Course Outline for Briefwiting Masterclass

The course contents below will show you just how rich our Briefwriting Masterclass promises to be for you, your partners, and associates:

1.0 The Architecture of Argument
1.1 The structure of a brief
1.2 Table of contents
1.3 Issues for Determination
1.4 The Introduction
1.5 Facts (and Procedural History)
1.6 The Argument Section
1.7 Conclusion
1.8 List of authorities

2.0 Issues for Determination
2.1 What is an issue or question for determination?
2.2 Place your issues upfront.
2.3 To formulate an issue, find governing law and isolate legally significant facts.
2.4 Winnow and prioritize your issues.
2.5 Devote time and effort to formulating your issues.
2.6 Learn the methods of drafting issues
2.6.1 The whether fragment
2.6.2 The one-sentence statement
2.6.3 The one-sentence question
2.6.4 The Catholic catechism
2.6.5 The under-does-when formula
2.6.6 Garner’s deep-issue format
2.7 Use deductive logic to elicit doctrinal holding.
2.8 Forget circumstances of this case.
2.9 Prefer legal to procedural juxtapositions.
2.10 Craft issues to steer the court your way.
2.11 Leave the lower court and other parties out of it.
2.12 Phrase your issues like questions.

3.0 Facts (and Procedural History)
3.1 Use topical headings.
3.2 Tell a story with your facts.
3.3 Your narrative should transcend mere storytelling.
3.4 Invest your story with a theme.
3.5 Stress your client’s perspective.
3.6 Let the facts tell the story- don’t interpret, don’t interrupt.
3.7 Shun the dating game and other data mess.
3.8 Call parties and witnesses their names.
3.9 Assign substantive descriptions to your data.
3.10 Fit facts to law.
3.11 Deploy characterization for persuasive effect.
3.11.1 Characterization could be constructive or destructive.
3.11.2 Direct negation is not characterization.
3.12 Appeal to the court’s conscience.
3.13 Appeal to the court’s emotion.
3.14 Tell your facts differently than in other documents.
3.15 Remember that the facts control the law.
3.16 Think like a novelist- borrow fiction elements.
3.16.1 Character—make your client likable.
3.16.2 Conflict—characterize the conflict with thematic undertones.
3.16.3 Resolution—prophesy a happy ending.
3.16.4 Organization—provide context before detail.
3.16.5 Point of view—choose a client-centred perspective.
3.17 Deal with bad facts—play safely with fire.
3.18 Procedural History

4.0 The Argument Section

PART A- Organization, Structure, and Posture

4.1 Organize for persuasive flow. Accentuate point headings.
4.2 Erect signposts along the way.
4.3 Use outlines and point headings for rhetorical advantage.
4.4 Boost organization with roadmaps.
4.5 Learn to structure your argument on each issue.
4.6 Foot in the Door (FITD) or Door in the Face (DITF)?
4.7 Winnow and prioritize your arguments.
4.8 Use topic sentences to reinforce rhetorical narration.
4.9 Use transition, bridging, and paragraphing to boost linguistic coherence.
4.10 Use exquisite civility to boost ethos.
4.11 Present your case as representing good law or sound policy. Save judicial labour. Apply social science.
4.12 Drop the digest and record methods of “argument.” And quarantine the plague of false ratios.
4.13 Choose a structural formula for your argumentation.

PART B- Rebuttal and Refutation

4.14 Plot your offensive and defensive gambits.
4.15 Enclose refutation in a halo of affirmative arguments.
4.16 Anticipatory refutation makes your case complete.
4.17 Recharacterization, negative imagery, and similar gambits.
4.18 Candid versus zealous advocacy.

PART C- Citations and Quotations

4.19 Minimize citations and quotations. Scrutinize your authorities and isolate their rationes decidendi.
4.20 Know your best precedents.
4.21 Follow hierarchy in citing authorities.
4.22 Use explanatory synthesis.
4.23 Avoid ‘talking footnotes.’ Banish citational algebra to footnotes.
4.24 Nurture the pinciting habit.
4.25 Explanatory parentheticals can pack a persuasive punch.

5.0 Think before you write.
5.1 Believe in your client’s cause- formulate a thesis for every case.
5.2 Draft issues and point headings early.
5.3 Try the Flowers paradigm.

