Writing a legal memo with multiple issues

The test is prejudice to the defendant. It may be the case that you cannot predict with certainty the outcome of your case, given your facts.

To get away, he shoved another customer into the large jar of marbles the coffee shop had as a guess-the-number-of marbles-in-the jar contest. Your conclusion can convey that you are completely confident the court will rule as you predict or that, given the state of the legal authority, the outcome is really a toss-up and could go either way.

The case law says that a plaintiff must show that the extension will not cause prejudice or unfairness to the defendant. The most effective style is to use a thesis sentence or paragraph that not only indicates what the issue is, but tells the reader briefly what your conclusion is on the issue.

Something is missing here. The issue in this case is whether a retailer's advertisement will be considered to be an offer that may be turned into a binding contract by a shopper who signifies an intention to purchase the items described in the advertisement.

Typically, you will organize your discussion of the legal rule into subsections that correspond to the elements of the legal rule. She asks whether Loman's would have any contractual obligation under these circumstances. Always include the name of the jurisdiction involved, e.

Note as you read this section how the writer fleshes out the facts, holding, and reasoning of the Schenectady Stove Co. Here, since the question presented is designed to highlight whether the facts indicate that a formal contract offer has been made, you would not use the term "offer" in framing the question, i.

You may find there are different lines of cases, each resulting in a different formulation of the rule. In some circumstances there may be a practical solution that enables you to avoid confronting the uncertainty in the law.

Captures the relevant facts Mentor: Hence, it was not possible for the defendant to make a valid contract by mere acceptance of a "proposition.

Your thinking may become clearer and better organized as the writing proceeds. Identify the level of certainty with which you render a conclusion for each issue or sub-issue, but be sure to draw a conclusion even for closer questions.

Be sure to address any counterarguments that could be raised, but show why you believe they would not prevail.

Issue Statements or Questions Presented

Captures the legal test, elements, standard or criteria Mentor: You have merely written out the client's question. The introductory section should summarize and synthesize the rule, setting out all subparts of the rule and clarifying how they relate to one another.

Then give a brief usually no more than four or five sentences long self-contained explanation of the reasons for your conclusion. However, what is not clear is the logical link between the first fact listed and the key legal criteria — whether there is prejudice to the defendant.

The basic structure of the discussion section might look like this: This statement is the most accurate and neutral. I spoke to the Deli King manager, who denies any knowledge of the incident or having seen the metal fragment. Sandy went to a lawyer who reassured her over the course of a year that everything was being taken care of.This is a memorandum written for my Legal Analysis, Research and Writing course.

The assignment restricted us to discussing the issue of whether a common law marriage existed. Office Memo Format and Explanation.

Then state the order in which the remaining issues or subparts of an issue will be discussed. For a useful discussion of an introductory section, please see pp.

in Linda H. Edwards, Legal Writing and Analysis (Aspen ). The Open Memo An open memo is an objective office memorandum that law firm associates are frequently asked to provide to senior attorneys.

Based on a set of facts involving a. Issue Statements or Questions Presented a. Stating the Question You Will Answer: Precisely, Completely, Simply, and Neutrally Expressing the issues accurately is one of the most difficult aspects of memo writing.

Issue Statements or Questions Presented

Number the issues and use common legal writing conventions for numbering. Office Memo Format and Explanation. Then state the order in which the remaining issues or subparts of an issue will be discussed. For a useful discussion of an introductory section, please see pp.

in Linda H. Edwards, Legal Writing and Analysis (Aspen ). From: Career & Professional Development Center Date: Summer Re: Effective Writing Samples This memo (which is largely borrowed, with permission, from the fine work of Professors analysis of a legal issue to date.

While you certainly may, you need not use one of your many of you will write memos this summer, wherever you are.

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Writing a legal memo with multiple issues
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