Check new design of our homepage! How to Write an Appellate Brief How to write an appellate brief, forms one of the most seasoned queries of legal documentation.
How to write a case brief for law school: Excerpt reproduced from Introduction to the Study of Law: This section will describe the parts of a brief in order to give you an idea about what a brief is, what is helpful to include in a brief, and what purpose it serves.
Case briefs are a necessary study aid in law school that helps to encapsulate and analyze the mountainous mass of material that law students must digest. The case brief represents a final product after reading a case, rereading it, taking it apart, and putting it back together again.
Who will read your brief?
Most professors will espouse the value of briefing but will never ask to see that you have, in fact, briefed. You are the person that the brief will serve! Keep this in mind when deciding what elements to include as part of your brief and when deciding what information to include under those elements.
What are the elements of a brief? Different people will tell you to include different things in your brief. Most likely, upon entering law school, this will happen with one or more of your instructors.
While opinions may vary, four elements that are essential to any useful brief are the following: Because briefs are made for yourself, you may want to include other elements that expand the four elements listed above.
Depending on the case, the inclusion of additional elements may be useful.
For example, a case that has a long and important section expounding dicta might call for a separate section in your brief labeled: Whatever elements you decide to include, however, remember that the brief is a tool intended for personal use.
To the extent that more elements will help with organization and use of the brief, include them. On the other hand, if you find that having more elements makes your brief cumbersome and hard to use, cut back on the number of elements. At a minimum, however, make sure you include the four elements listed above.
Elements that you may want to consider including in addition to the four basic elements are: In the personal experience of one of the authors, this element was used to label cases as specific kinds e.
This element allowed him to release his thoughts without losing them so that he could move on to other cases. In addition to these elements, it may help you to organize your thoughts, as some people do, by dividing Facts into separate elements: One subject in which Procedure History is virtually always relevant is Civil Procedure.
When describing the Judgment of the case, distinguish it from the Holding. Remember that the purpose of a brief is to remind you of the important details that make the case significant in terms of the law.
It will be a reference tool when you are drilled by a professor and will be a study aid when you prepare for exams. A brief is also like a puzzle piece. The elements of the brief create the unique shape and colors of the piece, and, when combined with other pieces, the picture of the common law takes form.
A well-constructed brief will save you lots of time by removing the need to return to the case to remember the important details and also by making it easier to put together the pieces of the common law puzzle.
The simple answer is: But what parts of a case are relevant? When you read your first few cases, you may think that everything that the judge said was relevant to his ultimate conclusion. Even if this were true, what is relevant for the judge to make his decision is not always relevant for you to include in your brief.
Remember, the reason to make a brief is not to persuade the world that the ultimate decision in the case is a sound one, but rather to aid in refreshing your memory concerning the most important parts of the case.
What facts are relevant to include in a brief? You should include the facts that are necessary to remind you of the story. If you forget the story, you will not remember how the law in the case was applied. You should also include the facts that are dispositive to the decision in the case.
For instance, if the fact that a car is white is a determining factor in the case, the brief should note that the case involves a white car and not simply a car.
To the extent that the procedural history either helps you to remember the case or plays an important role in the ultimate outcome, you should include these facts as well. What issues and conclusions are relevant to include in a brief? There is usually one main issue on which the court rests its decision.THE ART OF STRUCTURING A WELL-WRITTEN APPELLATE ARGUMENT At a minimum, every appellate argument must accomplish four tasks.
In plain English, those. For example, there are very specific format requirements for a brief that supports a motion for summary judgment in a trial court that vary considerably from the requirements for an appellate brief before the state supreme court. In theory, every law school graduate should know something about how to write an effective appellate brief.
After all, first-year legal writing classes in law school often concentrate on that skill. Guide to Appellate Briefs. The brief is a party’s opportunity to argue why the trial court’s decision is legally incorrect or correct. The appellant’s (appealing party’s) brief contains a statement of the issues on appeal, the procedural history of the case, a statement of the underlying facts, the appellant's legal argument, and a conclusion stating the relief .
The Appellate Brief Template is a Microsoft Word document that has been formatted as an appellate brief. Add the template to your cart and complete your order securely through PayPal. Once your purchase is complete, return to the site and download your template.
Learn how to write a case brief for law school with a simple explanation from LexisNexis. This is a great resource to help rising first year law . Effective Appellate Brief Writing my essential advice to the appellate brief writer is to put yourself in the judge’s shoes all the way, as it were. That will help you grasp the relevant differences between judge and advocate and so will enable you to write a brief that will communicate your position effectively. How to write an appellate brief, forms one of the most seasoned queries of legal documentation. In fact, it is the most crucial content of any legal proceeding and .
In theory, every law school graduate should know something about how to write an effective appellate brief. After all, first-year legal writing classes in law school often concentrate on that skill.