Here is an interesting article on how persuasive legal writers—U.S. Supreme Court justices—acknowledge and refute counterarguments. In Crafting Responses to Counterarguments: Learning from Swing-Vote Cases, Stacy Rogers Sharp (U. Tex. Law School) analyzes the justices’ opinions in close cases (the ones decided 5-4), identifies the techniques used by the justices to refute counterarguments, and illustrates the techniques with numerous examples. As she explains, the same techniques can be used by brief-writers to refute an opponent’s arguments. If you want to write killer briefs, her article is a must-read.
(Cross-posted on La. Civil Appeals.)