These devices will give the appearance of a less-dense document and show that you care about the reader. Also, try referring to the parties by name or by a meaningful term landlord, tenant, lender, borrower, father, mother etc.
The lesson for factum writing is to dispense with highly legalistic or minor errors. Forceful language makes for more persuasive content.
Tell us why the damage award is reviewable before you get into the detail. My neighbour is my audience. This is a common mistake.The advocate's audience is more limited - opposing counsel and, of course, the judge whom the advocate must persuade. Listing too many issues is another way a factum may lack concision. Finally, sentences are frequently too long. Itemizing or tabulating in a list the evidence that reasonably supports a finding of fact is a persuasive technique for respondents. The best factums state upfront what the appellant contends is the error of law made by the trial judge. You should front-load but not overload your overview. You are immersed in the case, the judge knows nothing of it. For a respondent, the overview avoids the stark and often unpalatable choice of accepting the appellant's statement of the facts or re-writing it. Headings are helpful to the court because they give structure or road maps to your factum. If you do use superlatives then you better have the ammunition to back them up. You need "manifest error" or "palpable and overriding error", which is equivalent to review on a standard of unreasonableness.
However, I have a few suggestions that apply particularly to the respondent's factum: i The respondent's factum should be self-contained or free-standing. This is discussed on the next page. The second technique is to repeat at or near the beginning of the sentence some of the content of the preceding sentence, using either the same words or an easily recognizable substitute.
Feeney7 should be enough; ii a case close on the facts; iii a "leading" old case; or iv a case in which the point in issue is fully discussed by a well-respected jurist.
We are far more dependent on counsel to outline the relevant facts.Instead of writing "First issue: whether there was a fiduciary relationship", try instead: "First issue: the trial judge erred in finding a fiduciary relationship". The English language is full of them. Listing too many issues is another way a factum may lack concision. White Space The visual impact of your factum plays an important role in its persuasiveness. The best factums state upfront what the appellant contends is the error of law made by the trial judge. In our court we do not have a formal pre-hearing conference to discuss an upcoming appeal. Surely this is better than a bland statement such as: "an appeal court can only interfere with findings of fact if the trial judge made a "palpable and overriding error" or "the following are the elements of a fiduciary relationship: scope for discretion, unilateral exercise of that discretion and vulnerability". The advocate's audience is more limited - opposing counsel and, of course, the judge whom the advocate must persuade. Otherwise, most error-correcting appeals are dealt with by endorsement.