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Excellent advice. The same principle applies to written submissions.


I work as a staff attorney in one of the circuit courts, helping the judges research and draft orders, and just the other day one of them complained about exactly what this posting is about: lawyers launching right into their arguments without giving any background info. From a judge's perspective, this is not only annoying, but it also makes at least some of the judges uncomforable, because it puts them in the position of having to say "Whoa, counsel, tell me what this is about," which makes it look like the judge is clueless about the case or hasn't read the briefs. Judges have to shift mental gears so many times per day that they cannot possibly instantly recall everything that comes up before them -- and attorneys are well advised to keep that in mind!


Good advice! I'm arguing a case in which I'm representing myself and sat in the other day to watch the motions being argued. All the lawyers did what you described -- jumped right into their case without any background information. Your post was helpful to me.

Christine Anderson


I think that is what I did in about 3 sentences this morning, and the Judge granted my motion over the other side's contest of it.

Essentially you are explaining to the judge the who, what, why behind the motion before you go into to much explanation about the facts and law.

Thanks for the information.


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