Legal Research and Writing is a Negotiating Tool

                Everyone knows that leverage is a powerful negotiating tool.  Leverage does not mean you threaten to expose your opponent’s deep dark secret unless he concedes.  The most powerful leverage is knowledge, pure and simple.  You have to know your opponent’s position better than he does.  Recognize ahead of time what points your opponent will make and find a way to discredit them.  Sometimes young lawyers are ... [Continue Reading]

Brief Writing Tip #3 Who cares about boilerplate?

For one, you should. Here are two fantastic reasons why: The only thing that stays the same is everything changes. How old is your boiler plate? If you are still using boiler plate from the 90’s it’s too old. But, some faux pas are harder to detect.  If it is five years old it may or may not be good. You do not need to update boilerplate as you do the substantive law because it is not likely the standard of review will change.  With that said, court rules are occasionally re-numbered ... [Continue Reading]

How Hiring A Legal Research And Writing Attorney Will Change Your Practice

                  10.     Associates are costly.  According to a recent article in CNNMoneyentitled, You make $70K but cost your boss $88K, by Jose Pagliery, (http://money.cnn.com/2013/02/28/smallbusiness/salary-benefits/index.html), if you hire an employee with a base salary of $70,000/year you are incurring the following extra costs: Social Security tax: $4,340 Medicare tax: $1,015 State unemployment ... [Continue Reading]

Brief Writing Tip #2 – Know Your Judge

In law school I consistently scored higher grades than people I considered to be more intelligent.  This is because my arguments were clear, my issues were labeled and I knew my audience.  I knew exactly what would persuade the professor.  Since we cannot all sit in a judge’s courtroom day after day determining what he considers persuasive, we have to rely on his past decisions. Know your judge. If it is an appellate case, chart the panel’s past decisions.  Who leaned which way? Is the ... [Continue Reading]

Brief Writing Tip #1 – Bad Questions Lead to Wrong Answers

The relief you receive directly correlates to the way you frame your question presented.  You do not have to ask one long, incomprehensible question.  It is okay to break it up into a few sentences in order to tell a story that is easy to follow. A good brief should be a great syllogism.  The law is X.  X was not done.  Therefore, my client is entitled to relief.  Sometimes these syllogisms are complex, containing several major and minor premises.  The simple fix is using headings and ... [Continue Reading]