NYC Bar Expired

Brief Writing 101


Crafting a first-class brief can be a rather tricky task, but following a step-by-step approach, as presented by a seasoned litigator with extensive experience in brief writing, will have you on your way to writing that perfect, and winning, brief. This unique program offers proven research and drafting tips, including valuable techniques that will help you prepare and polish your document.  


I. Brief Writing Techniques
    A. What's Going to Be Covered
    B. The First Step to a Successful Brief
    C. The "Shell"
        1. Gather Examples and Know Your Court
        2. Writing the Introduction
        3. Writing the Conclusion
    D. Statement of Facts
        1. Organizing the Facts
        2. An Ounce of Facts is Worth a Pound of Law
    E. Components of the Legal Argument
        1. Facts, Statutes, and Contract Provisions
        2. Case Law
        3. Applying the Law to the Facts
        4. Toolkit for Persuasion
    F. The Reply Brief
    G. Use of Abbreviations
    H. Effective Use of Cases
        1. Supporting Your Argument
        2. Cite the Leading Case
        3. Don't Ignore the Other Side's Cases
        4. Break Out of the Cite and Parenthetical Mold
        5. Block Quotes and Signal Citations
     I. Edit Ruthlessly
        1. Advancing Your Argument
        2. Shorter Can Be Better
     J. Footnotes and Finishing the Brief
     K. Word Limits
     L. Formatting Citations
     M. Wrapping It Up

Content Provided


The years following the Civil War were tumultuous ones for New York City, offering many opportunities to the dishonest. Unsavory politicians and errant members of the bench and bar were among those who took advantage of those troubled times. In December 1869, a letter was circulated among some of the city’s lawyers addressing those improprieties. It called for the creation of a new bar association to “sustain the profession in its proper position in the community, and thereby enable it ... to promote the interests of the public ....” More than 200 lawyers responded by signing a declaration of organization and in 1870 The Association of the Bar of the City of New York was born. The young organization quickly made its presence felt. Among its first activities was a campaign to defeat corrupt politicians and judges at the polls and to establish standards of conduct for those in the legal profession.

The association continues to work at political, legal and social reform, and maintaining high ethical standards for the legal profession. The association also continues to implement innovative means by which the disadvantaged may be helped. Much of this work is accomplished through the Association's more than 160 committees, each charged to consider a specific area of law or the profession.

The association has grown to more than 23,000 members. To serve them, the association strives to move ahead in many areas. The library is the largest member-funded law library in the country, and provides members with a “gateway” to online services, including free use of LexisNexis and WestLaw, while continuing to provide more traditional library services. The Small Law Firm Center, Career Management Program and other benefits are constantly evolving to serve members’ needs. More than 150 continuing legal education programs are presented annually.

The public good remains one of the association’s highest priorities. The Legal Referral Service, jointly sponsored by the association and the New York County Lawyers’ Association, provides an array of services directly aimed at serving the needs of the public. The City Bar Justice Center identifies the most pressing legal concerns of New York’s neediest and uses novel approaches to address them, often involving community participation.


Speaker / Author:

Photo of Frederick A. Brodie

Frederick A. Brodie
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Mr. Brodie is a partner in Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP's Litigation practice in the New York office. He represents both plaintiffs and defendants in lawsuits concerning commercial matters, fiduciary issues, ERISA, employment and employee benefits disputes, contractual disputes, banking, bankruptcy and creditors' rights, and state and federal appeals.

Mr. Brodie has received numerous awards, among them the Burton Award for Excellence in Legal Writing in 2013. He is admitted to practice before the Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits; U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of New York; as well as the District of Connecticut and the District of Arizona.

Mr. Brodie received his J.D. from Yale University in 1987, where he was the Executive Editor of the Yale Journal on Regulation. He received his A.B., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Brown University in 1984.

Price (USD)

Standard Rate: $198.00

Course Code : 773126

Length : 1hr 45min
Recorded Date : 5/8/2013

Format Type : eLearning

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