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Brian Wolfman, How to Conclude a Brief, J. Ass'n Legal Writing Dirs. (forthcoming 2023).

Abstract: This essay discusses the "conclusion" section of an appellate brief and its relationship to problems of argument ordering in multi-issue appeals. The essay first reviews the relevant federal appellate rules--Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 28(a)(9) and Supreme Court Rule 24.1(j)--and explains the author's preference for short, precise, remedy-oriented conclusions, shorn of repetitive argument. It illustrates these points with examples from recently filed appellate briefs. The essay then turns to problems of argument ordering in multi-issue appellate briefs, with an emphasis on ending with a bang not a whimper, while sticking with the short, non-argumentative conclusion. The argument-ordering discussion is also illustrated with examples from real-life briefs.