The Statement of Facts is Critical to Your Brief: The Example of Orkin Exterminating Co. v. Jeter.
Posted on January 9, 2012
While a law clerk and then a staff attorney at the Alabama Supreme Court for a total of five years, I’m sure I read more than a thousand appellate briefs, and followed several hundred appeals from submission to decision by the Court. That experience taught me that a great set of facts trumps everything else — even case law that might be considered controlling precedent. Precedent can be distinguished if a court desires, and nothing will make a body of appellate judges want to distinguish controlling case law like a set of facts demonstrating a tragic wrong that cries out to be corrected. Thus, in many cases the Statement of Facts is the most important section of an appellate brief. And given its importance,…