6.0 Case Theory, Themes, and Priming
6.1 Your theory of the case converts the facts of the dispute into a legal problem soluble in your client’s favour.
6.2 Your theme should supply moral justification for the victory you prophesy.
6.3 Your theme should possess narrative fidelity.
6.4 Your theme should leave an impression about the case.
6.5 Your theme should evoke emotions.
6.6 Prime the judge to view the case your way.

7.0 Rhetoric and the Rhetorical Triangle
7.1 Why study rhetoric?
7.2 To exercise your rhetorical skills, you need a rhetorical situation.
7.3 To influence the rhetorical situation, deploy framing devices.
7.4 The Rhetorical Triangle
7.4.1 Ethos
7.4.2 Logos
7.4.3 Pathos

8.0 Logic and Logical Fallacies
8.1 Introduction to Logic
8.2 Logical Fallacies
8.2.1 Argumentum ad baculum
8.2.2 Argumentum ad misericordiam
8.2.3 Argumentum ad hominem
8.2.4 Dicto Simpliciter
8.2.5 Ignoratio Elenchi
8.2.6 Red Herring
8.2.7 The Straw Man
8.2.8 Argumentum ad ignorantiam
8.2.9 Argumentum ad verecundiam
8.2.10 Hasty Generalization
8.2.11 Slippery Slope
8.2.12 False Cause
8.2.13 Weak Analogy
8.2.14 Amphiboly
8.2.15 Equivocation
8.2.16 Composition
8.2.17 Division
8.2.18 Petitio Principii
8.2.19 Complex Question
8.2.20 Suppressed Evidence
8.2.21 False Dichotomy
8.2.22 Inverse Error
8.2.23 Faulty Analogy
8.2.24 Half-Truth

The Write House
+234 (0) 803 341 2508, 0812 236 3614

The Write House introduces new book, ‘Anatomy of a Brief’.

About the Book
Anatomy of a Brief will help you master the art and science of persuasive brief writing. This book will revolutionize the way you prepare briefs, submissions, and written addresses. It will give you a competitive edge in the litigation minefield.

About the Author
Chinua Asuzu is the Senior Partner at Assizes Lawfirm, a Commissioner of the Tax Appeal Tribunal, an Adjunct Lecturer (Legal Writing) at Nigerian Law School, and the Dean of The Write House.

An active member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chinua Asuzu serves on NBA’s Legal Education Committee. He is a member of the International Bar Association (IBA), the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK), and the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN).

About the Publisher
The Write House published Anatomy of a Brief.

The Write House is now the acknowledged authority in Nigeria on legal-writing curriculum and pedagogy.

A continuing-legal-education organization, The Write House is Africa’s frontline team of legal-writing consultants and mentors. It pioneered the Plain English movement in Nigeria.

The Write House is the accredited representative in Nigeria of the global Test of Legal English Skills (TOLES). We provide learned-writing training to lawyers and nonlawyers. For more information, browse our website

Book Price

Subsidized Nationwide Delivery Rates
The Write House has subsidized delivery cost by over 50%. So when we courier the book to you, you pay only N1000 extra, bringing the total price to N6000. This applies to deliveries within Nigeria only.

Delivery outside Nigeria
N5000 + delivery cost to any location outside Nigeria

Buy the book online.
To buy Anatomy of a Brief online, click here. We will deliver it to any address you provide.

Available in Bookshops, NBA Branches, and Bookstands
Anatomy of a Brief is also available in the following bookshops, NBA branches, and bookstands:

Florence & Lambard, Ikorodu Road, Palmgrove, Lagos
Patmos Exclusive, 181 Igbosere Road, Lagos
University of Lagos Bookshop, University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba, Lagos

NBA Branches
NBA Ikeja Secretariat, Bar Centre, Ikeja- Mrs Queen, 08035318983
NBA Lagos, High Court Terrace, Igbosere, Lagos

Lagos Island
Lagos State High Court, Igbosere
Ademola 185 Igbosere Road Lagos 08028365091, 08187505990
Lola Oremade, Lagos State High Court, Lagos, 08038351984
Mercy Godwin, Court of Appeal (Lagos Division) beside Lagos State High Court, Igbosere 08089562816
Mustapha Law Books, Lagos State High Court, Igbosere, 07034250250

