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Persuasive Written and Oral Advocacy: In Trial and Appellate Courts, Third Edition

  • Michael R. Fontham
  • Michael Vitiello
Series / Aspen Select Series
Teaching Materials

While focused on the appellate setting, Persuasive Written and Oral Advocacy is applicable to all legal writing and speaking, and includes practical guidance for advocacy in federal courts, trial courts, and other situations. Students are given a clear and practical guide to legal writing and oral argument, from the selection of a main theme, to the employment of research, language, and speaking skills that achieve a clear, persuasive legal message. Step-by-step, they learn to organize, prepare, and present winning written and oral arguments. Detailed coverage of trial motion practice as well as appellate practice shows how important it is to consider the judge's time and perspective when preparing an argument. Concrete examples based on a hypothetical case file are liberally spread throughout the text along with extensive advice for editing. Sophisticated, realistic litigation problems in the accompanying Case Files help put principles in practice and allow instructors a great deal of flexibility. Technological developments are explored, including electronic filing and electronic research.

New to the Second Edition:

  • Revisions to Supreme Court Rules and Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure
  • Updated use and citation of literature
  • Additional advice on achieving writing and speaking goals

Professors and students will benefit from:

  • The book explains "how to" achieve effective briefs and argument.
  • Examples make the advice concrete rather than abstract.
  • The book provides extensive review and citation of advice from judges and practitioners.
  • Organization permits teachers to select material as appropriate for class needs.
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About the authors
Michael R. Fontham
Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann

Mr. Fontham joined the New Orleans law firm of Stone Pigman in 1971 and is a member of the firm, where he chairs the regulatory practice group. He was admitted to the Louisiana bar in 1971. Mr. Fontham received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1971. He was selected to the Order of the Coif and was a member of the Virginia Law Review, 1969-71. He received his undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University in 1968. Mr. Fontham is an active teacher, author and lecturer. He was a visiting professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, 1982-83. He currently teaches as an adjunct professor of law at the Tulane University and Louisiana State University law schools and has three times received the Monte Lemann Award at Tulane for distinguished teaching. Mr. Fontham is an instructor in the Trial Advocacy Institute at the University of Virginia and has been an instructor in the Trial Advocacy Program at Tulane, skills courses at Loyola University School of Law, and the LSU Bar Review. Mr. Fontham is the author of Trial Technique and Evidence (2d ed., Lexis Nexis, 2002) (3d ed., NITA, 2008) and is the lead author of Persuasive Written and Oral Advocacy: In Trial and Appellate Courts (Aspen, 2007), an extensive revision and expansion of his Written and Oral Advocacy (Wiley, 1985). He has written a number of articles and delivered numerous lectures on trial and appellate advocacy, evidence, utility regulation and civil rights issues. Mr. Fontham has been named to The Best Lawyers in America in the fields of appellate law and energy law, Chambers U.S.A. America#39;s Leading Lawyers for Business in the field of public utility law and Super Lawyers.

Michael Vitiello
Pacific McGeorge

Michael Vitiello is a Distinguished Professorof Law at McGeorge School of Law. A nationally-recognized expert on criminal law, Professor Vitiellorsquo;s many articles appear in leading journals, and his work is widely cited by scholars around the country. He is particularly well-known for his expertise on matters involving sentencing reform, and his analysis of the legal issues that would arise from the legalization of marijuana.

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Third Edition
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Legal Writing
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