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g. Tone

Briefs – Content – Tone: Ad Hominem

Bettendorf v. St. Croix County, 2008 WI App 97 Issue/Holding: An appellate “brief contain(ing) a collection of attacks against [opposing counsel] that are nothing more than unfounded, mean-spirited slurs” subjects its author to ethical sanction: ¶17      “A lawyer should demonstrate respect for the legal system and for those who serve it, including judges, other lawyers… Read more


U.S. Bank National v. City of Milwaukee, 2003 WI App 220 Issue/Holding: fn. 4: The brief submitted to us by the City of Milwaukee is overly tendentious and lacks the civility that lawyers owe to both their adversaries and to the courts. The following has no place in a brief before any court in this… Read more


Briefs – Content – “Vituperative Tone”

Mogged v. Mogged, 2000 WI App 39, 233 Wis. 2d 90, 607 N.W.2d 662 Issue/Holding: Brief adopting “vituperative tone” and making misleading, unsupported arguments violates Rules of Professional Conduct and is stricken. ¶¶21-24. (Note that the court cites 7th Circuit caselaw, ¶22, suggesting that decisions from that body are very pertinent.) Appellate briefs containing personal… Read more