How to keep your brief under the word limit

Judges are always kvetching that appellate briefs are too long and BO-ring or, as Judge Saxe says, “turgid and prolix.”  The federal judish has decided to strike back by slashing word limits from 14,000 to 13,000.

The decree sparked howls of protest from the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. Long don’t mean dull, as any reader of airport fiction knows. And short don’t mean good, like, when your appeal is summarily denied.  If courts want snappier prose, says the AAAL, they should post “short videos” on their websites explaining “how to write a decent brief.”

Humbug. In briefwriting as in life, decency has nothing to do with winning.

Here’s how to save thousands of words – draw comics instead:


Involuntary guilty plea



Prosecutor’s improper summation argument (and ineffective assistance of counsel)


Fourth Amendment violation


Verdict against the weight of the evidence

About Appellate Squawk

A satirical blog for criminal defense lawyers and their friends who won't give up without a squawk.
This entry was posted in Humor, Judges, Law & Parody, Satirical cartoons and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to How to keep your brief under the word limit

  1. Richard Greenberg says:

    Brilliant!! As always!

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Victoria Nelson says:

    I was going to say brilliant but someone beat me to it! When is The Best of Appellate Squawk collection going to appear???


  3. Alex Bunin says:

    Prosecutors will just recycle old Dick Tracy strips in response.


  4. They should be so literary. . .


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