How do you Tweet a Legal Brief?

Texas is trying to find out.

Texas appellate lawyers are being challenged to write a Twitter-length brief in 140 characters or less.

The State Bar of Texas Appellate Section is holding the Twitter brief competition for lawyers attending its annual meeting in September, according to the Texas Lawyer blog Tex Parte.

She gives an example: “Honorable court, the claim has been waived. Respectfully submitted, appellee.”

Crazy, right?

On the one hand, writing shorter and more concise is a skill lawyers absolutely need to know how to do. We are some verbose cats when it shakes down. So, I can see why they would run this type of competition. Obviously they aren’t looking for top-notch legal work in 140 characters, but, it uses hyperbole to jam a good concept home.

On the other hand, do we really need to embolden the folks who type “ur” instead of “your”? Dangerous, dangerous territory. So, it’s a good thing Texas is trying to sort this out first.

If I were entering this competition, here’s what I’d go with:

“Not guilty, ya’ll got to feel me!” From the Jay Z anthem H to the Izzo. If you write that in a brief to a judge, your client is undoubtedly on his way home from court a free man. And you still have about 100 characters to play with!

For fun, I also opened up the last brief I submitted to the Court and Twitterized it:
“Yo Court traffic stop for improper window tint unaccept no artic or reason suspicion for stop. police report unreliable. suppress. plz. thx.”

Even managed to say please and thank you. I’ll be sure to pass along the winning tweet whenever that information comes down. By, “be sure” I mean, no chance, because I’ll forget about this tomorrow, but, the concept is cool.

Also, I guarantee some knucklehead in Texas will write his brief and use 1 of his characters as a footnote…then write the regular 20 page appellate brief in the footnotes and think about how awesome he is.


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