Essentials of Persuasion: Appellate Legal Writing in Washington and Beyond

January 26, 2018 | 5.75 Law and Legal CLE Credits

With presenters from the State Supreme Court and the Appeals Courts, along with top educators, and experienced practitioners, Program Chair Ken Masters and Professor Laurel Oates have created an amazing program on the Essentials of Persuasion for legal writing. Hear from the judiciary on what they see as the most convincing written arguments, listen to senior professors as they discuss cutting edge issues in legal writing and persuasion, and gain insight from the WSBA Chief Disciplinary Counsel on the ethics involved in putting your legal line of reasoning down on paper.

Overview

8:30-9:00 a.m.

Registration and Coffee Service

9:00-9:15 a.m.

Welcome and Overview

Speakers: Annette Clark, Dean, Seattle University School of Law
Ken Masters, Masters Law Group

9:15-10:45 a.m.

Essentials of Persuasion, Part 1

Judicial Officers: Justice Debra L. Stephens, Washington State Supreme Court
Judge Rich Melnick, Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II

Professors: Laurel Oates, Professor of Law, Seattle University School of Law
Christopher Rideout, Professor of Law, Seattle University School of Law

Practitioners: Ken Masters, Masters Law Group
Lila Silverstein, Washington Appellate Project

The Structure of the Brief - how do judges use briefs and how should we therefore structure them?

  • Judges talk about using briefs every day in the courts.
  • Legal Writing Professors talk about the theoretical underpinnings of structuring a brief to persuade.
  • Practitioners talk about the practical way we achieve these things.

The Statement of the Case - what do judges need, want, and expect, and how should we therefore tell our stories?

  • Judges talk about what works for them, and what does not.
  • Legal Writing Professors talk about storytelling to persuade.
  • Practitioners talk about practical considerations in their daily practices.

10:45-11:00 a.m.

Break

11:00 a.m.-12 p.m.

Essentials of Persuasion, Part 2

The Argument - what persuades judges, and how do we achieve that ultimate goal?

  • Judges reveal what moves them to a decision, and what moves them away.
  • Legal Writing Professors talk about the theories of written persuasion.
  • Practitioners talk about how they use this information to win appeals.

12-1:00 p.m.

Lunch (on your own)

1:00-2:30 p.m.

Visual Legal Writing

  • Visual argument and impact on legal discourse
  • Fair regulation of multimedia persuasion

Speaker: Elizabeth Porter, Assistant Professor, University of Washington School of Law

Respondents: Panel of Appellate Experts TBA

2:30-2:45 p.m.

Break

2:45-3:30 p.m.

The Gatekeepers: Persuading Your Way into Court

  • Writing motions
  • Motions/Petitions for Discretionary Review

Speakers: Commissioner Michael Johnston, Washington State Supreme Court
Commissioner Masako Kanazawa, Washington State Court of Appeals, Division I
Commissioner Aurora Bearse, Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II

3:30-4:30 p.m.

Ethics: Going Deep

Speaker: Doug Ende, Chief Disciplinary Counsel, WSBA

Respondents: Panel of Appellate Experts TBA

4:30 p.m.

Evaluations and Adjourn

Presenters

Program Chairs

Ken Masters

Ken Masters (Founder of Masters Law Group, PLLC) celebrates 25 years of litigating appeals in 2017. A proud graduate of Seattle University School of Law, Ken has litigated hundreds of state and federal civil appeals in all areas of the law. He is a Trustee of the Washington State Bar Foundation, and chairs the WSBA's Escalating Costs of Civil Litigation Rules Drafting Taskforce. He previously served as WSBA Treasurer and Governor, chair of its Rules and Amicus Committees, and chair of KCBA's Judicial Screening Committee and Appellate Law Section. A presenter or chair for dozens of appellate seminars, Ken is also a contributing editor for the WASHINGTON APPELLATE PRACTICE DESKBOOK (he authored a substantial rewrite of the Brief Writing chapter in 2017, portions of which are included in the materials for this seminar, with the WSBA's kind permission). Ken is a Top 10 Super Lawyers® Honoree for 2017, has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from America's Top 100 Attorneys®, and has been listed in various publications' "Top 100 Attorneys" in Washington, as well as Best Lawyers in America for appeals, over many years. He is also listed on the Washington State Supreme Court's Pro Bono Honor Roll recognizing 50+ hours of pro bono service in a year, a goal that he has achieved every year for over a decade. Ken was a President of the Washington Appellate Lawyers Association from 2007 to 2013, and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.

Laurel Currie Oates

Professor Laurel Oates was the Director of Seattle University's Legal Writing Program until 2012, which has been ranked by U.S. and World Reports as the top legal writing program in the United States. After receiving her J.D. cum laude from the University of Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle University School of Law), Professor Oates clerked for Division II of the Washington State Court of Appeals.

In 1984, Professor Oates helped co-found the Legal Writing Institute, which has more than 2000 members from more than 150 law schools and which works to improve the teaching of legal writing. As a member of the Legal Writing Institute, Professor Oates helped establish The Second Draft, which is the Institute's bulletin, and helped organize and host seven national conferences, including the 1984, 1986, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 Legal Writing conferences.

Professor Oates is the co-author of five books, including The Legal Writing Handbook, which is now in its sixth edition, and Just Research, Just Memos, Just Briefs, Just Writing, and a Practice Book. She has also authored a number of articles, which are listed in the publications list.

During the last seven years, Professor Oates has taught workshops on legal writing in Afghanistan, Botswana, China, India, South Africa, and Uganda and has hosted programs for both students and lawyers in South Africa. In June 2007, Professor Oates received the Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.; in October 2009 she received the Marjorie Rombauer Award for Contributions to the Teaching of Legal Writing; and in October 2012 she received the Tom Holdych Award for Meritorious and Transformational Service. In 2014, Professor Oates launched the Law School's first online course: a course on effective writing.

Presenters

  • Justice Debra L. Stephens, Washington State Supreme Court
  • Judge Rich Melnick, Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II
  • Commissioner Michael Johnston, Washington State Supreme Court
  • Commissioner Masako Kanazawa, Washington State Court of Appeals, Division I
  • Commissioner Aurora Bearse, Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II
  • Doug Ende, Chief Disciplinary Counsel, WSBA
  • Christopher Rideout, Professor of Law, Seattle University School of Law
  • Lila Silverstein, Washington Appellate Project
  • Elizabeth Porter, Assistant Professor, University of Washington School of Law

Pricing

General Registration - $225

Seattle U Law Alumni - $195

In-person and live webcast options available. Current law school faculty and law students may register for free on a space available basis