Today, most of our client advocacy as attorneys is accomplished through writing. Persuasive writing is therefore essential. Persuasive writing is the art of informing and persuading the court why your client should win.
Develop a case theory early. Your theory should present a simple and compelling answer to the question: “why should your client win?” In more complicated cases, you may have themes that support your overall case theory. Your goal is to include your theory throughout your court filings to educate and persuade the judge to find for your client.
Many filings fail to take full advantage of opportunities to argue the case theory and educate the judge. For example, many case management statements simply state the causes of action and facts without a case theory or argument. The same is true for a lot of discovery motions, which fail to educate the judge about the case itself and explain how the discovery supports the client’s case theory or undermines the opponent’s case theory.
Finally, many briefs include generic or neutral headings such as “statement of facts” and “legal argument.” Instead, write headings that are argumentative. The judge should be able to read your table of contents and be compelled to rule in favor of your client simply by reading the headings in your brief.