Can you write an appellate brief in 140 characters or less (including spaces)?
This odd question--and challenge--has been posed by the Appellate Section of the Texas State Bar, which is kicking off its annual meeting in September with a Twitter brief competition, asking members and attendees to test their ability to make it short and quick.
For those yearning to enter--and those who have no clue where to start--here are a few suggestions to get those creative juices flowing.
One option is to write a tweet inspired by a recent appellate decision:
- Defendant's counsel was ineffective. He took more than a brief nap.
- Instructions to the jury were incorrect; lower court doesn't even know the law.
- Honorable court, it's inhumane to kill my client with a veterinary sedative.
- I submit that I should be paid even though my client is no longer the prevailing party.
Or you could go the standard route:
- Prosecutors inappropriately withheld Brady evidence.
- Defendant was subject to custodial interrogation; wasn't read Miranda rights.
- Appellant had a clearly established constitutional right; appellees not entitled to qualified immunity.
Or how about the flippant route?
- My client is insane; but he respectfully requests that his conviction be vacated anyway.
- Appellant knows he has no chance of winning, but hopes you side with him anyway.
Now that you've been sufficiently inspired, go ahead and try your hand at an appellate tweet. You may just win the Twitter brief competition.
- Appellate Lawyers Challenged to Write Twitter-Length Briefs (ABA Journal)
- Courthouse Dogs Are Cute, But You Can't Cross Examine Them (FindLaw's Strategist)
- Scams Targeting Lawyers: TX Bar Warns of Phone Call Scam (FindLaw's Strategist)