Writing a brief for court

The Thesis Statement The thesis statement is that sentence or two in your text that contains the focus of your essay and tells your reader what the essay is going to be about. Although it is certainly possible to write a good essay without a thesis statement many narrative essaysfor example, contain only an implied thesis statementthe lack of a thesis statement may well be a symptom of an essay beset by a lack of focus. Many writers think of a thesis statement as an umbrella: The thesis statement is also a good test for the scope of your intent.

Writing a brief for court

Introduction or Preliminary Statement Does the Introduction articulate the party's claim and introduce the theory of the case by referring to the case facts? Are the parties identified? Is the procedural history included? Statement of Facts Does the Statement set forth the facts in a narrative that will be easy to follow for a reader who is unfamiliar with the case?

Does it include all legally significant facts? Does it include relevant background facts? Does it include facts that have an emotional resonance or sympathetic value for the party on whose behalf you write?

Are the facts stated accurately? Does the Statement include the facts that you use in the Argument? Has the Statement been edited to remove legal conclusions and editorializing?

writing a brief for court

Do favorable facts appear in positions of emphasis? Does the Statement include significant unfavorable facts without overemphasizing them? Does the Statement present and develop the theory of the case?

writing a brief for court

Question Presented or, alternatively, Summary of Argument Does the Question combine the legal claim and controlling legal standard with the legally significant facts that raise the legal issue? Is the Question framed so as to suggest an affirmative answer?

Does the Summary if applicable present a short statement of the legal and factual theory of the case? Point Headings Do the point headings and subheadings provide the reader with an outline of the argument? Are the headings framed as legal assertions that are favorable to the party you represent, and are they supported with legally relevant facts?

Do the headings answer the question s presented? Overall Is the Argument organized into points and subpoints? Does the Argument address the procedural context and the arguments based upon it?

Content of Rule Is the synthesized rule legal standard set forth clearly and completely? Does the synthesized rule discuss the "common threads" as that term is used in Laurel Oates et al.

Is the synthesized rule framed favorably for the party you represent, supporting the conclusion that you want the court to reach? Rule Proof Does the Rule Proof carry forward and develop each of the ideas stated in the Rule Synthesis in a section of one or more paragraphs that begins with a thesis idea sentence?

Do the cases discussed in the Rule Proof illustrate and support the idea expressed in each thesis sentence? Does the Rule Proof address the holdings, legally significant facts, and reasoning of the cases discussed? Are the parts of cases that counter your argument distinguished or explained? Does the Argument raise and address relevant policy arguments?

Does the Argument demonstrate how underlying policy objectives in the law are met if the court accepts the application of law to fact? Does the Application of rule to fact illustrate the theory of the case? Counterargument Does the Counterargument address and dispose of the arguments raised by the opponent, without overemphasizing them?

Organization Does each paragraph within a point or subpoint advance the argument being made? Are there clear transitions between paragraphs? If the thesis or topic sentences of each paragraph within a point or subpoint were arranged in order, would a sound structure or outline of the point emerge?

Do the sentences within a paragraph relate to one another coherently, such that each successive sentence builds on the idea that is being addressed in preceding sentences?

Form Have you checked all sentences for correct grammar, spelling, and citation form?Scarlett Johansson won a defamation suit against a French writer for creating a promiscuous character who happened to look like the movie star.

Winner of the Legal Writing Institute’s Golden Pen award, Ross is the president of Legal Writing Pro LLC, a training and consulting initiativeblog.com Alaska and Hawaii to Paris and Hong Kong, he has conducted close to two thousand programs on three continents for prominent law firms, for judges and courts, and for dozens of agencies, corporations, and associations.

Legal writing involves the analysis of fact patterns and presentation of arguments in documents such as legal memoranda and initiativeblog.com form of legal writing involves drafting a balanced analysis of a legal problem or issue. Another form of legal writing is persuasive, and advocates in favor of a legal position.

Sep 02,  · How to Write a Legal Brief Three Parts: Understanding the Facts and Legal Issues Researching the Legal Issues Writing Your Brief Community Q&A A brief is a written argument that a lawyer (or party to a case) submits to a court to persuade that court to rule in favor of his client’s position%().

About Oyez. Oyez (pronounced OH-yay)—a free law project from Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (LII), Justia, and Chicago-Kent College of Law—is a multimedia archive devoted to making the Supreme Court of the United States accessible to everyone.

to gain the court's sympathy for an understanding of your client's situation. Many lawyers and judges believe that the statement of facts is the most important section of any brief. ARGUMENT The argument is the foundation on which the rest of the brief is constructed and is the heart of the brief.

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