Quotation of the day

Briefwriting tip of the day

Today’s briefwriting tip comes from Judge Posner, via Avitia v. Metropolitan Club of Chicago, Inc., 49 F.3d 1219, 1224 (7th Cir. 1995):

As a reminder to future appellants, we point out that a statement of facts which, as the Club’s does, treats contested testimony of the losing party’s witnesses as “facts” violates 7th Cir. R. 28(d)(1). We have not yet stricken a brief for a violation of this rule, but let this opinion be a warning that we have the power, and we may one day have the inclination, to do so. We are not sticklers, precisians, nitpickers, or sadists. But in an era of swollen appellate dockets, courts are entitled to insist on meticulous compliance with rules sensibly designed to make appellate briefs as valuable an aid to the decisional process as they can be. A misleading statement of facts increases the opponent’s work, our work, and the risk of error. [Internal citations omitted.]