WHAT IS AN OFFICE MEMO AND HOW DO I WRITE ONE
List these headings in your memo. Please do not forget to list the headings - Facts, Issue and Short Answer, Analysis, Counter-Argument, Rebuttal, and Conclusion. The office memo combines your ability to explain the law along with your ability to apply the law. In the Office Memo, you make a determination of the likely outcome based upon your review of the law and the facts in a case. In the memo, you will write about the facts in a client's case and the law pertaining to the client's case. Most importantly, you will apply the law to the client's situation. Further, you will learn to anticipate what the opposing side's position will be and how to address the issues raised by the opposing side. In next week's practice assignment, you will learn how to write an office memo. The practice office memo will be based on the Foster fact pattern. You will use the third party custody cases that you read for this fact pattern i.e. Pastore and Ross. FACTS
In the Office Memo, you will need to discuss the facts in the client's situation. In this section, you simply state the pertinent facts in an organized manner. The facts should be separated into paragraphs based upon topic. Just include the key facts i.e. facts that the Court would consider crucial in the case. Write short paragraphs with related information so that it will be easy to follow. ISSUE
After discussing the facts in the case, the next thing that you will need to do is discuss the legal issue. For example, in the Foster fact pattern, Ms. Foster contacted you because she wants custody of her foster children. What is the legal issue involved in her case? (hint: third party custody). The issue should be addressed by posing the question that your memo will address. The issue should be written in question format. You should review the sample office memo in Module 4. The issue should address the legal issue involved in the case i.e. inform the reader of the substantive legal issue in the case. The issue should be written in such a way that the short answer could be answered yes or no. SHORT ANSWER
After writing the Issue section, you will need to write a Short Answer. This is similar to the holding section in a case brief. In this section, you will answer yes or no to the question raised in the issue. ANALYSIS
In this section, you will apply the facts in your client's case to the law. This is the most difficult and also most important part of the memo. Although you need to know the facts in your case and the relevant law, this knowledge is meaningless unless you can apply the law to your client's situation. When you analyze the facts in your case, you will want to review the case law. If there are factors that the court considers, make sure to apply those factors to your client's case. For instance, how would you review and apply the Ross factors to the Foster fact pattern. COUNTER-ARGUMENT
When you advocate for a client, it is important to anticipate what the opposing side is going to argue. For instance, what Mr. Warm will argue. Mr. Warm wants to regain custody of his children. What legal concept will he state to support his contention that he should be awarded custody? What case law will he use to support his position? REBUTTAL
In this section, state how you would address the counter-argument? CONCLUSION
In this section, state who you think will prevail. Briefly summarizes the facts and the law in the case.
General Comments on Office Memo:
1. Do not forget your office memo header: TO, FROM, DATE, and RE. Also, do not forget your headings. The following sections should have headings: Facts, Issue, Brief Answer, Analysis, Counter-Argument, Rebuttal, and Conclusion. 2. In the facts section, make sure that you state the key facts. Do not give your opinion on the case or state how someone feels or believes. State the critical facts that a court will need to consider in determining a case. 3. The...
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