Tag Archives: appeal

Oral Argument Tips from the Delaware Supreme Court

Delaware Supreme Court

Delaware Supreme Court

Members of a state Supreme Court recently shared on how lawyers should frame their oral argument and handle questions. The Justices on Delaware’s highest court first ask lawyers to begin by stating precisely the issues, the trial court’s claimed error, and what the Supreme Court should do about it. Continue reading

Don’t Create Zombie Nouns in an Appeal

zombieLawyers are bad about creating zombie nouns by burying verbs. In drafting a brief for an appeal, we never mediate or litigate; we always engage in mediation or litigation. We never examine a witness or object to her testimony; we conduct an examination and make an objection. And we don’t settle cases; we effectuate settlements.

We will throw a suffix on most anything, transforming a perfectly fine verb into a weak noun. Continue reading

Briefs on Appeal: Where’s the Theme?

I recently read almost 10 pages of an appellate brief before learning what the appeal was about. Even then, I did not know why the author thought his client should win.

It took me a little longer to realize that the problem was the brief’s lack of a theme. There was no underlying focus or theory of the case that came through, at least not clearly. Continue reading