Do you still begin your issue statements with the conjunction whether?
Why? Well, let me tell you a story.
It’s past 3pm. You’ve just got home from a long, hard day in court. The judge was a Hippy Hallet if ever there was one—she asked more questions than both counsel combined. The opposing counsel was fiendish, knavish, skittish, and wolfish.
The witnesses were brazenly mendacious and cheaply theatrical. The courtroom was dusty, hot, and musty. Your temperamental car broke down twice on the way from court—thank God that didn’t happen on the way to court. You’re exhausted, famished, and sweaty.
All you need is a cool shower and a late, much-deserved lunch before returning to chambers. You park your car and lumber out. Alabi Bello, your next-door neighbor and friend, a nonlawyer with an ear to the ground, saunters over to say good-day. Observing your melancholy, he asks with his characteristic empathy, “What’s that case all about?”
You can’t tell Alabi that the case is about “whether the petitioner has proved his case.” Nor can you tell Alabi that the case is about “whether the claimant is entitled to damages in the circumstances of this case.” You’re more likely to say, “Well, you see, Alabi, the law requires a landlord to issue a quit notice before evicting a tenant. In this case, the landlord never issued any quit notice. Instead, he forcibly threw out the tenant. So the question now is: ‘Was the landlord right to eject the tenant?’
Alabi might then say, “Oh, I see. That’s easy, isn’t it? The landlord can’t be right, can he?”
That’s how to frame an issue. I call it the lay-friend test of issue-framing. The deep-issue format taught in Brief-Writing Master Plan passes this test.
As much a sword as a shield, Brief-Writing Master Plan offers an unparalleled and unprecedented curriculum of written advocacy. It’s a sparkling, alchemical blend of doctrine, ethics, and skills. It recruits linguistics, logic, psychology, rhetoric, and semantics into the arsenal of learned advocacy. It contains the rhetorical wisdom of ages, pages, and sages.
An advocate files a brief to persuade the judge to decide the lawsuit in favor of the advocate’s client. The keyword is persuade. Too often, advocates forget this and write to please themselves. They address themselves instead of the court. They write in chest-thumping prose and style. Advocates will do well to keep in mind that in advocacy, all that counts is persuading the judiciary. Hence, Brief-Writing Master Plan responds to the judicial wish list for advocates’ writing style and substance.
This book is a transformative resource with the potential to accelerate court proceedings by easing judicial burdens and caseloads. A sober reflection on the advocate’s duty to the court, Brief-Writing Master Plan encourages professional candor, decency, and honesty. Writing as taught in this book will surely propel you to the top 1% of the global legal profession and secure your legacy.
To get a copy, please pay
N55,000 for the softcover or N65,000 for the hardcover to Chinua Asuzu, 0002655807, GTBank. Then text your delivery address to 0803 341 2508. The prices include delivery anywhere in Nigeria.
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