Wayne Schiess recently wrote an excellent post about strong openings for motions. His point (a good one) is that an argument is more likely to register in a busy judge’s brain if it’s stated immediately than if it’s buried on page 3.
Let me add this thought: The more quickly you get to the point, the more credible you will appear.
Think about how you react to others’ writing. When another writer delays getting to the point, don’t you start to suspect that the writer doesn’t have a point? Do you want your readers to suspect the same thing about you—even if just for half a minute? Of course not.
The sooner you get to the point, the sooner the reader will realize that you have something worthwhile to say. Me, I like to make that impression immediately—no later than the end of the first paragraph.
So don’t waste your opening with blather such as “Now into court, through undersigned counsel, comes blah blah blah and files this, its blah blah blah. For reasons buried on page 5, the motion of blah blah blah should be ....” Instead, imagine that you have 20 seconds to tell the judge why you should win. Put what you’d say in those 20 seconds in your opening paragraph. For some good examples on how to do that, read Wayne’s post.