The Supreme Court
Fall, 2006
Professor Harpaz

Instructions for Brief Writing Assignment


I. First Draft

Requirements: The first draft of the brief should include: 1) The Questions Presented for Review (Supreme Court Rule 24.1 (a)); 2) A Statement of the Case (Rule 24.1 (g)); 3) A Summary of the Argument (Rule 24.1 (h); and 4) The Argument (Rule 24.1 (i)).

Deadlines: (1) First Drafts of Briefs are due by noon on Tuesday October 10.  Briefs should be prepared using either Word or WordPerfect word processing software and sent to me as an attachment to an e-mail (lharpaz@law.wnec.edu). Briefs will be on time if they are sent to me by e-mail by noon on the due date even if they are not delivered till after that time.

II. Final Draft

Brief Requirements: The final draft of the brief should include: 1) A Cover; 2) The Questions Presented for Review (Rule 24.1 (a)); 3) A Table of Contents (Rule 24.1 (c); 4) A Table of Authorities (Rule 24.1 (c); 5) A Statement of the Case (Rule 24.1 (g)); 6) A Summary of the Argument (Rule 24.1 (h); 7) The Argument (Rule 24.1 (i)); and 8) A Conclusion (Rule 24.1 (j)).

Deadlines: Final Drafts of Briefs are due by noon on Thursday November 2.  Briefs should be prepared using either Word or WordPerfect word processing software and sent to me as an attachment to an e-mail (lharpaz@law.wnec.edu). Briefs will be on time if they are sent to me by e-mail by noon on November 2 even if they are not delivered till after that time.


III. Format of Briefs Including First Draft and Final Draft

1. Students should use either Microsoft Word or WordPerfect word processing software to produce their briefs.

2. Briefs should be written in 12-point type.

3. Briefs should be double spaced.

4. Assignments should be aligned with the margin on the left side of the page, but should not be aligned with the margin on the right side of the page (right justified). Use of right justification make it impossible to accurately judge the format of your citations.

5. At a minimum, all margins (right, left, top and bottom) should be one inch.

6. Briefs should have a page number at the bottom of each page.

7. You should spell check your brief before submitting it.

8. All citations should follow the citation rules in the 18th Edition of The Bluebook.

9. Briefs should be submitted electronically. They should be sent to me by attaching them to an e-mail.

10. Make sure that you keep a copy of your brief on your computer.

IV. Distribution of Briefs to Class Members

The briefs will be distributed to members of the class as an attachment to an e-mail by Friday November 3. 

 

V. Sample Briefs

Two sample student briefs written for this course are one of the resources made available as part of the Readings on Brief Writing. Actual briefs filed by litigants in cases decided by the United States Supreme Court are available in many locations on the web. Remember that you are not permitted to look at any briefs filed in your case or any substantially similar case currently being litigated. You may, however, consult the briefs in earlier Supreme Court cases that you intend to rely on as precedent. Supreme Court briefs are available through both Lexis and Westlaw as well as from a number of other online sources. For example, FindLaw has a collection of Supreme Court briefs which are available online.