In his latest posting on the Appellate Advocacy Blog, CCL President Robert S. Peck suggests "Two Overlooked Tips for Writing Briefs and Arguing Cases"

      The first focuses on maintaining credibility. Too often, an advocate pushes the boundaries of a argument, overstating a proposition or the holding of a case, and reaches a breaking point that ultimately hurts the advocate's credibility on another issue or argument that a more supportable basis than the court might realize. Having undermined credibility on the earlier point, the advocate loses an opportunity to bring the court along on a more novel but viable assertion.

      A second tip reminds appellate counsel that judges are generalists and may not have background on the issue brought before them. Assuming that some seemingly basic aspects of the law on a particular issue are well known may do a disservice to the case. The advocate who practices in that area may find the point somewhat second-nature, but to someone outside that field a short description of the applicable legal principle can illuminate the more complex point.