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Briefs – Factual Assertions – Need for Accuracy

Arents v. ANR Pipeline Co., 2005 WI App 61

Issue/Holding: ¶5 n. 2:

Wisconsin Stat. Rule 809.19(1)(d) and (e) (2001-02) requires the parties to provide in their briefs separate sections for their “statement of facts relevant to the issues presented for review” and argument. In their appeal, the Landowners have, inappropriately, interspersed legal argument and “spin” into what should have been an objective recitation of the factual occurrences of this case. “[F]acts must be stated with absolute, uncompromising accuracy. They should never be overstated — or understated, or ‘fudged’ in — any manner.” Judge William Eich, Writing the Persuasive Brief, Wisconsin Lawyer Magazine, Vol. 76, No. 2 (Feb. 2003). The fact section of a brief is no place for argument.Furthermore, in its cross-appeal, ANR’s fact section contains few citations to the record and, for the most part, cites only to its own appendix. This is also improper. Such failure is a violation of Wis. Stat. Rule 809.19(1)(d) and (3) (2001-02) of the Rules of Appellate Procedure which requires parties to set out facts “relevant to the issues presented for review, with appropriate references to the record.” (Emphasis added.)

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