Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.
Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.

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What goes into an appellate brief

After a Nevada judge’s ruling, a person who is not satisfied with the decision may be able to make an appeal. According to the United States Courts, the issues usually stem from the belief that the court did not apply the law correctly, made the ruling based on the wrong law or conducted the trial in an unfair way. The petitioner who is filing for an appeal must provide the appellate court with a brief that outlines what his or her case is. In spite of the name, a brief is often a long and complex legal document.

The Cornell University Law School’s Legal Information Institute explains that the petitioner’s brief generally includes several items, preceded by a table of contents and a table of authorities. These should have page numbers to identify where in the brief that cases, statutes and other items are located.

The brief must include several statements. A jurisdictional statement indicates that the appellate court has the authority to hear the claim, and includes dates and other important matters regarding the final judgment. There must also be a statement of the issues the petitioner wants reviewed, and a statement of all the facts relevant to them, as well as the procedural history and rulings that are applicable to the case.

An argument includes the petitioner’s assertions and the reasoning behind them. Not only that, each has to be backed by citations, and every issue should also have a statement listing the standard of review that applies to it. There must be a summary of the argument that is distinct from this section and does not duplicate its headings. At the end of the brief, the relief that the petitioner is seeking should be defined clearly, and if necessary, a certificate of compliance should complete the document.

John P. Aldrich
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