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1/ Thread. Here are some of my appellate litigation rules. I try not to repeat stuff I’ve heard 1,000 times in CLE’s (like don’t mislead the court), but a few have slipped in. Some are in tension with others. That’s life.
-The side with the better story almost always wins.
2/ -The factual statement is the most important part of a brief.
-In a statutory interpretation case, the side with the shortest plausible brief insult likely win.
-Visit your client, even if they’re in prison, especially if they’re in prison.
-Listen to your client.
3/ -Don’t file a writ where a motion will do.
-Writs are squirrelly things.
-Don’t file a motion where a notice will do.
-Always treat crime victims with respect. It’s the right thing to do, and rubbing salt in a victim’s wounds never helps your client.
Read 18 tweets
Thread on #legalwriting and the hidden threat to the rule of law in the #MuellerReport: 1/
One lesson I hope we learn from the #MuellerReport is that writing a lot of words on a lot of pages isn't the same as communicating. 2/
Mueller's central conclusions, especially on obstruction, were vague and confusing even to expert legal readers. /3
Read 8 tweets
Okay, baby’s napping (on me, of course). Let’s do this. #MuellerReport. (Thread.)
Okay so perhaps the redactors could have used a style guide for consistency:
The first em dash appears in the second paragraph, so you know the document was written by lawyers. Also A+ for following the Bluebook rules on indicating alterations/omissions from quotations.
Read 27 tweets
Using sabbatical time to catch up on reading. Finally drilling deeper into @aznchew's excellent article, Citation Literacy. (Next stop: her 2019 contribution, Stylish Legal Citation!). #legalwriting, #Bluebook, 1/
Citation Literacy eloquently argues that we should teach law students to read the substantive information conveyed by citations prior to hazing them with an expectation that they master detailed and picky Bluebook rules. 2/
The article critiques judicial and scholarly commentary about the BB, finding four purposes for legal citations: communicating substantive information, permitting readers to locate sources, ensuring proper attribution of ideas, and establishing the writer’s credibility. 3/
Read 12 tweets

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