BriefCatch Blog

Writing Tips & Legal Writing Articles


Starting Sentences With “And” or “But”: A Tale As Old As Time

By Ross Guberman / April 10, 2023 /

I’ve written elsewhere about the myth that you can’t start sentences with “And,” “But,” or “Yet.” And (see what I did?) there’s nothing new here. Look below! Arts and Letters William Shakespeare (Hamlet) But break, my heart, for I must hold my tongue. Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice) And to all this she must yet…

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Making Peace With “Which” vs. “That”: A Cheat Sheet

By Ross Guberman / March 12, 2023 /

Which “which” vs. “that” rules make you wish that grammar evaporated? Do “which” hunts sometimes feel like witch hunts? Help is on the way! This post will share my best “which vs. that” trick, along with examples from opinions, a brief, and a contract. Let’s start with this example. Why did the Federal Trade Commission…

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BriefCatch and LawCatch for Investors

By Ross Guberman / February 8, 2023 /

Thank you for your interest in BriefCatch. You’ll find many resources below. We’d also love to hear from you at or General Deck Videos Overview: A Tale of Two Lawyers “If BriefCatch Could Clean Up a Supreme Court Opinion . . .” Match Wits With BriefCatch Customers Speak Our Patent Articles, Case Studies, and…

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The BigLaw Letter: 50 Shades of Wording

By Ross Guberman / November 9, 2022 /


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BriefCatch 3: The Verdict Is In!

By Ross Guberman / November 9, 2022 /

The word from the legal-tech world on BriefCatch 3: “Indispensable.” “Stellar.” “A class of its own.” Want to hear from the jurors themselves? Jean O’Grady: “[L]ike having a silent coach.” Joe Patrice: “[N]ot everyone can be Elena Kagan. But you can get close!” Bob Ambrogi: “More than 11,000 legal-specific editing suggestions . . . thousands of…

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“If an editing program can clean up a Supreme Court Opinion, imagine what it can do to your brief.”

By Ross Guberman / October 13, 2022 /

If your editing chops can improve published work product, hats off. You’ve fine-tuned a document that’s likely faced many rounds of editing, often by many hands. That’s all the more true for a high-profile Supreme Court opinion. With that high bar in mind, legal-tech guru Bob Ambrogi recently ran Justice Thomas’s opinion in Bruen through…

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The $500 Million Appellate Brief: Five Takeaways

By Ross Guberman / September 17, 2022 /

Appellate hotshots from Hogan Lovells and Mayer Brown won a Second Circuit reversal of an order allowing Revlon to keep $500 million that Citi had accidentally wired to its account. Talk about a return on investment! According to my math, their brief was worth about $10 million a page. Here are five takeaways (besides double-checking…

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A Day in the Life of the American Contract

By Ross Guberman / November 23, 2021 /

Originally published in May 2016 Do practicing lawyers get to vote on legal-writing controversies? Not if you ask some self-styled pundits. Like other forms of writing, legal writing has its descriptivists (“Here’s how lawyers do write”) and its prescriptivists (“Here’s how lawyers should write”). The prescriptivists, who dominate the field, have the virtues of idealism and of trying to foment large-scale change in…

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Writing About Testimony: Is There a World Beyond “The Witness Further Stated”?

By Ross Guberman / July 20, 2021 /

Many lawyers find themselves retelling—or regurgitating—testimony from fact witnesses, expert witnesses, or both. The default mode is often as painful to write as it is to read. A witness “stated that.” And then, in the next sentence, the witness “further stated that.” If the writer is feeling feisty, a few sentences later, the witness no…

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Lighten Up: John Roberts the Brief-Writer

By Ross Guberman / June 16, 2021 /

An easy way to make your brief-writing more appealing? Shun deadweight openers—however, additionally, consequently, accordingly. That technique has worked wonders for the Chief Justice, who Justice Ginsburg once said was the greatest appellate advocate of his generation. Back in his brief-writing days, he showed how a lighter touch—thus, so, but, also—propels the reader forward and…

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