What’s the quickest way to write a brief?

April 2nd, 2013

Find a similar brief someone else wrote and modify it. Traditionally, large firms had extensive databases of previous briefs, and associates would often use these as models? But what if the new case was significantly different? Where would you turn. Well in the past, the answer was that the lawyer would have to start from scratch (and bill for that time).

Now, with the promises of Big Data, there may be another solution. BriefMine is mining over 150,000 briefs from state and federal court and, for a price, allows attorneys to search through the platform to find just the right brief.

Bob Ambrogi blogs about it here:

On the content side, BriefMine has secured a content partnership with the Law Library Microform Consortium, Zeitlin says. The LLMC has been working with theLA Law Library to digitize the library’s collection of California briefs and BriefMine has partnered with the LLMC to gain access to this content. This brings BriefMine’s total brief count to over 150,000. Many of these are from California, but many are from other jurisdictions as well, Zeitlin says.

The site’s search menu currently shows that it has state-court briefs from California, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin, Washington and West Virginia. For federal courts, it has briefs from the Supreme Court, all 9th Circuit courts, and the District of Tennessee.

With regard to design and features, the search form has been enhanced to assist in automating Boolean searches and to allow searches by specific courts and jurisdictions.

For some time, I have blogged that understanding the briefs filed in the courts may be one of the most innovative methods to commoditize the law, and bring us towards law’s information revolution.

Although Judge Rakoff ruled that briefs cannot be copyrighted, I imagine many attorneys will be upset once they realize that all of their briefs are now available for sale to help their opponents.