6 Rules for Writing a Strong Appellate Brief

In the appellate procedure, an appellate brief is essential. It gives a detailed account of everything that happened throughout the trial. Additionally, it aids in presenting the client’s case before the appeal court. Writing a successful appeal brief might take weeks or even months, but one that is well-researched and persuasive can help you win the case.

This manual provides advice on how you and your appellate lawyer may create a strong brief.


6 Rules for Writing a Strong Appellate Brief

1. Recognize Your Reader

Most appellate cases are heard by a panel of three judges, and appellate judges have a different perspective than lawyers or trial judges.

Putting yourself in the appellate judge’s position and concentrating on the details they want might be helpful. Additionally, keep in mind that other people than the judge will read your brief. Most likely, their team of research lawyers will review the brief and update the judge. Therefore, this team should also be interested in your brief.

2. Keep It Simple

Briefs are so-called for a reason, and they need to be as succinct as possible. Be straightforward and convincing as you argue why the court should grant your request. Make it simple for the court to reach a positive decision by focusing your points.

3. Take Notes by Telling a Story

Make the brief interesting and give your case life by using narrative storytelling tactics. It should elicit an emotional response from the reader rather than merely repeat dry statistics. Add images and other visual components to your tale to make it more compelling and realistic.

4. Dealing with bad news proactively

It is preferable to address any facts that are detrimental to your argument before the opposition raises them in court. Though you ignore these facts, it could seem as if you’re attempting to conceal something. Present the arguments in the brief and explain why the court should find in your favour despite these unfavourable circumstances.

5. Justify Your Winning Case

An appellate judge is particularly interested in learning why you believe you should succeed on appeal. This question must be answered in the brief in a straightforward manner with sufficient evidence to persuade the court to find in your favour. The particular remedy you want to obtain with the appeal should be stated in the concluding paragraph of the brief.

6. Offer legal assistance

You may provide examples of relevant instances to your own. However, be careful not to make it too long. Limit the number of citations and footnotes you include, and exclude any in-depth sources that are unrelated to your case.

Writing a Winning Appellate Brief Is Not Luck

Writing briefs that may change the course of a case in your favour requires commitment, expertise, and hard work.