YOU MADE YOUR CASE – The Art of Persuading Judges
Don’t overuse italics; don’t use bold type except in headings; don’t use underlining at all.
Italicize to emphasize, but do it sparingly. Remember that when too much is emphasized, nothing is. Constant italicizing gives your brief the tone of an adolescent diary, which is not what you should be striving for.
Whenever possible, replace your italics with the device that provides the usual means of emphasis in written English: word order. In phrasing sentences, try to put the punch word at the end. Instead of writing “She held a knife in her hand,” write “What she held in her hand was a knife.” The latter formulation gives equivalent prominence to the desired word but sounds less excited. But when the only means of making your thought clear is to italicize a word or phrase; do it.
Some-brief-writers ill-advisedly use boldface type within normal text. The result is visually repulsive. Reserve boldface for headings.
As for underlining, it’s a crude throwback: that’s what writers used in typewriting-when italics weren’t possible. Nobody using a computer in the 21st century should be underlining text. To the extent that The Bluebook suggests otherwise, it should be revised.