The Importance of the Appellate Brief

Regardless of the panel you get, the questions you get, or the answers you give, I maintain it is the brief that does the final job, if for no other reason than that the opinions are often written several weeks and sometimes months after the argument. The arguments, great as they may have been are forgotten. In the seclusion of his chambers the judge has only his briefs and the law books. At that time your brief is your only spokesman. Justice Thurgood Marshall (quoted in Carole C. Berry, Effective Appellate Advocacy: Brief Writing and Oral Argument 66 (3d ed. 2003)).

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