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

Step 1: Select the motion that you want to make or oppose.

Step 2: 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.

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.

When you hover over an argument heading, you will see the preview of the full argument in a text bubble. Click on "Add" 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 will be taken to the standards that pertain to your argument. Authorities will be listed under each standard. To add a standard to your brief, click "Add." To include the listed authorities with the standard in your brief, make sure the checkbox next to each authority is selected.

Step 6: Add docket references.

You can use Compose's docket tool to look up the docket for a federal case and select docket entries to add to your brief. To use this feature, click on the "Docket" icon available from the left side of the screen. You will be prompted to enter your case number. You will then see a list of docket entries from your case. You can view the docket entries in two ways: (1) reverse chronological order, which will the newest entries at the top, or (2) by using "smart grouping," which will group docket entries according to the following categories: complaints, answers, affidavits or declarations, transcripts, orders, and other entries.

Once you have located the docket entry that you want to include in your brief, click the "Add" button. That will cause the docket entry to appear where you placed your cursor in your brief. For more information on Compose's docket feature, please see the article, "Does Compose provide access to dockets?"

Step 7: Edit the text of your brief as you would like.

You can edit the text of your just brief like a Word document. Use the cursor to select text and change the formatting as necessary. You can also move around arguments and standards, and add or delete any text as you see fit. For more information about changing the text in your brief, please see the article entitled, "How do I change the text in my Compose brief?"

Step 8: Find cases to support specific points in your brief.

To find cases that support a sentence that you have added to your brief, select the sentence that you want to use as your search query. A pop-up menu will appear. Click on the magnifying glass icon that appears in the pop-up menu. This will take you to the Parallel Search engine, which will display your search results below the "Recommended cases" heading. The jurisdiction filter is set to show you cases from the jurisdiction you selected for your motion, but you can see cases from other jurisdictions by clicking on the button that says, "show other jx."

For more information on how to find supporting cases for your brief, please see the article, "I want to find other supporting cases. How do I do that?" If you need further assistance, please contact our support team at

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