Judge Richard Posner, of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, recently laid out his view of appellate briefs (you can read the article on the ABA website here). Judge Posner writes:

So, my essential advice to the appellate brief writer is to put yourself in the judge’s shoes all the way, as it were. That will help you grasp the relevant differences between judge and advocate and so will enable you to write a brief that will communicate your position effectively.

Judge Posner also brought up a couple other points that I found interesting, including that lawyers should perform an Internet search for information that could provide some context to the case. He also wrote that lawyers should provide judges with pictures, graphs, and illustrations in their briefs.