The Persuasive Alternative to the Lengthy Block Quote (or How to Write Something the Judges Will Actually Read).
Posted on April 26, 2012
My post from earlier this week identified the problem caused by lawyers using lengthy block quotations from case law as a part of the argument in their brief. As noted, judges often skip over rather than read long block quotes and lawyers who use this approach to brief writing are seen as lazy or inexperienced. So how can this problem be avoided? Perhaps the easiest way is to avoid altogether quoting long passages of a court opinion and to spend the extra time and effort to compose a thorough and persuasive narrative discussion that paraphrases the facts, legal discussion and holding of the court, bolstered by pinpoint citations to the opinion. Another alternative is to sparingly use partial quotations from the opinion within sentences…