Legal News and Appellate Tips

Each week, TVA appellate attorney Tim Kowal reviews several recent decisions out of the appellate courts in California, and elsewhere, and reports about the ones that might help you get an edge in your cases and appeals.

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Tag: Legal Tech

How Legal Tech is Leveling the Legal Playing Field, with Casetext Co-Founder Pablo Arredondo

The Co-Founder of Casetext, Pablo Arredondo, explains how legal technology that is available today will allow solos and small firms to compete against Big Law. Tim and Jeff talk with Pablo about:

• Why Artificial Intelligence—which didn’t work well for a long time—now makes it much, much easier to find the legal authority you’re looking for.

• The searches you are used to making is just “casual Friday in the keyword prison.” But now, you can put real English sentences into Casetext’s Parallel Search and it works.

• Casetext’s A.I. isn’t limited to legal authority: you’ll be able to put your entire case file into a database and search for the evidence that supports the key facts in your case.

• This gives small firms an alternative to deploying armies of staff to find evidence in a voluminous file.

• Using Casetext’s Compose to create a first draft of a brief in a few minutes.

• A.I. might be able to replicate “murder boards” in the future for attorneys preparing for oral argument.

• In fact, the way “neural net” A.I. works is so impressive, Pablo describes it as a “black box,” and sometimes it is hard to describe what it does without using words like “thinking.”

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Ross Guberman on Conversational—Rather Than Tweet-Worthy—Legal Writing

Drawing from his experience training federal judges and top law lawyers how to write more effectively, Ross Guberman shares some of his best writing tips with Jeff Lewis and Tim Kowal on episode 33 of the California Appellate Law Podcast at www.CALPodcast.com.
Ross also gives a tour of his latest product, BriefCatch 3.0 (now available on Mac), a tool that scores legal briefs for engagement, readability, flow, punchiness, and clarity. Not sure how to take your writing from merely proper English to Elena Kagan? BriefCatch provides in-app examples of some of the best passages of Supreme Court justices.

Here are some of the tips Ross covers:

✍️ Why more judges are using pithy, attention-grabbing language—and why you shouldn’t imitate it in your briefs.
✍️ Rising above the fray without resorting to quips.
✍️ Getting the judge’s attention by tapping into three universal fears all judges have.
✍️ Discussing “bad facts” confidently, not defensively.
✍️ Using BriefCatch to improve your briefs.
✍️ Remember the purpose of legal writing is to help judges organize their thoughts—briefs are a tool, but aspire to make them tools that are a pleasure to use.

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