What Is the Layout of a Legal Brief?


Quick Answer

The typical layout of a trial brief includes an introduction, a statement of facts, a question presented, point headings and an argument, explains the City University of New York School of Law. Each court system has its own rules for the format of documents submitted to the court, which take precedence over any general template.

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Full Answer

A legal brief is a memorandum of law designed to persuade a court of the correctness of a position a lawyer asserts on behalf of a client in a litigated case, notes CUNY School of Law. The introduction should identify the parties and explain the claim. The statement of facts should detail the facts clearly in a narrative form. The question presented, also called the summary of argument, should detail the controlling legal standard, while the points headings should outline the legal argument. The argument section should address the procedural context and legal arguments based on it, including a discussion of any counterarguments.

No single legal brief template exists that is appropriate for all circumstances. Instead, the writer should make adjustments based on the nature and complexity of the case, the formality of the court, and the expectations of the audience, which can be a single judge or panel of judges, according to CUNY School of Law.

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