Summer Briefwriting Institute – Week Two

It’s Week Two of the Summer Briefwriting Institute (Week One is here).

Last week, we focused on the big picture, which is step one of the editing process (blog posts on each step follow).

Brief editing step one: make sure that the big picture is clear.

Brief editing step two: ensure that each section advances the argument.

Brief editing step three: attend to the structure of each section.

Brief editing step four: line editing.

Our working brief, with Step One edits in bold, is here. Print it, reread Step Two, and make your edits. Next week you can compare them to those made by Team Hollingsworth.

Here are some notes on the edits that we’ve made so far:

- The brief did not tell the judge, clearly and in the same spot, what the plaintiff wanted her to do. This information, gleaned from the rest of the brief, was made explicit in both the Introduction and Conclusion. It is especially important to get this information onto the first page of the brief, and this initial rewrite gets most of the way there.

- Plaintiff’s trial themes appeared nowhere in the brief. Every brief is an opportunity to advance your themes, so this omission is a crucial big-picture error. We added a major theme (the plaintiff’s injury) to the Introduction.

- None of the argument sections contained a clear statement of what it was about. We fixed that.

« »

To stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK