Bryan A. Garner’s The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style (West, 2d Ed. revised, 2006), offers 10 tips on using italics in appeal briefs. Continue reading
This post begins a series on logical fallacies that I have run across in handling South Carolina appeals. My thanks to D.Q. McInerny and his book, Being Logical, for naming these fallacies and for its clear examples.
A statute that I dealt with a while back applied when a child is harmed. Counsel for one of the parents cited cases applying the statute to parental beatings, arguing that the statute did not apply because the parent did not beat the child. Problem was that the statute did not limit who it applied to or the type of harm required. Continue reading
On Wednesday, the South Carolina Supreme Court declined to disturb a Court of Appeals decision that upheld a tort victim’s $ 450,000 jury verdict. Curtis v. Blake, 392 S.C. 494, 709 S.E.2d 79 (Ct.App. 2011), cert. dismissed as improvidently granted, Op. No. 2012-MO-043 (S.C. filed October 24, 2012).
On appeal, I defended the verdict by pointing to the Court’s limited, “any evidence” standard of review for a jury’s factual findings. Continue reading
In a recent book, Justice Antonin Scalia and legal writing guru Bryan A. Garner advocate what they described as a “fair reading” approach in which one determines how a reasonable reader, fully competent in the language, would have understood the text at the time it issued. The book, entitled Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts, lists with examples 57 canons of construction and exposes what the authors call 13 fallacies.
The last post gave an overview of an appellate brief’s argument section. This one covers the different types of arguments that the brief writer may make.
Wilson Huhn, a Professor of Law at the University of Akron School of Law, authored “The Five Types of Legal Argument.” In it, Huhn offered practical ways to argue from the different sources of the law, identified the policies achieved by each source, and offered ways to counter each type of argument. Continue reading
To date, these posts have covered an appellate brief’s Table of Contents and Table of Authorities; the Statement of the Issues; and the Statement of the Case, including the Statement of Facts. This post one and the next several discuss the brief’s argument section. Continue reading
The last post discussed limits on using story-telling techniques in an appellate brief’s statement of facts. This one covers Steven Stark’s tips on how to write the powerful story. Steven Stark authored the book Writing to Win. In his book, he offers six rules for the strong narrative: Continue reading