Free PD session: Writing Persuasive Legal Documents: What do judges really want?

  • June 19, 2018

Presented by the Civil Litigation Section

Note: This professional development session is free for CBA members. Not a member? Join today and attend for free, PLUS get the summer on us.*

This program has been approved for 3.0 hours of CPD by the Law Society of Prince Edward Island. 


Thursday, July 19, 2018; 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm


Delta Prince Edward by Marriott
18 Queen Street, Charlottetown, PE


12:30 pm: Registration & Coffee

1:00-4:30 pm: Writing Persuasive Legal Documents

4:30 pm: Reception/Social Hour

Program Chairs

Janet Clark, Stewart McKelvey; Civil Litigation Section Chair PEI Branch

Kevin J. Kiley, McInnes Cooper; PEI Branch Vice-President

Program Speakers

Caroline Mandell, Legal Writing Coach 

The Honourable Justice John K. Mitchell, Court of Appeal of Prince Edward Island

The Honourable Terri A. MacPherson, Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island

Program Description

Lawyers are professional writers, yet often receive little, if any, practical training in legal writing. Drawing on her experience as legal counsel to the justices of the Court of Appeal for Ontario from 2007-2017, Caroline Mandell provides that training. She has read thousands of factums and has worked with judges on decisions in all areas of law, including corporate, criminal, torts, family, class actions, and the Charter. Joined by Justices John K. Mitchell and Terri A. MacPherson, this is a practical session intended to sharpen your skills for effective written advocacy. Learn what our PEI courts expect and get expert guidance on how to write in a practical, strategic, and focused way. 

Introduction: Lawyers are Professional Writers (1:00-1:45)

Caroline Mandell, Mandell Coaching

  • Learn the 10 habits of successful professional writers
  • Explore the cardinal rule of legal writing, and identify the biggest barrier to persuasive writing

Writing Tips and Strategies: The Overview (1:45-2:15)

Caroline Mandell, Mandell Coaching

  • Why the Overview is the most important – and overlooked – section of your factum
  • How to make the most of this critical section 

Writing Tips and Strategies: The Facts Section (2:30-3:10)

The Honourable Terri A. MacPherson, Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island

  • Clarity, conciseness and providing a roadmap
  • Deciding which facts to include
  • Presenting the facts fairly and persuasively

Writing Tips and Strategies: Law and Argument Section (3:10-3:50)

The Honourable John K. Mitchell, Court of Appeal of Prince Edward Island

  • Persuasive submissions
  • Structuring your law and argument section
  • Incorporating the facts and law in your submissions

The Editing Process (3:50-4:15)

Caroline Mandell, Mandell Coaching

  • The 6 (yes, 6!) stages of editing your factum

Bonus: Tips for Oral Advocacy (4:15-4:30)

The Honourable Justice John K. Mitchell
The Honourable Terri A. MacPherson
Caroline Mandell

Reception (4:30-6:00)

Social Hour for all attendees and CBA members.



To register, please RSVP to Jane Smith at by Wednesday, July 11, 2018.Please include your name and CBA membership number. 

*Become a CBA Member and attend this session for free. Plus, for a limited time get 14 months of membership for the price of 12.