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Writing a winning brief takes a lot of work, and as the renowned scholar, Homer of Simpson, once said, “If something is hard to do, it’s not worth doing.”  Great advice.  There’s much less pressure to win if you know you probably won’t. The key is to keep your expectations low.  You’ll be a lot happier.  Just follow these simple rules when you’re writing a brief and you’ll be back on your couch in no time.  So, pop open a cold one, kick back and enjoy!

  • Rule Number One:  Longer is better (and not just in porn).  If you can make your argument in 10 pages, 50 is better.  If 50 is not enough, ask the court for 100.  Simple and concise = loser.  Also, don’t forget to adjust the font and margins to squeeze in a few extra pages.
  • Rule Number Two:  Grammar.  It’s so last year.  Be sure not to follow any of the rules you learned in fourth grade English.  You’re a big boy now.

 “[W]inning arguments should not just be buried, they should also be written so as to be totally unintelligible.  Use convoluted sentences; leave out the verb, the subject, or both. Avoid periods like the plague.  Be generous with legal jargon and use plenty of Latin.  And don’t forget the acronyms or the bureaucratese.”  –Hon. Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

  • Rule Number Three:  Pick a fight with opposing counsel.  Call him a lying scumbag in your brief.  Judges love a little mano a mano action to distract them from those dreary legal issues.
  • Rule Number Four:  Block quote everything.  It looks so solid and authoritative.  Plus, the judge’s eyes don’t have to work as hard when everything is conveniently located in one dense square.
  • Rule Number Five:  Legalese aka easy legal.  Use it.  A lot.  It’s a pain to try to dumb down everything just so some judge who didn’t pay attention in law school can understand what you’re saying.

Follow these rules and you’ll be on the path to successful losing before you know it.  I look forward to hearing how the rules worked out for you.  And no, I do not want fries with that.