Is that a Statement of Facts, or a "Fact Dump"?


A friend of mine practices Social Security disability, and hence files quite a few appellate briefs in the U.S. District Court. A while back, Leeds came up with the heretical idea of completely omitting the statement of facts from his brief. Instead, all discussion of the facts occurs in the context of the argument as to each asserted error in the ALJ's decision.

Heretical, maybe - but effective. One of our magistrate judges recently had this to say about a brief prepared in this style:

The Court would stop to express some preference for the organization of the plaintiff's brief. It is traditional in Social Security briefs, both plaintiff and government, to make a kind of initial evidentiary dump, substantially logging the medical evidence and testimony on the front end regardless of relevance, with much less association of that evidence to relevant legal authorities and argument as briefing develops. Here, the plaintiff has more naturally included facts and medical record as they relate to the specific objections she levies against the ALJ's decision. This makes for a more accessible presentation, from the Court's perspective.

Please see full article below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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