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Filing an answer to a complaint is easy, right? Just deny everything, cut and paste in every affirmative defense available, do a find and replace for your clients' names, and viola! you're done.

But what happens if one of your boilerplate affirmative defenses just doesn't fit? Should you assert a laches defense if your client is sued within a week of an incident? Will the plaintiff move to strike, seek sanctions, or worse, call you out on social media? Oh the humanity!

Writer's block can hit anyone at anytime, and it can have consequences that range from annoying to downright devastating. For us lawyers, when we're drafting a motion, we're not trying to write the next great American novel, but strict deadlines can lead to high pressure, high stress writing situations which are naturally conducive to writer's block.

Fortunately, legal writing is professional writing. It serves a purpose, and as such, there's no need to stress over the actual craft of writing, meaning that the anxiety can be saved for the merits of the actual argument. Legal writing isn't rocket science, but there are definitely a few formulas that you can use to simplify the process.

Below, you'll find five tips on how to get past writer's block when drafting a motion, or other legal pleading.

Being a litigator or trial attorney sometimes means going out on a limb with an untested or novel legal theory.

Testing the waters of a new theory, or even a new law, can be scary. Judges will often scrutinize your case a little more closely and you won't have the benefit of practice guides or precedent to tell you what to do. What's worse is that there's no clearly established precedent to rely upon either. But on the plus side, judges do like hearing cases of first impression.

Here are three tips on pursuing a novel litigation strategy:

Patent attorneys are often cast out from the traditional legal community of sharks, rainmakers, and ambulance chasers. But, unlike every other type of lawyer, of which there seems to be too many, there is a constant demand for patent attorneys.

The demand is driven by two primary factors: the ever growing economy, and the lack of qualified patent attorneys. Unfortunately for new attorneys, becoming a patent attorney isn't as easy as choosing a specialization like family law, contracts, or civil rights. But, for those attorneys that can branch out into IP, the reward could be well worth the extra effort.

A dilemma that no junior associate hopes to encounter is seeing their boss make a mistake in the courtroom. However, whether or not it's your boss, a lead attorney, or co-counsel, how you interact with the attorney presenting your client's case while they're actually presenting it is critical.

Whether it's an incorrect citation, or using the wrong client's name, or completely missing a significant material fact, the one thing you know for sure is that telling them could go horribly if you do it the wrong way, and it'll be much worse if you're wrong. It's not only when you tell them, but how you tell them also matters.

Below, you'll find a few tips on how to point out mistakes without upsetting your boss or lead counsel.

Proofreading is important. Whether you're trying to catch problems with your argument or just fix an incorrect subject verb agreement, if you don't proofread, you might miss something important or just appear careless to the court and adversaries.

Ideally, it helps to have someone you trust proofread your work before you submit it to the court or to your boss. But if you're stuck proofreading yourself, the following tips can help you catch errors.

Life can be a wonderful, albeit chaotic, and hopefully long and bounteous event for most attorneys. The chaos, though key to providing the variance that keeps life interesting, can sometimes raise the ire of court, like when you get a flat tire on the way there.

When disaster strikes last minute, do you know what to do in order to remain in the court's, and your opposing counsel's, good graces? What you do can make all the difference.

Here are three tips to help keep you out of trouble when it becomes clear that you're not going to make it to court on the day you're supposed to be there.

In the Robert Murray v. John Oliver case, the recent decision to remand the case back to state court is making headlines. However, those headlines and articles tend to focus on what's happening, and all the comedic language, rather than the strategy behind it all.

Despite the careful analysis of the court's decision to remand, there is very little about why HBO's attorneys tried to remove the case to federal court.

When it comes to defamation claims, is it better to be in state or federal court?

We've all probably heard the joke about the lawyer that dies, goes up to heaven, and sees St. Peter at the pearly gates. St. Peter looks the lawyer up and down, then says: "There must be some mistake, you look far too young. According to your billable hour log, you should be 172 years old."

Traveling for work can have its perks, unfortunately those perks don't include double billing, or even being able to bill your clients for first class plane tickets. That whole fiduciary duty thing can really put a damper on traveling in style.

Below, you'll find three tips to help lawyer while on the road, rail, or in the friendly skies.

Hell hath no fury like a Florida judge who receives an improperly formatted brief. Luckily for the BigLaw lawyers for Darden Restaurants, the line spacing violation only landed them a scolding and striking, and not a denial, nor sanctions.

The pleading in question here was a motion for summary judgment. Rather than the standard double-spacing required by court rules, the motion had lines spaced at one and a half. Additionally, compounding the matters of form were nearly double the amount of acceptable lines of footnoting (clearly this brief was submitted before the lawyers had a chance to read our post on excessive footnoting).