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The Rest of the Memo Drafting the Question Presented, Brief Answer & Statement of Facts ©  Prof. Njeri Mathis Rutledge
Assignment Details <ul><li>Goal:  make a conclusion and support whether or not the third element can be satisfied </li></u...
Assignment Details <ul><li>Quoting – “ . . .” Warner p. 438 </li></ul><ul><li>When referring to precedent by name – always...
Assignment Details <ul><li>Submission process </li></ul><ul><li>You should have already registered your password with TWEN...
The Memorandum <ul><li>To </li></ul><ul><li>From </li></ul><ul><li>Re </li></ul><ul><li>Question Presented </li></ul><ul><...
The Heading <ul><li>To: Supervising Attorney </li></ul><ul><li>From: Your name </li></ul><ul><li>Date: Current Date </li><...
Drafting the Heading <ul><li>Consider your reader </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Re:  Nadine Jackson Cl...
Formatting <ul><li>Spacing & content of the heading is tabbed, everything is lined up vertically with the other pieces </l...
Question Presented <ul><li>Some people label this “Issue Presented” </li></ul><ul><li>Some begin with Statement of Facts f...
Goals of the Question Presented <ul><li>Identify claim, crime, defense or elements </li></ul><ul><li>Summarize necessary f...
Count the Issues <ul><li>Number of issue statements must match the parts in the discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Organize and ...
Question Presented <ul><li>Two types </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Given problem to research the state of the governing law, witho...
Writing the Question Presented <ul><li>Format: (varies) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Purely legal:  simple question </li></ul></u...
Possible Formats <ul><li>1. Legal question + concise statement relevant facts </li></ul><ul><li>2.  Legal question + conci...
Legal question + concise statement <ul><li>Can . . .[legal question] . . . when [state major facts]? </li></ul><ul><ul><li...
Examples <ul><li>Ex:  Can  Carrolton enforce the Watson covenant-not-to-compete  when  the covenant prohibits Watson from ...
Whether format <ul><li>Whether [legal question] . . . when [facts] </li></ul><ul><li>Notice, this clause will not be a rea...
Example <ul><li>Whether  the Flynns have a cause of action for either public or private nuisance  when  Pecos Power had au...
Example <ul><li>Whether  it is a violation of the Texas Disciplinary Rules for a partner in our Firm to list her qualifica...
Under/does/when <ul><li>Under . . .[rule of law] does . . .when [facts] </li></ul><ul><li>Under  . . .[rule of law]  does ...
Example <ul><li>Under  the Texas Penal Code, a person may be convicted of aggravated robbery if she uses or exhibits a dea...
Example <ul><li>Under the Georgia common law rule that allows covenants-not-to compete only when the area restrained, the ...
Degree of Details <ul><li>Traditionally, one readable sentence, but 2 clear sentences are better than 1 confusing </li></u...
Let’s give it a try
Brief Answer <ul><li>Responds to question presented </li></ul><ul><li>Concise statement of your conclusion/prediction on t...
Brief Answer <ul><li>Always  begin with one-word or two-word  short answer (compare to Shapo).  Place a period after the o...
Statement of Facts <ul><li>Remember – Predictive writing – be objective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex: defendant was speeding t...
Statement of Facts <ul><li>Focus on relevant facts & background facts </li></ul><ul><li>Relevant/determinative facts – hel...
Statement of Facts <ul><li>Organization </li></ul><ul><li>Chronological – if order of events is important or several factu...
Statement of Facts <ul><li>Sometimes easier to draft AFTER your analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t just repeat the facts fro...
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The rest of the memo

