the issues. An appellate jurist may be leaning in your favor, against you or may yet be wholly undecided.

How do you get there? Having properly prepared, the appellate advocate should approach the most stimulating day of oral advocacy with confidence and enthusiasm.

Then prepare the words to describe concisely and forcefully the route you are going to use to get the court to your destination — these are the two or three reasons why the court should grant the relief requested. Remember, the chances of the court throwing you softballs during oral argument are slim.

As obvious as it sounds, make sure you have preserved the right to orally argue by following the rules of the court for reserving argument time. If there are specific record references or lines from cases that you feel you need to read verbatim to the court, these should be included in your outline for ready reference rather than fumbling through the record at the lectern.

Check the local court rules, or call the clerk of the court, to determine whether a written summary is permissible as opposed to mere notice that the case will be relied on. The balance of the outline should include the facts and the law that support the relief requested and the reasons advanced.


It discusses the structure and persuasive techniques of effective argumentation. There are occasions when a live panel will be soft or cold and not ask many questions.

Oral argument is your opportunity to help solidify the judge who is in your favor, tip the scales of the judge who is undecided, and yes, you may even move the judge who was leaning in favor of the adverse position.

Lucid, compact, and up-to-date, this work consistently draws acclaim in law schools across the country. Of course, the authorities should be updated to identify any changes in the law.

Your goal is to reach a conversational tone during the oral argument. The attorney who will argue the appeal should be intimately involved in preparing the brief.

Appellate counsel must identify the meritorious and dispositive arguments. Is the bench as a whole undecided? Do not waive oral argument. Prepare your opening statement — a concise sentence or two by which you identify exactly what it is that you want the court to do — the destination — tell the court where you want to go.

For this reason, the appellate bench is generally more open to the influence of good oral advocacy. For any questions or comments, please contact Jacqueline I.Counsel should approach oral argument with no less enthusiasm and preparation.

Appellate jurists are different from the trial judges in the sense that they have not been living with the case for months or years.

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The Art of Oral Argument According to Some of the Best by William M. Robinson, SDAP Staff Attorney, May brief is the preparation of the meal. A reply brief, then, would be like a small second course, in the Italian mode.

sacrament in this Church of Appellate Practice is oral argument. Some wise prophet, at some time in the distant. From the all-important brief-concise, comprehensive and effectively written-to the delivery of powerful oral arguments, counsel's success is measured by the ability to persuade and win.

This text clearly explains how to be an effective and persuasive legal writer and advocate. This work is designed to bridge the gap between law school and the practice.

Brief Writing and Oral Argument. Ninth Edition. Edward D. Re and Joseph R. Re. A Oceana TM Publication.

A new section on the "vanishing trial" emphasizes the critical importance of the written word in arguing a case. Tips for Better Brief Writing and Oral Argument by Hon. Donald C. Ashmanskas, US Magistrate, District of Oregon (deceased) BRIEF WRITING 1.

Concede Nothing: Judges are impressed by tough your opponent fight for. )day will have read the briefs before the oral argument. The brief, therefore, is the The brief, therefore, is the tdges 1 introduction to the case, and a talented brief .

Brief writing and oral argument preparation
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