How to write a legal analysis memorandum

Although the "question presented" section is short, it must i provide a concise reference to the legal claim and relevant doctrine and ii incorporate the most legally significant facts of your case.

How to Write a Legal Memorandum

This section of the memorandum should cite the relevant law accurately by name and number. As the court noted in Lovett, 19 a prospective purchaser does not have the right to select items that the retailer does not have in stock or is not willing to sell at a reduced price.

You may have also grappled with a seemingly contradictory assortment of facts: Note as you read this section how the writer fleshes out the facts, holding, and reasoning of the Schenectady Stove Co.

A complete and well-balanced question presented is incisive — it immediately gets to the heart of the legal question — and it orients the reader to the factual context. The question presented should be sufficiently narrow and should be objective.

How to Write a Legal Memorandum

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. Language from the cases should be prominent and woven into your discussion of these facts.

Video of the Day Brought to you by Techwalla Brought to you by Techwalla Present the Facts The facts of the case follow the preliminaries, with the attorney presenting any relevant events, statements and evidence that are germane to the legal question at hand.

However, usually you have to make a decision about what a court would likely do if faced with your fact situation. Always include the name of the jurisdiction involved, e. By its terms, the advertisement announced that it had a stock of coats to sell, and described the coats as a manufacturer's closeout selling at a substantially reduced price.

Include legally significant facts - facts upon which the resolution of the legal question presented will turn, whether they are favorable or unfavorable to the client for whom you are writing - and include background facts that will make the context of the problem clear.

The discussion may also touch on possible objections and the specific evidence to be brought to the trial or hearing by the attorney and his client. Bear in mind that the busy law-trained reader will value conciseness in this section, so try to present only those facts that are legally significant or that are necessary to make the problem clear.

Courts rely heavily on precedent; if a case directly "on point" has already been decided and conforms to the attorney's interpretation, the attorney has a strong argument in favor of a similar conclusion by a judge or jury. Begin the first page as follows: The question should be sufficiently narrow and should be objective.

However, if that would result in repetitive discussion of the same cases in different sections of the memo, it might be better to combine your discussion of some of the sub-issues. Discuss Your Interpretation The discussion section gives the attorney's own interpretation of the law and how it may apply to the facts already presented.

Since each case is bound to produce multiple legal memorandums, it is always a good idea to establish a numbering sequence in the heading. Your discussion of the cases should be specific as to their facts and reasoning. Follow with an introductory section, which provides a map or framework for the discussion as a whole.

Also, do not comment upon the facts in the facts section or discuss how the law will apply to them. For this reason, many people do not write the final version of the question presented or the short answer until they have almost completed the "discussion" section of the memo.

The balanced description of law and fact that you provide in the question presented should be mirrored in the short answer. Ask the Question A legal memorandum begins with a concise statement of the question at hand. Although questions are usually framed so that they can be answered yes or no or probably yes or probably nosometimes they cannot such as "Under New York law, has a retailer made a binding offer when.

Preparing a legal memorandum

In the application section, you might draw analogies or contrasts between the cases discussed in the rule proof and your facts as a way to reach your conclusion.

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.

For example, in an issue involving whether a minor can disaffirm a contract, a legally significant fact would include the nature of the item or service contracted for was it clothing, food, shelter, related to health care, etc.

Rather, the facts section of an office memo should not be written in a tone that conveys a preference for a particular theory of the case, that implicitly advocates for one side in the dispute, or that telegraphs any of the legal conclusions to be drawn in the discussion section.

You can summarize the issue in the form of a topic sentence or question. It is better to err on the side of providing too many citations than not providing enough. You may have weighed arguments against counterarguments. It is usually one sentence, and often begins: Then give a brief usually no more than four or five sentences long self-contained explanation of the reasons for your conclusion.

Then state the order in which the remaining issues or subparts of an issue will be discussed. However, a purchaser may not make a valid contract by mere acceptance of a "proposition.

Hence, it was not possible for the defendant to make a valid contract by mere acceptance of a "proposition. 61 Legal Memorandum Format Sample On the following pages is a legal memorandum formatted the way your memos in this class should be formatted.

The substance. Office Memo Format and Explanation. This handout sets out a short description of one way to put together an office memorandum. The format and structure may differ somewhat from law office to law office (and, here in law school, from professor to professor).

Jul 02,  · A legal memorandum is a document written by a lawyer for the benefit of a client. It explains a specific area of law, analyzes a given fact pattern in light of the law, and makes a recommendation for a course of action based on the analysis. Writing a legal memorandum requires that you think like a lawyer%(22).

Preparing a legal memorandum. A legal memorandum presents research and analysis and applies the research and analysis to particular facts. A legal memorandum follows a general structure and follows certain conventions.

The structure and conventions are discussed below, and a sample memorandum is included. Because each legal. APPENDIX 6 LEGAL MEMORANDUM EXAMPLE Below is a condensed student-written office memorandum that demonstrates how citations will look in a document.

Because underlining is an acceptable way to denote italics, and some law professors require students to underline citations, that typeface has been used. Customized by you. Answer a Few Simple Questions.

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How to write a legal analysis memorandum
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