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The rest of the memo

  1. 1. The Rest of the Memo Drafting the Question Presented, Brief Answer & Statement of Facts © Prof. Njeri Mathis Rutledge
  2. 2. Assignment Details <ul><li>Goal: make a conclusion and support whether or not the third element can be satisfied </li></ul><ul><li>Closed research – no additional research allowed </li></ul><ul><li>Not necessary to utilize every case. Every case may or may not be helpful </li></ul>
  3. 3. Assignment Details <ul><li>Quoting – “ . . .” Warner p. 438 </li></ul><ul><li>When referring to precedent by name – always underline or italicize </li></ul><ul><li>Overview paragraph – summarize other elements </li></ul>
  4. 4. Assignment Details <ul><li>Submission process </li></ul><ul><li>You should have already registered your password with TWEN. If not do so IMMEDIATELY </li></ul><ul><li>Go to class web-page; click on current students; click on assignment drop box. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Memorandum <ul><li>To </li></ul><ul><li>From </li></ul><ul><li>Re </li></ul><ul><li>Question Presented </li></ul><ul><li>Brief Answer </li></ul><ul><li>Statement of Facts </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Heading <ul><li>To: Supervising Attorney </li></ul><ul><li>From: Your name </li></ul><ul><li>Date: Current Date </li></ul><ul><li>Re: </li></ul><ul><li>Re: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What the memo is about or regarding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Name of client, file number, nature of matter or claim, procedural status if any (appeal of conviction, settlement) </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Drafting the Heading <ul><li>Consider your reader </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Re: Nadine Jackson Claim </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Re: Nadine Jackson’s Potential Claim for Negligent Infliction Emotional Distress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Re: Extra-territorial Application of Texas Rules Regarding Advertising by Lawyers </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Formatting <ul><li>Spacing & content of the heading is tabbed, everything is lined up vertically with the other pieces </li></ul><ul><li>The document heading & headings of all sections are in bold </li></ul><ul><li>Question presented & brief answer are single spaced. If multiple issues, double-space between each. The remainder of the memo is double spaced. </li></ul><ul><li>The document is justified left because full justification will alter citation spacing. </li></ul><ul><li>Page numbering is at the bottom of the page after the first. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Question Presented <ul><li>Some people label this “Issue Presented” </li></ul><ul><li>Some begin with Statement of Facts first </li></ul>
  10. 10. Goals of the Question Presented <ul><li>Identify claim, crime, defense or elements </li></ul><ul><li>Summarize necessary facts related to the dispute </li></ul><ul><li>End with a question that identifies the disputed issue </li></ul><ul><li>Do not include conclusions </li></ul>
  11. 11. Count the Issues <ul><li>Number of issue statements must match the parts in the discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Organize and list the question(s) in the same order of the discussion </li></ul>
  12. 12. Question Presented <ul><li>Two types </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Given problem to research the state of the governing law, without referencing a client = simple legal question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Asked to apply a rule of law to a set of facts and predict a result = question + most important facts & sometimes the rule </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Writing the Question Presented <ul><li>Format: (varies) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Purely legal: simple question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What are the parameters of activity that has been permitted by disciplinary committees or courts considering the practice of “solely federal law” in Texas or other jurisdictions? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prediction based on client facts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Whether Carrolton can enforce the Watson covenant-not-to-compete when the covenant prohibits Watson from making sales contracts for three years and applies to the three counties closest to Carrolton’s headquarters. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Possible Formats <ul><li>1. Legal question + concise statement relevant facts </li></ul><ul><li>2. Legal question + concise statement in “whether” format </li></ul><ul><li>3. Under/does/when format </li></ul>
  15. 15. Legal question + concise statement <ul><li>Can . . .[legal question] . . . when [state major facts]? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can Where </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Did When </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Was </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Notice no rule of law in this example </li></ul>
  16. 16. Examples <ul><li>Ex: Can Carrolton enforce the Watson covenant-not-to-compete when the covenant prohibits Watson from making sales contracts for three years and applies to the three counties closest to Carrolton’s headquarters? </li></ul><ul><li>Do the Texas rules concerning advertising by lawyers apply to all of our lawyers in all of our offices when advertising on the Internet? </li></ul>
  17. 17. Whether format <ul><li>Whether [legal question] . . . when [facts] </li></ul><ul><li>Notice, this clause will not be a real sentence, but in legal writing you should end the “whether” question with a period. </li></ul><ul><li>This format can include a statement of the law or not. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Example <ul><li>Whether the Flynns have a cause of action for either public or private nuisance when Pecos Power had authorization to build the high voltage lines, the high voltage lines obstruct the Flynns’ view, the Flynns no longer use their backyard because of their fear that the EMFs from the high voltage lines may cause cancer, and the Flynns have been unable to sell their home. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Example <ul><li>Whether it is a violation of the Texas Disciplinary Rules for a partner in our Firm to list her qualifications on the Firm’s web site when the partner is not admitted to practice in Texas and does not maintain an office in Texas. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Under/does/when <ul><li>Under . . .[rule of law] does . . .when [facts] </li></ul><ul><li>Under . . .[rule of law] does </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>can </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>did </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>was </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>is </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Example <ul><li>Under the Texas Penal Code, a person may be convicted of aggravated robbery if she uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during a robbery. Did Jane Dunn use or exhibit a deadly weapon when she brandished a crowbar at the UPS driver and threatened to hit him with it during a robbery. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Example <ul><li>Under the Georgia common law rule that allows covenants-not-to compete only when the area restrained, the activities restrained, and the duration of the restraint are reasonable, can a covenant-not-to-compete be enforced when the covenant prohibits the covenantor from making sales contacts, for three years, and applies to the three counties closest to the headquarters of the covenant’s beneficiary? </li></ul>
  23. 23. Degree of Details <ul><li>Traditionally, one readable sentence, but 2 clear sentences are better than 1 confusing </li></ul><ul><li>Can have either specific references to client or general references </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Better practice is to use parties’ names </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Let’s give it a try
  25. 25. Brief Answer <ul><li>Responds to question presented </li></ul><ul><li>Concise statement of your conclusion/prediction on the issue , which elements will be easy, which will be more difficult </li></ul><ul><li>No longer than one-third of a page </li></ul><ul><li>If question presented did not present legal rule, raise it here </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes referred to as Short Answer </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Brief Answer <ul><li>Always begin with one-word or two-word short answer (compare to Shapo). Place a period after the one or two words </li></ul><ul><li>Yes or No , only if legal outcome is certain </li></ul><ul><li>Lesser degree of certainty - probably yes; probably not is often appropriate </li></ul>
  27. 27. Statement of Facts <ul><li>Remember – Predictive writing – be objective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex: defendant was speeding through the school zone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Defendant was traveling 40 mph through the school zone </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Include favorable & unfavorable facts </li></ul>
  28. 28. Statement of Facts <ul><li>Focus on relevant facts & background facts </li></ul><ul><li>Relevant/determinative facts – help show how the rule will apply to client’s situation </li></ul><ul><li>Procedural info – current procedural posture, procedural history </li></ul><ul><li>Stick to the facts- no conclusions, arguments, cases </li></ul>
  29. 29. Statement of Facts <ul><li>Organization </li></ul><ul><li>Chronological – if order of events is important or several factual developments </li></ul><ul><li>Topical – complex facts, cover number of topics </li></ul><ul><li>Hybrid – facts have both chronological importance & descriptive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ex. Carillo attractive nuisance – introduction of the Carillos and the neighborhood, facts surrounding purchase of trampoline, placement & purpose, chronological events of the day of the accident, </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Statement of Facts <ul><li>Sometimes easier to draft AFTER your analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t just repeat the facts from the assignment </li></ul>

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