Most guides on writing cert petitions focus on two facts: The Court grants certiorari to resolve conflicts, not to correct errors; and the Court grants an astonishingly small percentage of cert petitions. The guide might then dig a little deeper: The only lower-court conflicts that matter are conflicts between or among
federal courts of appeals and/or state courts of last resort—conflicts involving federal district courts and state intermediate courts don’t matter. All of this is
true, and yet there’s so much more to say.
The goal of this manual is to dig much deeper, to explore the many layers of crafting a successful cert petition. Good advocacy truly matters at this stage of a
case. How you frame the issue, how you describe the conflict, and how you pitch the importance of the question presented can make all the difference between a
one-line order saying “certiorari denied” and obtaining Supreme Court review and a Supreme Court victory down the line.
This manual will help you seize the opportunity to write a persuasive petition. It is based on lessons learned from reading thousands of cert petitions and
hearing from leading Supreme Court advocates at NAAG’s annual Supreme Court Advocacy Seminar.
U.S. Supreme Court Brief Writing Style Guide
How To Write a Successful Brief In Opposition: A Guide For State Lawyers