Appellate Advocacy Blog

Last time I focused on understanding and explaining the law generally using syllogisms. Today, I’m going to focus solely on questions presented. The structure of appellate briefs themselves have been compared to syllogisms,[1] but the most helpful place I have……
Parentheticals are all over legal writing. But rarely do folks talk about why (or whether that’s a good thing). Adding a tidbit of insight or explanation in a parenthetical can do wonders for readers. You can amplify a critical point, provide illuminating examples, and more. But too many thoughtless parentheticals make this tool worthless. And many legal writers fall into the trap of replacing their own explanation and reasoning about the law with a list of parentheticals. Let’s start with when legal writers use parentheticals the wrong way. First, parentheticals are not the right place to include critical points for…
Justice Cardozo once said that as many as 9 out of 10 legal issues can be resolved by deduction alone.[1] The most useful form of legal deduction is the syllogism, which generally has two premises and a conclusion.[2] Crack open……
I apologize for being a bit MIA these past weeks. We went on a family “vacation” (aka–I watched my kids in a different city where there was no daycare), and I came home with a head cold. But, I can……
Persuading other people to adopt your point of view, whether in a courtroom, a faculty meeting, a debate, or any other context, depends on how you deliver your argument. Below are tips to maximize the persuasive value of an argument….…