In the realm of insurance litigation, the discovery phase often proves to be a labyrinthine journey, fraught with challenges for policyholder attorneys. In our previous discourse on the foundational principles guiding plaintiff’s property attorneys, “Rules of the Road: Simplifying the Process for Plaintiff’s Property Attorneys to Ensure Effective Advocacy,” we delved into the intricacies of effective advocacy. Today, we zoom in on a critical juncture within this legal landscape: Motions.

Rick Friedman and Patrick Malone, esteemed voices in the legal domain, offer invaluable insights into the art of maneuvering through motions and accompanying briefs. 1 Their assertion, “judges need to be spoon-fed,” though seemingly straightforward, encapsulates profound truths essential for advocacy in the courtroom.

What does spoon-feeding entail in the context of legal discourse? It boils down to the imperative of presenting information to judges in a manner that is concise, cogent, and tailored to their decision-making process. Contrary to assumptions, judges cannot be presumed to possess exhaustive knowledge of relevant laws, recall every nuance of precedent, or harbor a vested interest in the specifics of a case. As policyholder attorneys, it falls upon us to distill complex legal arguments and factual narratives into digestible portions, illuminating the path to a favorable ruling.

The essence of spoon-feeding lies in strategic simplicity. It demands a departure from the temptation to inundate judges with an avalanche of information, however pertinent it may seem. Instead, the focus shifts to delineating only the crux of the matter – the facts and legal principles indispensable for adjudication. While the plight of our clients and the injustices they endure may loom large in our minds, restraint and precision become paramount when crafting motions and briefs.

In the pursuit of zealous advocacy, policyholder attorneys must internalize a fundamental maxim: the objective is not to impress the judiciary with the depth of our toil or the verbosity of our prose. Rather, it is to streamline the decision-making process for judges, facilitating a clear path to justice. As aptly articulated by Rick Friedman and Patrick Malone, “Your job is not to impress the judge with how hard you have worked, what a long, complicated brief you can write, or how strongly you believe in the righteousness of your cause.”

In essence, mastering the art of spoon-feeding in legal advocacy necessitates a delicate balance between passion and pragmatism. It requires honing the ability to distill complexity into clarity to present a compelling narrative without succumbing to superfluous embellishments. By embracing this ethos, policyholder attorneys can navigate the tumultuous waters of discovery motions with finesse, steering their clients toward the coveted shores of justice.

1 Rick Friedman and Patrick Malone, Rules of the Road: A Plaintiff Lawyer’s Guide to Proving Liability, 2nd Edition, Trial Guides (2010) [Chapter 13: Motions and the Rules of the Road].