Judge Paul Michel

A recent interview with Federal Circuit Judge Paul Michel is published here by Managing Intellectual Property. Excerpt:

Q: What makes a good appeal advocate?

A: The most important quality is selectivity – to select the right issues, the right facts, and the right authorities. The second is to appreciate the power of clarity. It’s startling given the intelligence, industry, knowledge and familiarity with the law of the lawyers that they’re so often unclear.

I would rather have a 10-page brief written by hand on a pad of paper by a really great lawyer than have a 50-page brief by somebody who is mainly throwing dicta at me, which is what the majority of briefs do. I’d rather have the sense that one good legal mind has wrestled the problems of the case until they are pinned to the mat rather than the sense that a committee of mostly younger lawyers have written an enormously long, enormously complicated and often somewhat unclear brief. Clarity and logic can’t be overdone and they are very often, in my opinion, underdone.

Bill Heinze provided the link.