Testimonials, Brief Writing Masterclass, 24-25 June 2015

“This has been a very enlightening and resourceful course.”

Godfrey C Arubayi
G C Arubayi & Co

“The workshop is excellent. I will definitely recommend it to as many lawyers as possible.”

Oluwayemisi Esuruoso
Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Commission (PPPRA)

“The Write House teaches what you do not learn at Law School or even in typical practice in Nigeria today. The training is very detailed and helps to refocus attention on key issues in brief writing.”

Joel Avhurhi

“The sessions were insightful. I recommend it to all legal practitioners and the bench.”

Dindam Killi
Aluko & Oyebode

“The Write House is a fit and proper CPD provider and training consultancy that I do not hesitate to recommend.”

Mohammed Tsav

“I enjoyed the training. It is very educative and interactive. I recommend that judges should be made to attend this training to improve their writing [too].”

Ifunanya Obumselu
National Lottery Regulatory Commission

“Very educative.”

Lawal Hassan
Federal Ministry of Justice

“[It’s] a very interesting course.”

Ikechukwu Eseka
Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Commission (PPPRA)

“The approach [to brief writing] adopted in this training is quite innovative and enriching.”

Felicia Umoh
National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA)

“The training has opened my mind to a modern and better way of writing a good brief.”

Edafe Emakpor
Emakpor, Emakpor & Partners

“Time is of the essence. The lessons learnt is to simplify presentations, capturing the reader’s attention and enabling [the court] to decide [a case] in my client’s favour.”

Ibrahim Ogbole
Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Commission (PPPRA)

“I must say that Brief Writing Masterclass is a transformational course which I recommend for all lawyers and judges as the transformation advocated cannot be achieved without both [bar and bench].”

Hasssan Ishaya Hassan
Federal Ministry of Justice

“The training offered by The Write House presents an orientation that would renew the practical approach in achieving a robust bar and bench.”

Atuegwu Okafor
Ikechukwu Ezechukwu (SAN) & Co

Judging the Judges

‘The Write Partner’ assesses, criticizes, or praises the language of selected passages from Nigerian judicial writing.

Nigeria v Wabara [2013] 5 NWLR (Part 1347) 331, 340.

The opening paragraph in the Supreme Court’s leading judgment reads: This is an appeal against the judgment of the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal, hereinafter referred to as the court below, in appeal No. CA/A/7/C/2006 delivered on the 1st day of June, 2010 allowing the appeal of the respondents herein against the decision of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, hereinafter referred to as the trial court, in suit No. FCT/HC/CR/31/2005. Being dissatisfied with the judgment, the respondent at the court below, now appellant herein, has appealed to this court on a notice of appeal containing eight grounds. I shall summarise at once the facts of the case that brought about the appeal.

This passage has several problems, including:-

1. The data it contains do not belong in the judgment, but in the case file and the law reporter’s history of the case. Indeed, page 339 of the report details some of these data.

2. The phrase hereinafter referred to as the court below is unnecessary. The Court of Appeal is obviously the court below the Supreme Court. Whenever the Supreme Court says the court below, it means the court from which the appeal arose, typically the Court of Appeal.

3. The phrase hereinafter referred to as the trial court is unnecessary. The FCT High Court is the only trial court in the narrative.

4. The judgment need not name the division of the Court of Appeal from which the appeal came. That information will show in the case history.

5. The algebraic appeal number at the Court of Appeal and the suit number at the High Court are unnecessary in the judgment and interfere with readability.

6. The judgment does not need to include the date of the Court of Appeal judgment, unless there is a time-sensitive issue in the case.

7. The phrase Being dissatisfied with the judgment is redundant. All appellants are dissatisfied. Nobody appeals out of joy.

8. The phrase has appealed to this court on a notice of appeal containing eight grounds is irksome and periphrastic. A notice of appeal is the only mode of filing an appeal. Preferable: the appeal is premised on 8 grounds.

9. Words like herein and hereinafter should no longer be used in legal writing.

10. The entire paragraph is unnecessary. The judgment should start with the issues, as follows: In this appeal, the Supreme Court has to address the following questions …

Subtle Distinctions

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Lawyers should possess semantic exactitude—we should appreciate subtle distinctions between words or expressions that look, seem, or sound similar.

In providing most of the following guidance, we have relied heavily on the Concise Oxford English Dictionary and Garner’s Modern American Usage.

aberrant versus abhorrent

Aberrant is the adjective associated with the noun aberration. An aberration is an unwelcome deviation from what is normal. Aberrant means departing from an accepted standard or deviating from behavioral or social norms.

Abhorrent is the adjective associated with the verb abhor. To abhor is to detest, loathe, or seriously hate (something). Abhorrent means “inspiring disgust and loathing.”

abjection versus abjectness

Both nouns derive from the adjective abject. Although the Concise Oxford English Dictionary lists the first sense of abject as “(of something bad) experienced to the maximum degree: living in abject poverty,” the second sense (“completely without pride or dignity: an abject apology)” is perhaps more common in learned writing.

Abjection and abjectness both “refer to a state of being cast aside, abased, and humiliated. The subtle difference between the two is that abjection refers to the physical condition …. Abjectness refers to the state of mind ….”

abjure versus adjure

To abjure is to (formally or solemnly) renounce. A second meaning is “to avoid.”

To adjure is to (formally or solemnly) urge someone to do something, to “charge or entreat solemnly; to urge earnestly.”

absorb versus adsorb

To absorb is to soak up (usually but not necessarily liquid); to take in information; to assimilate (a lesser entity) into a larger one.

Adsorb is a scientific term referring to “the collecting of condensed gas (or similar substance) on a surface.” To adsorb is (of a solid) to “hold (molecules of a gas, liquid, or solute) as a thin film on surfaces outside or within the material”.

adapt versus adopt

The verb adapt has 2 senses: 1. make suitable for a new use or purpose, to modify for one’s own purposes; and 2. become adjusted to new conditions.

In the senses in which you might confuse it with adapt, adopt means to accept something wholesale and use it; “to choose to take up or follow (an option or course of action)”; or “to assume (an attitude or position).”

adduce, deduce, and educe

To adduce is to put forward (argument, evidence) for consideration, or to cite as evidence.

To deduce is to infer, or to arrive at (a fact or a conclusion) by reasoning.

To educe is to draw out, elicit, or evoke.

admission versus admittance

Use admittance in a strictly physical sense: No admittance into these premises after dark.

Typically, use admission in nonphysical and figurative senses: Her admission to the bar brought untold joy to her family.

You can also use admission in a physical sense when rights or privileges attach to the physical entry: The Interior Minister is responsible for the admission of foreigners into the country.

adverse versus averse

Adverse means hostile, negative, or unpleasant; or unlikely to produce a good result: adverse change, adverse circumstances, adverse (side) effects, adverse weather conditions.

Averse means opposed to.

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 www.writehouseng.com

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
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NBA Branches
NBA Ikeja Secretariat, Bar Centre, Ikeja- Mrs Queen, 08035318983
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Elizabeth Egorp, Shop 9, Law-books Stand, Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, 08032419802
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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
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Patricia Micheal, Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, 08062136954
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Toyin, Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, 08029412916

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