Sturm College of Law
Legal writing, Briefs
Judges read briefs looking for guidance from the parties about the correct law and the proper resolution of a case. Although it would be nice to assume that all of the briefs provide this guidance, many do not. Some briefs are unclear and contain obvious format and substantive errors. Consequently, in sifting through the submissions for a case, the judges and their clerks often learn more heavily on one party's brief over another as a starting point for their analysis.
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K.K. DuVivier, The Reference Brief, 33 Colo. Law. 71 (July 2004).