Judge Dietz shared an interesting brief-writing tip last night with The Chief Justice Joseph Branch Inn of Court. Go with a Century font over Times New Roman, and for any of you still clinging on to the Courier New days, it is time to move on.

Why Century? Two simple reasons—legibility and retention.

As stated by the Seventh Circuit in its Requirements and Suggestions for Typography in Briefs and Other Papers:

Typographic decisions should be made for a purpose. The Times of London chose the typeface Times New Roman to serve an audience looking for a quick read. Lawyers don’t want their audience to read fast and throw the document away; they want to maximize retention. Achieving that goal requires a different approach—different typefaces [i.e., typefaces designed for books, like Century].

Thank you Judge Bryant, Judge Dietz, and Judge Tyson for all the great insight you provided yesterday at the “A View from the Appellate Bench” program.

Interested in learning more tips to take your appellate practice and brief writing to the next level? Well, you are in luck. The NCBA Appellate Practice Section will be holding its CLE and Annual Meeting on October 2 in Cary.

Smith Moore Leatherwood Appellate Practice Group members Beth Scherer and Matt Leerberg will be presenting on fatal mistakes in preserving error and prosecuting appeals. You won’t want to miss it.

– Corinne Jones