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Monday
Feb112013

Creativity in appellate briefs

Judges will often encourage attorneys to be "brief" in preparing their briefs.  I like this story:  a lawyer who wanted to file an amicus brief, opposing the Justice Department's proposed antitrust settlement with three publishers of e-books, was given a five-page limit.  Most attorneys would be upset by this.  What can anyone say in five pages?  The attorney decided to file the brief as a cartoon or, as he called it, a "graphic novelette."  The attorney's daughter prepared the illustrations.  The brief had a table of authorities, and then the comic strip followed, with the first panel showing the judge ordering a five-page limit.  Sounds like a good way to distill arguments to their essence.   You can find more information about the brief and a PDF of the cartoon here: http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/faced_with_a_five-page_limit_lawyer_files_cartoon_amicus_brief_with_proper_/?utm_source=maestro&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly_email