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The Most Important Thing I Learned on the Inside of the Alabama Supreme Court, by Mike Skotnicki, Briefly Writing Blog


An excellent post well worth reading. This short excerpt reminds us why quality legal writing is so critical in appellate advocacy. -CCE

[T]o win an appellate matter you must make your brief come alive, hold the reader’s attention, influence the reader to view your client favorably, and help guide the court to the result you want. With the paucity of oral argument, the appellate brief is very likely your only opportunity to present to the court the passion you hold for your client’s cause and that passion, though controlled, should be palpable. Your brief must be more like a compelling novel, telling a story of conflict, than the dry and lifeless tome that is most often submitted on appeal. If your brief is the one that the appellate judge or staff member goes back to again and again in preference to that of the opposing party as the matter is being considered, the chances of your client winning will climb immeasurably.  Sometimes having the “best” case or fact in your favor is enough for your client to win, but most appeals simply aren’t that easy. . . .