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Briefs for the Brief Writer

May 3, 2016

BRIEFS FOR THE BRIEF WRITER: Posner on prose: Oft-cited federal judge dispenses writing advice

Formidable 7th Circuit Judge Richard Posner recently published in the winter edition of the legal journal "Green Bag" the delightfully readable first installment of a two-part article: What is Obviously Wrong With the Federal Judiciary, Yet Eminently Curable.

Apr 12, 2016

BRIEFS FOR THE BRIEF WRITER: In appellate briefs, don’t forget the brief part

Appellate briefs. The bane of some lawyers, the boon of others, including me.

Jun 22, 2015

BRIEFS FOR THE BRIEF WRITER: When to leave out personal information

Confidential information. We know it when we see it, but we don’t always know what to do with it, especially when it’s an integral part of our client’s case.

Nov 13, 2014

BRIEFS FOR THE BRIEF WRITER: Amicus briefs should be clear, on target

An amicus curiae, or “friend of the court,” lives in a kind of appellate limbo.

Nov 4, 2014

BRIEFS FOR THE BRIEF WRITER: Ring in the New Year with new brief rule

In my most recent column’s discussion of ghostwriting, my personal recommendation was in favor of counsel’s disclosure of an attorney’s brief-drafting for unrepresented parties. That recommendation remains unchanged.

Oct 16, 2014

BRIEFS FOR THE BRIEF WRITER: Ghostwriting a scary, gray area

When an opposing party is pro se, I gird myself for his briefs. They’re typically long, disorganized, wandering and overwrought.

Sep 26, 2014

BRIEFS FOR THE BRIEF WRITER: Get over your issues

Drafting a Statement of the Issues is not my favorite part of preparing a Wisconsin Court of Appeals brief or any brief, for that matter.

Jul 21, 2014

BRIEFS FOR THE BRIEF WRITER: Don’t sabotage your appeal

Even when a brief technically conforms to the Court of Appeals’ briefing rules, unwary counsel still can be sandbagged by the decisional briefing rules.

Jul 2, 2014

BRIEFS FOR THE BRIEF WRITER: Sometimes it’s the little things that get you

I admit it. When I’m drafting a Wisconsin Court of Appeals brief, all I think about is substance.

May 13, 2014

BRIEFS FOR THE BRIEF WRITER: Know when to wield a supervisory writ

Every legal specialty has its outliers -- those remedies or procedures that, because they are rarely available or appropriate, tend to shrink from the mind.

Aug 29, 2013

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.

Jul 2, 2012

BRIEFS FOR THE BRIEF WRITER: Legislative history – how to find it when you need it

Your client is being sued under a new or obscure Wisconsin statute, which has not been discussed in any reported or unreported cases. The statute contains no statement of its purpose, and its language could be read both to include and exclude your client.

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