Word Tips for Briefs

Posted April 28, 2009
Prepared by Mary Whisner

This guide offers some tips especially for briefs. For more, see Word Tips to Make Your Life Easier.

Note: examples in this guide are based on Answering Brief of Plaintiffs-Appellees Wausau Business Insurance Corporation Et Al. in California Insurance Co. v. American National Fire Insurance Co., 9th Cir. No. 07-35691, filed Sept. 9, 2008, 2008 WL 4658661.



Footnotes

If you use footnotes in your brief, use these tricks for inserting footnotes and for keeping cross-references in order.

 

Section Sign (), Paragraph Sign (), and Other Symbols

See these tips.

 

Table of Authorities

Word 2007:

  1. Highlight the citation.

     
  2. In the References Tab, click Mark Citation.



     
  3. Choose a Category (e.g., Cases or Statutes).



     
  4. When you get to a short-form citation for a case (or other authority) you have already cited, mark it in the same way -- but this time, click on the long form in the list.




    That way, when you create your table of authorities, the program will group all of the references to the case together.

     
  5. When you have marked your citations, go to the place in your document where you want to insert the table of authorities. In the References Tab, click Insert Table of Authorities. Make sure "All" is selected. Your table will be inserted.



     

Fine point: What if you don't like the default categories Word lists? For instance, what if you'd like your table of authorities to have separate sections for federal statutes and state statutes? When you are marking a citation, click on Category and you can edit the list.

 

Word 2003

See instructions on Microsoft site or  instructions at eHow.

 

Word 2008 for Mac
 

  1. Highlight the citation.
     
  2. Insert > Index and Tables > Table of Authorities > Mark Citation



     
  3. Choose a Category (e.g., Cases or Statutes).



     
  4. When you get to a short-form citation for a case (or other authority) you have already cited, mark it in the same way -- but this time, click on the long form in the list.




    That way, when you create your table of authorities, the program will group all of the references to the case together.

     
  5. When you have marked your citations, go to the place in your document where you want to insert the table of authorities. Insert > Index and Tables > Table of Authorities




     

Table of Contents

Use Word's styles for your headings. This not only formats your headings, it also makes the table of contents a breeze.

Word 2007

Highlight the line you want to be a heading. Then select what level you want (Level 1 headings are the top layer of your outline, Level 2 are the next layer down, and so on.) In the Home tab, you can click on a level.

Or you can use the keyboard shortcut: ctrl-shift-1 for Level 1, ctrl-shift-2 for Level 2, and so on.

Here is what the sentences above look like as Level 2 and Level 3 headings:

 

After you have marked all the headings, you can create the table of contents:

  1. Move your cursor to the place you want to insert the table of contents.
     
  2. In the References tab, click Table of Contents.
     
  3. Choose the style you want and click Insert Table of Contents.

 

Word 2003

You can format the headings with ctrl-shift-1, ctrl-shift-2, etc. Or you can use the pull-down menu by the font name.

Then to create the table of contents, Insert > Reference > Index and Tables and then choose the Table of Contents tab.

 

Word 2008 for Mac

You can format the headings with Command-Option-1, Command-Option-2, etc. Or you can use the pull-down menu to the left of the font name.

Then to create the table of contents, Insert > Index and Tables and then choose the Table of Contents tab.