The Writer’s Theater
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Anatomy of a brief story

Professor Kenneth D. Chestek has written an excellent exposition of storytelling in brief writing, not only telling you how to do it, but showing how it was done in one hypothetical case. You can read the brief, the record used to write the brief (it’s not long), and his article explaining how the brief was structured. Together, they’re a clinic in applying storytelling techniques to brief writing.


Greg May

Thanks for posting this! This looks far more informative and valuable than anythng I've received in any seminar. Looking forward to going through this in detail.



I enjoyed the article. I do, however, take exception to some of the techniques employed. The writing in the "legal argument" segment of the brief adopted what I consider a hysterical or informal tone at times. ( “...prevent OYC from tearing this family apart." pg. 15; "...sexual activity is none of the state's business." pg. 12). I also take exception to the use of citations and quotes. For example, on page 17 the author cites Frontiero for the proposition that sexual orientation is subject to intermediate scrutiny. It is proper to assert that the similarities between gender and sexual identity call for the application of intermediate scrutiny; I would maintain that it is improper to cite to this case at the end of the sentence as advocating or mandating this proposition. I know more than one judge who would hoist me by my own petard for citing and quoting in the manner advocated.

Anyone else cite in this manner? Am I being unduly harsh?

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