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Free La. Appellate CLE Materials, by Raymond P. Ward, Louisiana Civil Appeals Blog


Here’s something you don’t see everyday – a top-notch lawyer generously sharing everything juicy in his CLE presentation.  I am a long-time follower of Mr. Ward’s blogs. I strongly recommend this blog, as well as his other blog, the [new] legal writer blog at http://raymondpward.typepad.com/newlegalwriter/

Notice how the propositions further the appellate brief’s argument to the court. They are not simply “The Court Should Grant Summary Judgment to Plaintiff” or something equally bland.  Likewise, the propositions are not more than one sentence.

The Statement of the Case is less than one page. The writer doesn’t bog the Court down with unnecessary facts. You can look, but you will not find even a whiff of legalese.

Please pay attention when you read the materials and each sample document (thank you for including them!). Notice that no words are wasted. There is a reason why.

Notice the word choice, the size of the sentences and paragraphs, and the crafting of the propositions and subheadings. The persuasive argument is easy to follow. The writer keeps the reader’s attention – an absolute must for anything you write.

Do you aspire to be a good writer? Write like this. -CCE

This morning [October 28, 2014], I presented an hour of CLE on appellate practice for the Louisiana State Bar Association’s ‘Bridging the Gap’ seminar, a program for newly minted lawyers who passed the February 2014 bar exam. For attendees and anyone else who may be interested, here are some supplemental materials used or discussed in the presentation:

For reasons discussed at the seminar and elsewhere, I recommend against over-reliance on forms. With that caution stated—and with no warranties—I offer some samples of pleadings and briefs, all in PDF: