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Legal Writing New Lawyers Videos

Headings Are Key to an Effective Document

Whatever document you’re drafting—from a memorandum for a partner to a brief for the court—using clear and concise headings and subheadings will take your reader by the hand and lead them smoothly through your document. Here’s some advice from noted appellate attorneys Daniel U. Smith and Valerie T. McGinty on making your headings as useful and effective as possible.

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Legal Writing Litigation Strategy Pretrial Matters

7 Tips for Making Supporting Memos More Persuasive

Almost all motions and demurrers must be supported by a memorandum. Cal Rules of Ct 3.1113. Your supporting memorandum convinces the judge that the law and facts support the order you want. The objective is to persuade—the memo may be your main shot at doing so, as judges issue a tentative ruling or come to the hearing with a ruling in mind based on the motion and response papers.

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Civil Litigation Legal Topics Legal Writing Practice of Law

A Brief Browse on Briefs: Writing Tips from a Judge (part 3)

Here are the remaining 5 tips from Presiding Justice Arthur Gilbert of the Second District Court of Appeal, Division 6.  In A Brief Browse on Briefs: Writing Tips from a Judge (part 1) and part 2, we gave the first 10 of 15 writing tips from the judge .

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Civil Litigation Legal Topics Legal Writing Practice of Law

A Brief Browse on Briefs: Writing Tips from a Judge (part 2)

Last week, in A Brief Browse on Briefs: Writing Tips from a Judge (part 1), we gave the first of 5 of 15 writing tips from Presiding Justice Arthur Gilbert of the Second District Court of Appeal, Division 6. Here comes — you guessed it — 5 more writing tips gleaned from the judge’s years of experience and reading so many briefs.

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Civil Litigation Legal Topics Legal Writing Practice of Law

A Brief Browse on Briefs: Writing Tips from a Judge (part 1)

Writing briefs — indeed, writing generally — is an area in which most attorneys can use help or at least a refresher. In a recent case, some attorneys learned this the hard way when the  judge called their grammatical errors “so egregious and obvious that an average fourth grader would have avoided most of them.” Those attorneys could have used the following brief-writing principles excerpted from an article written for CEB by Presiding Justice Arthur Gilbert of the Second District Court of Appeal, Division 6. 

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Legal Writing Practice of Law

Make It Clear to the Judge

Too many lawyers write in a style not persuasive to a busy judge. We learned this unpersuasive style in college and law school — ­ it’s called the academic style. Academic style is marked by mind-numbing details, bloated sentences, and meandering paragraphs. Exactly what you don’t want when writing for a judge.

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Civil Litigation Legal Writing Litigation Strategy

Six Tips to Writing A More Persuasive Brief

Persuasive sentences make for a persuasive brief. The following six tips will allow your readers to easily sail through your briefs as you persuade them along the way.