BriefCatch Blog

Writing Tips & Legal Writing Articles


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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The BriefCatch Contracts Challenge

By Ross Guberman / November 8, 2021 /

How many errors can you find in these sentences from actual contracts? Match wits with BriefCatch! Nothing in this Agreement requires Pubco to register any securities pursuant to the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1933, as amended. Pubic Offering. Subject only to the last sentence of Section 5.1, and not subject to any of…

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The BriefCatch Law School Package: Boost Legal Writing and Legal Tech Skills Today

By Ross Guberman / October 7, 2021 /

What You Get Enjoy a year of school-wide access to BriefCatch, the leading legal-editing plug-in Join the tens of thousands already benefitting from BriefCatch: law firms and boutiques, top appellate advocates, Supreme Court Justices, most of the Circuit Courts, law school professors and students, state and federal agencies, prosecutors, public defenders, and solo practitioners of…

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Scarlet Johansson v. Disney: What’s at Stake?

By Ross Guberman / August 1, 2021 /

Why is Johansson suing Disney? For allegedly interfering in her Black Widow contract with Marvel Studios, a Disney subsidiary. Johansson claims that Disney rushed to release Black Widow on its streaming service to grow the Disney+ subscriber base and to devalue her interest in the film’s profits. What does her Black Widow contract say about…

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BriefCatch Terms of Use

By Ross Guberman / July 21, 2021 /

Last updated April 3, 2021 Terms of Service Please read these Terms of Service (“Terms”) carefully before using the website or the BriefCatch branded plug-in (collectively, “BriefCatch™”) operated by BriefCatch LLC. Your access to and use of BriefCatch™ is conditioned on your acceptance of and compliance with these Terms. These Terms apply to all…

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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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Kagan and Kavanaugh Unite: Stop Cutting “That”!

By Ross Guberman / June 11, 2021 /

Kagan and Kavanaugh disagree on a lot these days, including in their Borden v. United States face-off. These two prominent Justices do share supreme writing skills, though. Like all great stylists, they trim their respective sentences with gusto, but as I’ve explained elsewhere, follow the lead of these Justices by sparing the word that after…

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Hyphen Nation

By Ross Guberman / June 5, 2021 /
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