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About the Book

Persuasive Written and Oral Advocacy: In Trial and Appellate Courts

Front Cover - Persuasive Written and Oral Advocacy: In Trial and Appellate Courts

Third Edition

Michael R. Fontham, Attorney, Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann 
Adjunct, Tulane and Louisiana State
Michael Vitiello, Pacific McGeorge 

2013.  Approx. 512 pages.  ISBN: 978-1-4548-1113-8.

With Teacherís Manual.

About the Book

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 judgeís 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. Each case file is accompanied by its own Teacherís Manual. Technological developments are explored, including electronic filing, video conference oral arguments, and electronic research.  


The revised Third Edition presents updated and expanded information on electronic filings as well as rule updates, especially local rule issues, and an updated, two-color design.

Hallmark features of Persuasive Written and Oral Advocacy: In Trial and Appellate Courts:

  • clear and practical guide to legal writing and oral argument
  • the selection of a main message or theme 
  • employment of research, language, and speaking skills 
  • achieving a clear, persuasive legal message
  • content is applicable to all legal writing and speaking
  • includes practical guidance for advocacy in federal courts, trial courts, and other settings
  • step-by-step guide to organizing, preparing, and presenting winning written and oral arguments 
  • detailed coverage of trial motion practice as well as appellate practice 
  • emphasizes consideration of the judgeís time and perspective when preparing arguments 
  • liberal use of concrete examples based on a hypothetical case file, with extensive advice for editing 
  • accompanied by Case Files
  • help put in practice the principles advocated throughout the text 
  • sophisticated, realistic litigation problems 
  • designed to allow instructors flexibility 
  • each file accompanied by its own Teacherís Manual 
  • features technological developments―electronic filing, video conference, oral arguments, electronic research
  • sections on harmless error, changes to Rule 32, and the status of unpublished opinions

The revised Third Edition presents:

  • updated and expanded information on electronic filings
  • rule updates, especially local rule issues
  • updated, two-color design