Abimbola Oni, Shop 7, Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, 08064090182
Adeola, Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, 08028973443
Cecilia, Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, 08062136954
Day by Day, Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, 08034473744
Elizabeth Egorp, Shop 9, Law-books Stand, Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, 08032419802
Glory Chilaka, Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, 08023210025
Irobi Blessing, Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, 08132179522
Iya Ibeji, Shop 12 New POWA Market, Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, 08037527062
Mrs Agunbiade, Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, 08034316801
Mrs Olusoga, Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, 08023413671
Oluwakemi, Lagos State High Court, Ikeja 08067845838
Patricia Micheal, Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, 08062136954
Timothy Owolabi, Lagos State High Court, 08093191331
Toyin, Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, 08029412916

Interested in selling Anatomy of a Brief?
If you are interested in selling Anatomy of a Brief, contact Lolade (08062614730) or complete and submit our bookseller request form. We will get back to you as soon as we review your information.

We support charity.
Anatomy of a Brief is not just a book; it’s a revolutionary work that advances international best practices in the legal community.

Buy and donate copies to Law Faculties, Law Schools, Law Libraries, or professional bodies, local and international.

We support learning for all.

Please complete and submit our donation form.

What participants are saying about Brief Writing Masterclass cross-section of participants at Brief Writing Masterclass, 25 26 March 2015, Sheraton Lagos

“Brief Writing Masterclass has changed my idea of what brief writing is all about. I am really impressed.”

Chidinma Chika
Hyland Law Practice
Central Business District

“This training is a must for all lawyers. The book Anatomy of a Brief is loaded and rich. I feel satisfied being part of the class; learnt so much. I hope to be [even] better after reading the book. Great class.”

Emeka Anolefo
Emeka N. Anolefo & Co
Satellite Town Lagos

“Excellent. I recommend it to all judges and lawyers.”

Ezegwui Jude Ifechukwu
JIC Ezegwui & Co (Integrity Chambers)
Enugu State

“This course is relevant for general drafting especially brief writing. I learnt the rules of proper drafting and I look forward to applying these rules in practice.”

Nnanke Williams
Delegate, Brief Writing Masterclass, 25-26 March 2015, Sheraton Lagos.
Nkrah Marine Limited

“This was very enlightening! If all lawyers would take this course and implement it, then the law and lawyers will no longer be considered esoteric by the common man. They might even hate us less!”

Ngozi Udokwu
Falomo Ikoyi

“It is a professional course that if I adhere to all the points discovered it would improve my career. I sincerely appreciate the Dean [Chinua Asuzu] for the wonderful benefits from this course. I will be happy to come again.”

Tsa-Asen Agbu
L. O. Yabura & Co
Taraba State

“Nice. Well-organized training. I really gained and feel highly honoured to have partaken.”

Lateef Yusuf
Adebayo & Gbadamosi
Ring Road Ibadan
Oyo State

“[The] Write House is a new-generation idea of practising law where they encourage both new and old wigs to drop the boring and archaic approach to legal practice. I am happy to embrace this new trend.”

Nkem Okuoyibo
WTS Adebiyi & Associates

“The workshop was instructive. The trainer was articulate and [the training was] impactful. I benefitted in many ways that will change the way I write my briefs going forward.”

Okey Nwanya
Gbenga Biobaku & Co
Lekki Phase 1

“This workshop was really impactful. It has the capacity of turning around a participant’s approach to brief writing and preparation of documents. It is educating and enlightening.”

Emmanuel Bwala
C. O. Toyin Pinheiro & Co
Iganmu Lagos

“The workshop was really innovative and interesting.”

Olayemi Shofolu
Odujinrin & Adefulu

“Excellent package; well-structured training; recommended as part of Continuing Legal Education for lawyers.”

Johnson Agbakagba
Edo State High Court
Benin City
Edo State

“The workshop is necessary for good brief writing at the lower and appellate courts. It is quite commendable.”

Babatunde Olubando
Babatunde Olubando & Co
Yaba Lagos

“Excellent. I found the seminar quite invaluable. I hope to incorporate the lessons learnt in my briefs.”

Afolake Laoshe
Afolake Akintola & Co
Garki Abuja

“I am indeed happy and more enlightened. I learnt a lot in 2 days and I would like to commend The Write House for a job well done. Thank you and God bless you.”

Jennifer Appah
D. A. Awosika & Partners

“The training sessions are impressively educating; very beneficial to the legal-drafting process.”

Ekundayo Ajetunmobi
Ogunsanya & Ogunsanya
Victoria Island

“I find the training quite helpful. I would recommend it to lawyers and nonlawyers. They will certainly find it invaluable.”

