Murray: An Empirical Study of the Use of Parentheticals in Federal Appellate Briefs

Professor Michael D. Murray of Valparaiso University Law School has published The Promise of Parentheticals: An Empirical Study of the Use of Parentheticals in Federal Appellate Briefs, Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD, 10, 229-263 (2013).

Here is the abstract:

This Article on current practices in advocacy and briefing reports an empirical study of the use of parentheticals in federal appellate court briefs submitted between February 1, 2011, and July 31, 2011. The study was designed to answer the question: How are parentheticals currently used for rhetorical purposes in appellate briefs to explain a synthesis of authorities? The study proves that parentheticals currently are used beyond a simple informational function in citation forms for four rhetorical purposes: (1) to quote and highlight portions of authorities (“quotation” function); (2) to explain and illustrate the principles induced from a synthesis of authorities (“explanatory synthesis” function); (3) to explain and illustrate the effect and operation of public policies underlying the law in multiple authorities (“public policy synthesis” function); and (4) to explain and illustrate the narratives of success or failure among multiple cases in which the law was applied to produce a concrete outcome (“narrative synthesis” function). Parentheticals in synthesis are used at a significantly higher rate that the other common method of communication of information about multiple authorities in legal analysis known as textual, case-to-case analogical reasoning.

This entry was posted in Articles and papers, Research findings and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s