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Appellate Advocacy: Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance, & Westlaw Edge

This guide will help you prepare briefs and oral arguments.

Using Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance, and Westlaw Edge

You will need your login credentials for full access all three of these resources.

Is your problem based on a pending case?

Many problems are based on cases either currently pending before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) or on an issue that is currently causing a circuit split. If the problem is based on an actual pending case, look up the briefs in those cases on Bloomberg Law, Lexis Advance, or Westlaw Edge and see what resources they discuss. Find cases causing circuit splits online and then look at the resources discussed in their briefs.  Circuit splits can be found most easily on Bloomberg Law. After signing in, look for "Circuit Splits Charts" under the "Law School Resources" column.

If you are unclear as to how to attribute these resources (to avoid plagiarism issues), please ask your instructor or moot court coordinator.

Resources on Bloomberg Law

There are several helpful resources on the Bloomberg Law Legal Research and Writing page, including information on appellate briefs, motion practice, and oral argument.

You can also use the Bloomberg Law to find examples of federal appellate briefs filed in the U.S. Circuit Courts. Select "Dockets Search" in the "Searches" column.

Brief Analyzer is a new tool from Bloomberg Law that allows you to download a brief to, "generate a report of the cited authorities and arguments contained in the brief, as well as a list of suggested content for review." Quoted material from website. There is a video available on the Brief Analyzer page that provides more information about this resource.

Resources on Lexis Advance

To find briefs and other court documents, select "Briefs, Pleadings, and Motions" listed in the "Content Type" tab.  

You can use Shepard's Briefcheck to verify your citations before turning in your brief.  This program searches your document for citations and then runs a Shepard's report for you. To use this service, please follow these steps: go into Lexis Advance, click on the box to the left of the Lexis Advance Research button at the top, left side of the screen and select Shepard's Briefcheck. NOTE: This resource is different than Shepard's Brieflink, which changes citations in your document to live links to Lexis Advance materials. Make sure you select the correct resource.

Using Lexis for Microsoft Office provides Shepardizing and automatic Table of Authorities generation.  

Resources on Westlaw Edge

Quick Check is a new tool from Westlaw Edge that "securely analyzes your brief to suggest highly relevant authority that traditional research may have missed."

Westlaw Edge has several additional resources that you can use to prepare for appellate advocacy.  A list of these resources can be found in the handouts linked below.