Akpan Ndifreke
Star Attorneys
Akwa Ibom State

“An eye opener.”

James Tomomewo
Nkrah Marine Limited
Ikoyi Lagos

The Write House joins Clarity International.

Clarity is an international association that promotes plain legal English. Founded in 1983, Clarity is a worldwide group of lawyers and others who advocate using plain language in place of legalese.

The Write House has joined Clarity International. As pioneers of the Plain-English movement in Nigeria, The Write House shares similar goals with Clarity International.

Both The Write House and Clarity International promote the use of good, clear English by the legal community. According to Clarity International in the maiden issue of its Clarity Journal, it hopes to achieve this aim by:

1. avoiding archaic, obscure and over-elaborate language in legal work;

2. drafting legal documents in English that is both certain in meaning and easily understandable;

3. exchanging ideas and precedents, not to be followed slavishly but to give guidance in producing good written and spoken legal English; and

4. exerting a firm but reasonable influence on the style of legal English, with the hope of achieving change in fashion.

The Write House democratizes access to law by promoting plain English in legal communication and writing. The Write House has been doing this by exposing lawyers and others to international best practices in legal writing.

Before joining Clarity, The Write House was recently awarded global recognition by Global Legal English, the international organization behind Test of Legal English Skills (TOLES). This came after several years as the accredited representative in Nigeria of TOLES.

Not this- But this

Severe is never a verb. You cannot severe your relationship with the firm. You may sever your relationship with the firm, or sever your ties to your homeland.

Surety is not pronounced shotee. Surety is pronounced shor’ti. Bite the r. Pronounce the r.

You can’t reply a letter or an email. You reply to a letter or an email.

Dear Ma is wrong. Write Dear Madam. (And, whether in speech or in writing, prefer madam or ma’am to ma.)

Corrupt politicians and contractors can’t eat money. Eating always involves chewing and swallowing. Corrupt politicians and contractors embezzle or steal money. And yes, stealing in public office is corruption. You can’t eat money, even if you’re neither a politician nor a contractor, and even if you’re as honest as Abraham Lincoln. You spend or waste money.

All what I’m saying, all what she’s doing etc are bad English. The correct expressions are all that I’m saying or all I’m saying, and all that she’s doing or all she’s doing. Nix all what.

There is no such time as 12am or 12pm. 12 o’clock is either 12midday (12noon) or 12 midnight. You can also simply say midday, noon, or midnight. Let’s meet at noon. Let’s dine at midday. Let’s dance at midnight. The meeting will start at 12noon. Breakfast ends at 12midday. Dinner ends at 12midnight.

You can’t be afraid of your life, can you? I love my life. I’m not afraid of it. When threatened, I may be afraid for my life or afraid for my health or afraid for my safety.

Surgeons don’t operate patients—they operate on patients. So you can’t say she was operated. Say instead she was operated on.

Ask and axe are pronounced differently. Ask is pronounced ask; axe is pronounced aks. Asked is pronounced askt.

Equipment is not a countable noun, so you can’t say an equipment or equipments, no matter how many items of equipment you’re referring to.

Furniture is not a countable noun, so you can’t say a furniture or furnitures, no matter how many items of furniture you mean.

I look forward to see you is wrong. The correct expression is I look forward to seeing you.

If I am chanced, when I am chanced are such horrible expressions they would make the angels weep! Consider If I have the chance, if I have the time, when you get the chance, when you have time.

I don’t know it off head is not English. The Queen of England would cringe! She would be mad at you if you said that. To be off one’s head is to be mentally deranged. You’re not mad, I’m sure, even if you madden the Queen. Say I don’t know it by heart. The Queen would then smile.

Quit lying: she is not on seat, he is not on seat etc. That’s bad English. Besides, on an unclear line, someone might think you said she is not on heat. Say she is not available right now.

Where are you at? is, to quote Bryan Garner, a “badge of illiteracy.” Say where are you?

Bindingness is not an English word, no matter how many times you encounter it in some law reports. Try binding force. If it doesn’t work, redraft.

Pant trousers or pants trousers is rubbish. The British refer to that item of clothing as trousers; the Americans pants– choose one.

Flat apartment has been creeping into the lexicon of the linguistically challenged real-estate market. Apartment is American dialect for flat, the British term. Choose one.

Don’t say how it looks like. Say what it looks like or how it looks.