One Brief Two Brief Red Brief Blue Brief

When cases go up on appeal, the different briefs are color-coded. The appellant uses a blue cover; the appellee uses a red cover. Thr practice makes it much easier to keep track of the relevant documents when you’re going through the filings in case. It also sets up some odd synaesthetic associations. The other day I had a Matrix moment.

You read the blue brief and you think you know how the story goes. You go to oral argument and you believe whatever you want to believe.

You read the red brief and you stay in Wonderland as it shows you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

For most civil appeals, the colors don’t really line up correctly, but for criminal appeals, it’s actually not a bad image.