Guidelines for writing a legal brief

A Statement of Facts that sets forth all of the key factual elements a court should use in making its decision. What is the conclusion you want to judge to make after reading your brief.

Legal brief example

Before submitting a brief to a court of any level and in any jurisdiction , you should consult the rules of that court concerning format, page length, and citation. P87 ] Ray, M. These brackets will allow you to color-code the case without highlighting all the text, leaving the most important phrases untouched for a more detailed highlight marking or underlining. Then ask, How does this case relate to other cases in the same general area of law? Legal writing--getting it right and getting it written 4th ed. Going to pull a large blockquote? Most likely, upon entering law school, this will happen with one or more of your instructors. When you read your first few cases, you may think that everything that the judge said was relevant to his ultimate conclusion. The more you brief, the easier it will become to extract the relevant information. Legal writing and analysis 2nd ed. If you prefer a visual approach to learning, you may find highlighting to be a very effective tool. Effective brief writing is an essential skill for new lawyers The majority of advocacy undertaken by lawyers is written advocacy. Capture that provision or debated point in your restatement of the issue.

Even with a thorough, well-constructed brief you may want to reference the original case in order to reread dicta that might not have seemed important at the time, to review the complete procedural history or set of facts, or to scour the rationale for a better understanding of the case; annotating makes these tasks easier.

Highlighting is a personal tool, and therefore should be used to the extent that highlighting helps, but should be modified in a way that makes it personally time efficient and beneficial.

How to brief a case for dummies

You must spot the issue and articulate the jest in a question. If annotating and highlighting are so effective, why brief? Who will read your brief? S5 ] Slocum, R. If you do this, however, you will exhaust your other colors much faster than yellow and this will require that you purchase an entire set of new highlighters when a single color runs out because colors such as green are not sold separately. The winning brief: tips for persuasive briefing in trial and appellate courts 2nd ed. Does the result violate your sense of justice or fairness? With a basic understanding of the case, and with annotations in the margin, the second read-through of the case should be much easier. The name of the person who initiated legal action in that particular court will always appear first. Similar to annotating, the best parts of the case to highlight are those that represent the needed information for your brief such as the facts, the issue, the holding and the rationale. In this section, you should explain the choice of judges.

Finally, when you spot a particularly important part of the text, underline it or highlight it as described below. Summarize the blockquote before or after in one to two sentences. G37 ] Hames, J. Find out, whether the case comes up from the trial court on appeal or it comes from another appellate court.

law case study examples pdf

Headings are, yep, summaries. S ] Yelin, A. Title and Citation The title of the case shows who is opposing whom.

How to write a persuasive legal brief

Separate Opinions Both concurring and dissenting opinions should be subjected to the same depth of analysis to bring out the major points of agreement or disagreement with the majority opinion. H36 ; For 3rd ed. The court will state what each party contends. You are the person that the brief will serve! Be sure to distinguish the issues from the arguments made by the parties. This will help you later when you try to reconcile conflicting cases. NOTE: Many students misread cases because they fail to see the issues in terms of the applicable law or judicial doctrine than for any other reason. Experiment if you must, but try to choose a color scheme early on in the semester and stick with it. Conclusion It is a short statement saying the court affirmed or reversed the case and held for the appellant, appellee or defendant. It will allow you to mark off the different sections such as facts, procedural history, or conclusions , thus allowing you to clear your mind of thoughts and providing an invaluable resource when briefing and reviewing. Case Study: Two Versions of a Trial Brief 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. A Conclusion that summarizes the key points of the brief and requests specific relief. First, buy yourself a set of multi-colored highlighters, with at least four, or perhaps five or six different colors. If annotating and highlighting are so effective, why brief?

A mechanical pencil will also give you the freedom to make mistakes without consequences. What does it show about judicial policymaking?

sample case brief template
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How to Write a Case Brief for Law School