Writing for the Trial Court: What Judges Want (but Rarely Get)

Writing for the Trial Court: What Judges Want (but Rarely Get)

Program Goal

This fast-paced, interactive program addresses an often ignored challenge, writing for trial judges, the most time-constrained audience. We developed the program following numerous interviews of judges, judges who implored us to change the way lawyers write. This program emphasizes practical written advocacy, methods lawyers will use the very next day. Those who attend will be able to present clearer, more persuasive, more succinct written arguments and do so more quickly and efficiently. The program is typically addressed to experienced lawyers, but can be reconfigured to meet the needs of basic or intermediate-level lawyers.

Participants report that the course has changed the way they write, and they now are able to produce more persuasive, clearer arguments in a shorter amount of time. They also report that their communications with their clients has improved, the clients finding they more easily understand their lawyers' advice and instructions. The result is a more satisfied client!

Program Benefits:

  • Learn what judges really want, and why.
  • Deliver arguments that persuade judges in the first five minutes.
  • Learn what parts of written arguments judges read and what parts get ignored.
  • Learn what persuades judges and what produces the opposite effect.
  • Write persuasive statements of fact, statements judges want to read.
  • Learn the secret to turning out briefs more quickly and efficiently.
  • Write so page limits will never be a concern.

Who Should Attend:

Any lawyer who writes to persuade trial judges, or other quasi-judicial officers, including administrative law judges and arbitrators.


The program uses a mix of demonstrations of actual written arguments, how they are counter-productive, how they can be easily improved, as well as hands-on exercises and small-group discussions. The course design encourages participants’ learning from each other.

What Attendees Are Saying:

  • "Finally an MCLE program where I learned something I will use" - Dan Coffey, Attorney at Law and Columnist, practicing 22 years
  • "Superb" - Ben Cooper, Attorney at Law 28 years
  • "Excellent presentation" - Gary Brenner, Attorney at Law 23 years
  • "Made subject fun, very enlightening" - Richard Alter, Attorney at Law 31 years
  • "Great" - James Clayton Jr., - Attorney at Law 22 years
  • "Great enthusiasm and substance; I’ll actually use his advice!" - San Diego Attorney
  • "Very interesting and interactive" - San Diego Attorney
  • "Excellent!" - Tim Davis, Attorney at Law 16 years
  • “A great refresher and skill builder. Liked the classroom style and collaboration method" - Christine McCoy, Attorney at Law 4 years 
  • "Simplifying writing is important" - San Diego Attorney


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