Writing a Legal Memorandum
Unlike a court brief, a legal note is not the place to hold a legal opinion or argue facts. The legal memorandum serves as an objective stand-alone document. Therefore, he must maintain an unbiased tone, without implicit preference for either side. Finish the memo with your general conclusions about the client`s situation regarding the topics you are discussing. If necessary, type Be concise and clear in your conclusions. Be realistic with recommendations and conclusions about the client`s situation – avoid being too positive or negative. You can sign the memorandum with your name. A legal note is a document used in legal practice to identify and advise on legal issues in a client`s case. It is also a common type of assessment in a law school. A memo is often written in the form of a structured letter, with titles that clearly identify legal issues.
The letter can be addressed to a client or colleague in a law firm (internal note). Review your assessment instructions for specific requirements of your legal opinion. 20) Using a counter-argument is a good way to convey that the existing legal authority is unclear, unambiguous or uniform when applied to facts like yours. You may not be able to predict the outcome of your case with certainty based on your facts. 12) Since writing memos is predictive writing, you should try to maintain an objective and unbiased tone while telling the facts. This is not to say that you should leave out the facts that have an emotional impact. On the contrary, the factual portion of a memorandum should not be written in a tone that expresses a preference for a particular theory of the case, implicitly advocates a disputing party, or telegraphs any of the legal conclusions to be drawn in the discussion section. Since you are not defending a page, you should not color or characterize the facts as you would if you were writing a letter. Also, do not comment on the facts in the facts section or discuss how the law applies to them. Tip: Try writing the discussion section first. If you can`t start without an introduction, take ten minutes to write a few sentences that cover: A short one-sentence statement that defines how the law will be applied to the legal issue in question, and the jurisdiction in which the issue will be decided.
The question asked is specific and impartial and does not presuppose a legal conclusion. This review helps a little, as it is now clear who our client is. But I still don`t know enough about the background to the problem. Why are we investigating this matter? Has there been a lawsuit from the company or are we looking for a way to prevent them from continuing to use the property? Plus, the phrase reads like you`re working to help the company justify its use, rather than finding a way for our client Pat Smith to stop it. Try again. This is a very useful reminder of the client`s practical and financial concerns – we must always keep an eye on what is at stake for the client. After all, it`s our job to solve people`s problems, not to answer abstract legal questions. Don`t start the paragraph with this sentence, it`s not a good subject sentence; But definitely keep it in the introduction.
A concise and unbiased presentation of the facts that captures the heart of the legal issue, as well as current and past legal proceedings related to the issue. Facts can be grouped chronologically or thematically, depending on the format that presents the facts most clearly. The lead lawyer will likely read this section first. It predicts how the court will apply the law and how confident you are in your data-driven prediction. With an unbiased advisory tone, you identify next steps and propose a legal strategy to move forward. There are two common phrases for the short answers section of the legal memo: Probably yes, or probably no. 16) If the rule statement serves as a thesis sentence for a longer discussion of a legal rule that has developed over time in a number of cases, the rule proof serves as an explanation and elaboration of that thesis sentence. Answer all questions completely and directly. Don`t be indirect, indecisive, or undecided. Base your answers on a reason that is legally substantiated. Do not use phrases such as “it seems” or “it seems that.” It is ambiguous language.
Too often, however, the court-appointed lawyer glances at the result and replies, “I already knew that.” To avoid this result, it is important to write a legal note with sufficient understanding of the target group, scope, purpose and format.