Tuesday, May 2, 2017

It's May, it's May...

It's a new month, so that means new monthly columns.

  • Moskovitz on Appeals in the DJ continues with Part II about the Statement of Facts. Myron asserts that "the statement of facts is the most important part of the brief." He explains how good story telling is itself a form of argument. It's the story that gets "the judge in the mood to want to rule" a certain way; the argument part of a brief merely helps the judge in writing an opinion that follows the law to get to that result. He suggests writing the statement of facts after you have outlined your argument, but before you write the full argument portion of your brief. You need to know what issues you intend to argue to tailor the story to that end, and you want to "weave key facts" into the argument. The facts you present (all from the record, of course) must include those necessary to understand the case, to support your arguments, to make your client look good (and/or the other side look bad), and facts that significantly hurt your position. Include record citations after every sentence that contains facts (and he cites to line numbers as well as page numbers).
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  • Also in the DJ, PJ Gilbert's Under Submission column is titled Pardon the Interruption, discussing a forthcoming study that concludes "that so-called 'conservative justices interrupt liberal justices at significantly higher rates than liberal justices interrupt conservatives'" and also a study that "[M]ale justices interrupt female justices approximately three times as often as they interrupt each other during oral arguments."