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Briefs for the Brief Writer

BRIEFS FOR THE BRIEF WRITER: When in doubt, appeal


It sounds so simple: If a judgment or order “disposes of the entire matter in litigation as to one or more of the parties” and is properly entered or recorded (Sec. 808.03(1), Stats.), it is “final,” and the appeal time starts ticking.

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BRIEFS FOR THE BRIEF WRITER: Know your local rules, or else

I once was charged with opposing a summary judgment motion in a multi-claim, multi-issue case. The movant’s brief, close to 35 pages, was accompanied by a motion to allow the filing of an overly long brief (to which we did not object). I prepared and filed my brief, which fell within the county’s local rules (but not by much).

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BRIEFS FOR THE BRIEF WRITER: Effective motions in limine

I was having a nice conversation with another attorney the other day when we began talking about environmental law.Your years-old case is finally coming to trial. You've got documents to review, witnesses to prep, exhibits to mark, and opening arguments to prepare. The hours grow longer, as the days before trial grow shorter.

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Good briefs critical to successful appeal

Most disputes resolve without litigation. Of the few that make it to court, most settle before trial. Of those few that reach judgment, only a small number are appealed. For many attorneys, then, preparing an appellate brief is a rare, if not alien, event.

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Watch your step with unpublished opinions

You've got a thorny legal issue for which there is no published Wisconsin appellate decision. Or, you've got a relatively simple legal issue, but a unique set of facts which no published Wisconsin appellate decision has addressed.

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Commentary: Raging rhetoric can overshadow issues

We’ve all experienced it: You receive a motion, you begin to read its supporting brief, and the words slap your eyes: “spurious,” “not worthy of belief,” “incredible,” “utterly without foundation,” “wholesale abdication.” And that’s just the first page. Many lawyers believe that a brief must contain extremely aggressive language to be convincing to the court. It is true that a ...

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Bio

Diane Slomowitz is a shareholder with the law firm of Fox, O’Neill & Shannon, SC in Milwaukee. She concentrates her practice on legal research, legal writing and appellate brief writing for the firm’s business and individual clients. Diane can be reached at 414-273-3939 or [email protected]

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Telling the brief tale

Most lawyers have neither the time nor the resources to produce extensively researched and intricately crafted legal briefs. The process is often viewed as a time-eating money loser, and so assigned to young, inexperienced associates. Briefs, however, and the research that goes into them, are critical to successful litigation. I know. For over 28 years, my work days, nights and ...

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