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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33923
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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Im having to write my first brief to the Atlanta district

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I'm having to write my first brief to the Atlanta district court. I am appealing the dismissal of my case by the South Florida district court.
I'm much more comfortable reading and familiar with commercial legal self help books and a commercial legal dictionary.
Under rule 28(a) of the federal appellate procedures there is the following:

"(3) a table of authorities—cases (alphabetically arranged), statutes, and other authorities—with references to the pages of the brief where they are cited; "

I also think I read some where that federal courts don't allow citations from commercial self help books etc. Supposedly I recall the court only allows citation of existing law and case precedents.
Is it true that I'm restricted to citing only law and court documents?

Also I assume there must be some sort of legal terms dictionary the federal courts rely on for a standard. What might that be so I can use it and where would I find it on line?

Thanks, Phil

JD 1992 :

Hello and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

JD 1992 :

You can cite to other materials but it is useless to do so in Federal Court because the judges don't consider them authoritative and rarely consider them persuasive. You should cite only to case law, first from your circuit or the Supreme Court of the US and then from other circuits if you can't find anything in your circuit.

JD 1992 :

There is no "legal terms dictionary" that is used by the courts. you can cite to Black's Law Dictionary but, again, the court doesn't consider it as authoritative in any manner. Black's online is at but I don't know that it is complete or the latest edition.

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