Guest Author: Tips for Writing a Powerful Reply Brief

Guest Author: Tips for Writing a Powerful Reply Brief

“You Lie!”

-Rep. Joe Wilson to President Obama During a 2009 Speech to Congress

-Every Litigator Since the Dawn of Civilization When reading the Opposition’s Brief

We’ve just read the opposition brief in our big case.  Now we are considering drafting our reply brief without including the four-letter words that recently echoed from our office walls.

How do we start?  We need to envision the readers – the judge and the judge’s law clerk…

 

Read this fantastic article by Cleveland’s own David Mills, a top Federal Appellate Lawyer by clicking here.

 

David Mills is a federal appellate lawyer.  He had argued at the U.S. Supreme Court, obtaining a 9-0 decision in Ortiz v. Jordan.  He formerly served as law clerk to the current Chief Judge of the Sixth Circuit, R. Guy Cole, Jr.  More information is available at www.MillsFederalAppeals.com.  Most importantly, his self-drawn legal cartoons (Courtoons) are still up at www.courtoons.net.  He has been a CMBA member since 2002.  He can be reached at (216) 929-4747 or dm@MillsFederalAppeals.com

 

If you would like to read more about David Mills’ Supreme Court decision in Ortiz v. Jordan, see below and click the link at the bottom of the excerpt.

 

“It was about 1 p.m. on a Friday afternoon when Cleveland, Ohio sole practitioner David E. Mills realized he had just a few hours to keep a case alive. A colleague told him about a client looking for a lawyer to appeal her case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Mills, who went out on his own in 2008, took a look at the 6th Circuit opinion and quickly did the math – the time period for an appeal was about to expire. With just a few hours to spare and the help of his paralegal/ mother, Mills obtained a 60-day extension to file an appeal with the Court. That quick action ultimately paid off when Mills won a unanimous victory in Ortiz v. Jordan. His client, Michelle Ortiz, was in prison on an assault charge when she was sexually assaulted by a prison guard. She reported the attack, but the same guard repeated his assault the next night. Ortiz sued under §1983 and won a $625,000 verdict. But the defendants appealed, arguing that the trial court judge should have granted their summary judgment motion. In an unpublished opinion, the 6th Circuit agreed, vacating the verdict. In stepped Mills…”

Read the rest of the article here.