Years ago, I attended a litigation seminar taught by U.S. District Judge Herbert J. Stern, in which he hammered home a key point for effective advocacy: "Don't chase every rabbit." This advice has stuck with me over the years, and unfortunately, it seems to be ignored by far too many practitioners.
The concept is simple: When writing for or addressing the court, you should develop and emphasize your strongest arguments, and leave the marginal ones behind. Your appellate brief is not a law-school exam, where you get rewarded for "spotting" every issue, big or small. Nor are you filing an answer, where you've been trained to include in your litany of defenses anything that passes the red-face test.