The cover of the brief already says, “ABC CO.’S BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF ITS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT.” Why say it again? The reiteration takes up prime space that should be devoted to persuasion.

You may think you give no ground with a bland opening, but it is like leaving your money under the mattress. Not only do you earn no interest, but you lose to inflation. You miss an opportunity to make your point, and, by failing to persuade, you may create the impression that you have no point worth making.

Here is another way not to begin a preliminary statement:

This action began with the filing of a complaint seeking damages for breach of an express covenant and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

Reciting how the case began does not persuade. You may feel that reiterating the causes of action is assertive, but it is not persuasive because you provide no supporting facts.

BELIEF IS NOT PROOF

One of the classic self-deceptions in the writing process is to believe so intensely in your case that you think, wrongly, that you have made a point just by stating your conclusion, as in the following opening:

Summary judgment should be granted against Plaintiff’s wrongful dismissal claim because the undisputed facts indicate that Plaintiff failed to supply adequate prior notice to Defendant regarding his leave from work.

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