It’s a Rap. Really.

In Advanced Legal Writing class, students discuss different persuasive techniques that lawyers and judges use in their writing.  We debate the pros and cons of using literary references, illustrative narratives, pop culture references, historical examples, and unusual formats and organizations.

I never once, however, discussed (or even considered) the possibility that a litigant would submit a brief in the form of a rap.   The pro se litigant submitted the “rap brief” and won.

As professional writers, should we lawyers be concerned?  I can’t imagine this form of writing starting a trend, but does its use suggest something about a changing level of formality in court documents?

I’m not sure.  I think it may be a fluke, but I’m troubled.   

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Richard M. Esenberg

    My old posse at F. Lard don’t roll like that.

    Seriously, don’t we see this every few years – an opinion in heroic couplets or a brief set out like a play with acts and scenes. It seems to me that you either have to be a pro se litigant or a rather talented writer who has picked just the right judge to get away with it.

    Peace. Out.

  2. Rebecca Blemberg

    Or a judge or justice.

    Some unique forms of writing have come from the bench.

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