An idea for schematically diagramming a legal brief — to make it more instantly clear what its content is.
What would a better legal brief look like? What would it be to submit writings for the judge’s consideration in ways that are more formally structured — so that these communications could:
1) be laid out systematically for the judge & her clerks (think in tables or side-by-side comparisons),
2) perhaps even made machine-readable (so that computers could process them and give the judge more ways to read/compare/index them), and
3) be composed by the lawyer/litigant in more straightforward ways (less laboring over blank pages in Microsoft Word, and more using universally accepted templates or forms).
I’ve hinted at this possible redesign in earlier posts – that one after a conversation with a clerk who wished that she could have tools to help her systematically compare & analyze opposing sides’ arguments. Now I’m picking up that conversation after speaking with an appeals court judge from Milan, Italy, who is exploring ways to formalize both judges’ opinions & lawyers’ briefs.