Appellate Insights

Apr 15, 2022 Alana H. Rotter
Three Ways To Make Your Writing More Reader-Friendly

Your writing should make it easy for the judge or research attorney to follow your argument. There are many components to this. Here are three that arise frequently, but may not be obvious:

  • Ellipses. Although ellipses help shorten long quotations, readers naturally wonder what was omitted, and whether it matters. To avoid this distraction, look for alternative ways to present the quoted material—for example, by paraphrasing the gist and quoting just the key portion.
  • Case citations. Don’t force the reader to guess which part of a case you’re relying on or why it’s relevant—provide accurate pincites and descriptive parentheticals.

►  The practical message: Don’t burden readers with extra work, or leave them guessing—anticipate what information would be useful, and provide it.

Appellate Success In California