Can you provide step-by-step instructions for getting started on a Compose motion?

How to draft a brief in Compose

Valerie McConnell avatar
Written by Valerie McConnell
Updated over a week ago

You can draft a brief in support of or in opposition to a motion in just a few simple steps using Compose.

Step 1: Choose your motion.

After logging into your Compose account, click on the motion that you want to make or oppose from the new brief automation library, found at

Step 2: Choose your position.

Indicate whether you are the movant (the party making the motion) or the nonmovant (the party opposing the motion).

For federal motions, you will also be asked to indicate the district court where your case is proceeding. Select your district court by clicking on the downward arrows next to the appropriate Circuit:

Step 3: Name the parties.

State the name of the party you represent as well as the opposing party. Use short names for each party. E.g. use Cisco, not Cisco Systems. These short names will be used to generate the title of this brief. When you are done entering the party names, click the blue "Finish Setup" button to move to the next step.

Step 4: Choose your arguments.

You will now be presented with a list of arguments. If you selected "movant," you will see the arguments that you may make in support of your motion. If you selected "nonmovant," you will see the arguments that you may make in opposition to opposing counsel's motion.

You can browse the full list of arguments by scrolling down the page, or you can type keywords into the search bar to search for a particular argument:

The list of arguments provides topic sentences for different arguments to make in support of your motion. The middle panel displays the full sentence in support of each argument under the heading “Argument statement.” Click the "Add" button to add that argument to your motion:

Step 5: Choose your standards to support your arguments.

After you add an argument in Step 4, you can choose the legal standards that support your argument. These standards appear in the middle panel under the heading, "Supporting legal standards":

Cases, statutes, and any other authorities are cited under each standard. To add a standard to your brief, click "Add." To include the cited authorities with the standard in your brief, make sure the checkbox next to each authority is selected:

Step 6: Edit the text of your brief as you would like.

You can edit the text of your just brief like a Word document. Use your cursor to select the text that you would like to change and then apply your desired formatting options. The formatting options appear in the menu at the bottom of the brief template, as shown below:

Step 7: Find cases to support specific points in your brief.

To find cases to support a sentence in your brief, use your cursor to select the sentence that you want to use as your search query. A magnifying glass icon will appear:

Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the Parallel Search engine, which will display cases and legal standards that support your sentence:

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