Bench & Bar of Minnesota is the official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Motion Practice

Preparing motions is like taking a trip; it works best when the destination is known at the outset and the journey mapped in that direction.  Therefore, when bringing a motion before a trial court or other judicial body, prepare the pleadings backwards.  Draft the proposed order first, which will provide a sense of direction and clarity for the relief sought. Then, when preparing the supporting memorandum of law, draft the conclusion first. It ought not to be a boilerplate summation, but a statement of the remedy sought. Counsel opposing a motion should proceed in a similar way, drafting a conclusion first, indicating in summary fashion why the motion should be denied, before commencing the rest of the briefing.  Starting at the end can help assure that counsel has a clear notion of what is being sought in presenting or opposing a motion and provide a framework for the balance of the briefing.

Marshall H. Tanick

Mansfield Tanick & Cohen, P.A.


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