Cal. Litig. 2018, Volume 31, Number 3

Ten Tips for Writing a Winning Arbitration Brief

By Zee Claiborne

After days or weeks of hearings in a complex commercial case, the arbitration panel usually asks counsel to submit closing briefs. The process for submitting briefs is often the subject of discussion between the arbitrators and counsel, with the panel making the final determination on the handling of this important step. In recent years, the most common process includes the simultaneous submission of final briefs followed by closing arguments a few days or weeks later. This provides the panel with ample time to review the briefs and prepare to ask questions at the closing arguments about the most significant or contentious issues. Here are ten tips for writing a strong closing brief:

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1. Success is in the simplicity: The most persuasive closing briefs focus on the key issues and are written in a clear and succinct style. Outline a concise factual background and then move to a discussion of the issues at the heart of the case. Arguments should flow easily from the relevant facts and applicable law. Avoid exaggerating the strengths of your case as well as disparaging the opposing side. Remember that professionalism and credibility are critical to persuasiveness.

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