Persuasion: start with a punch
I like a persuasive document (motion or brief) to use a "start with a punch" technique in the facts, the summary of argument, and the first paragraph under any main point-heading.
Specifically, I like to the see the facts, for example, start with something punchy--attention-getting--and favorable to the author's side. I like to see the first paragraph under a main point-heading start with an assertion about the case that is relevant to the legal argument to follow but phrased in favorable terms using factual detail. Here are some before-and-after openers:
The grounds for establishing owner liability in dog-bite cases are well established in Colorado precedent.
- A dry and lifeless sentence introducing an abstract legal principle. Add a new opening sentence:
Robert Wilson knew his dog was vicious, and he should have known it could attack a child like the plaintiff, Samantha Garcia. The bases for establishing owner liability in dog-bite cases are well established in Colorado precedent.
The Missouri Human Rights Act provides broad protection for those who allege or oppose discrimination.
- Lacks a human element. Rephrase to include the people:
The Missouri Human Rights Act protects one who opposes discrimination, such as Lee Convy, who was fired in retaliation after his wife reported sexual harassment.