The Importance of Being Earnest: Writing an Effective Supplemental Authorities Letter

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On its face, Rule 28(j) does not ask a lot of practitioners: merely that they identify “pertinent and significant” authorities and “promptly” advise the court of the supplemental authorities’ relevance to the case in “350 words.” But it also doesn’t give a lot of guidance. What is “pertinent and significant”? When is “promptly”? And what can you say in a mere 350 words? Effective appellate advocates consider these questions and walk a careful line to follow the letter and the spirit of the rule. To ensure your letters help your case, here are a few practice tips for crafting effective ones