Sections of the Brief

Cover Page                                                                                         Writing a better facts section
Table of Contents                                                                             Persuasive argument summary
Writing compelling Issues Presented                                          Compelling argument headers
Statement of the Case                                                                     Drafting a persuasive argument
Sample Introductions                                                                     Sample conclusions
Primacy and recency (facts)                                                          Certificate of compliance

General Brief-Writing Tips

CAFL Brief-Writing Checklist                                                                   
General brief writing tips
Choosing a font 
Citing to an online resource 
Bluebook Guide
SJC Style Manual

Articles on Good Brief-Writing

“The Ten Commandments of Writing an Effective Appellate Brief” talks about brief-writing generally (structure, outlining, editing, and some writing tips).

“Clean Up the Clutter: 5 Tips for Legal Writing” is about eliminating unnecessary words in your legal writing to keep the reader’s attention.

General Writing Tips

Commas Done Right


Appeals of Zoom Trials – Patty Practice Tip – 10.28.22

Moffett Practice Tip (9-30-20)

Meeting with Child Client (8-28-2019)

Scrubbing Metadata  (3-30-2019)

Findings Based on Documentary Evidence – De Novo Review (10-3-2018)

IAC and Performance Standards (12-6-2018)



Oral Arguments (click here)

(including links to watch oral arguments, videos and tips to prepare for in person and virtual hearings)

TRAINING MATERIALS (Videos and Powerpoints for Certification Trainings, Fireside Chats, and Other Trainings)

Appellate Panel Certification Training Videos

Rules of Appellate Procedure                                                          Federal Law and ICPC

Standard/Burden of Proof & Disposition                                      Representing Children on Appeal

Meeting with and Advising the Appellate Client                          Negotiation and Settlement

Evidence for the Appellate Attorney

Client Contact and Relationship Tips

Fireside Chats, PowerPoints and Videos of Lectures

“Sandtraps and Other Hazards at Oral Argument” (2022)

PowerPoint              Video

Adoption of Patty and Other Leading Due Process Cases” (2022)

PowerPoint               Video

“Judged by its Cover: 

Creating a Great First Impression with a Perfect Cover & Table for your Briefs” (2022)

PowerPoint             Video

“Advanced Issues in Child Representation” (2023)

PowerPoint            Video

Other Trainings

“Single Justice Practice for the CAFL Appellate Attorney” (2023)

PowerPoint             Video               Handouts

Other training materials