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Advanced Appellate Advocacy: Creating, Drafting, and Researching a Legal Argument: Planning Your Writing

This guide has been designed to assist students in the Advanced Appellate Advocacy Seminar as they research and write their appellate briefs.

When is your research complete?

•  Have you identified the issues?
•  Have you identified the controlling cases?
•  Have all cases and statutes been Shepardized or KeyCited?
•  What is the fact situation of each of the controlling cases?
•  How is each main case distinguished from, or similar to, other cases?
•  What is the holding and what is the dictum of each case?
•  Have you identified conflicts between circuits or between states?
•  Have you researched code and statute annotations?
•  Have you researched applicable legislative history?
•  Are you familiar with the court rules of the appellate court?

Guides to Legal Research

Planning Your Writing

•  Isolate the critical areas of the case
•  Determine the importance of legal and factual issues
•  Assess the record and legal authorities for support
•  Construct a persuasive argument/outline your brief

Legal Writing Manuals

Practice Tips and Sample Briefs


•  Practical Law > Litigation > Appeals
•  All Content > Briefs
•  User Guides > "Using Westlaw Next to Write a Brief”

Lexis Advance

•  Browse Sources > Federal Briefs
•  Browse Sources > Search for a Source

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