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How Do You Write a Legal Statement?

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Formulation of a Legal Opinion
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The research and writing faculty are paired for each section of students, providing opportunities for team-teaching and specialized instruction throughout the year-long course. The writing faculty for the first-year course are listed below. In writing assignments, which range from short office memos to trial and appellate briefs, students master sophisticated research skills, complex analysis, careful construction of legal arguments, and the special requirements of legal prose.

The intertwined research and writing tasks additionally enhance the retention of research skills and promote more effective research strategies.

The Legal Analysis, Research and Writing Program is also distinguished by its use of writing faculty with substantial past law practice who have moved into the teaching of writing as their primary professional commitment and research faculty who are part of the Law School's professional reference librarians, all of whom are also lawyers. Duke was one of the first top-tier law schools to employ writing faculty whose first professional commitment is teaching; at a number of other top-tier schools, these courses are still taught by upperclass law students, recent law graduates, or practitioners who serve as adjunct professors.

The blend of academic strength and first-rate practical experience in the Duke Law Program results in a rigorous and richly rewarding experience. Duke Law School's upper-level advanced legal writing courses provide students with opportunities to hone further the legal writing skills taught in the first year. These courses are geared to specific subject-matter or legal writing settings, taught by the writing faculty in small seminars, and include substantial feedback to students on their written products.

Some of these courses also involve continued instruction in legal research. Professor Jo Ann Ragazzo teaches this course which helps prepare students for the rigors of legal analysis and writing in general civil practice by providing a variety of writing experiences including opinion and demand letters, pleadings, motions, and trial briefs.

It culminates in oral arguments on motions before members of the bench and bar. Professor Jeremy Mullem teaches this two-credit course which introduces the components of contracts, a formal vocabulary for discussing them, and the skill of translating business deals to the page. Contract Drafting features writing exercises that will be done both in and outside of class.

In addition, extensive peer and instructor editing will be used. While the skills taught will be basic, they will also apply to more sophisticated contracts, including those that Duke Law students can expect to see and draft in practice. While this writing-intensive course fulfills the upper-level professional skills requirement, because performing significant independent legal research is not a part of it, it does not fulfill the substantial research and writing project requirement.

Baker, and Emily Strauss each teach sections of this course in different semesters. In the course, students will produce an original analytic paper of substantial length.

Clarity of expression can only be achieved through thorough planning and thought. A thorough plan will lead to a logical structure. Any legal opinion will be conveying a particular point, but that point will inevitably need to be broken down into sections. Each section will culminate in an opinion and each opinion must be fully explained and justified.

Clarity of legal writing also requires conciseness. This does not necessarily imply brevity, but once the point has been made, nothing more need be said. Having said that, completeness and total accuracy is vital and conciseness should not come above giving full and precise advice. A request for a legal opinion will usually come in written form.

Such a request will usually include any documents in the case. The request for a legal opinion will include at least one and usually a number of questions which the legal advisor is being asked to address. For a barrister an instruction to provide a legal opinion will come from a solicitor so any response will be written with the solicitor in mind as the reader, but the solicitor will have requested the legal opinion in order to advise the client and therefore the client must be borne in mind as well.

A legal opinion will often have the over arching question of does the client have a good and viable case. This is clearly the most important question to any client and must be approached with honesty and directness. Numbered action points are one way of achieving clarity in this regard. Above all it is vital to remember that in being asked to draft a legal opinion, you are being asked to advise. Sitting on the fence is not an option. Lay out the pros and cons of a particular course of action, but always come down on one side or the other..

Drafting a legal opinion can and should always be split into two processes: The thinking process and the writing process. Once the facts are at your finger tips, a legal framework needs to be constructed into which these facts can be logically slotted.

A legal opinion in a personal injury action for example will be based on negligence and therefore will usually be structured along the lines of duty, breach, damage, causation, forseeability and contributory negligence. In a negligence legal opinion it will be vital to assess the level of damages that the client can expect to receive or pay out. What should also be borne in mind throughout the planning stage should be the opposing case. Evidential issues must also be considered.

A good legal opinion will always address how a particular factual situation can be proved. Before you begin writing a legal opinion, you will know exactly what advice you are going to give, why you are giving it and how you are going to present it.

The legal opinion should be written following a structure. The first paragraphs should serve as an introduction to the legal opinion, laying out the salient facts and what you have been asked to advise about. At this point, many legal opinions will set out the main conclusions and advice and the overall opinion. This is good practice as it will encourage focus throughout the legal opinion and the reader will be able to read the following paragraphs knowing where they are leading.

A percentage chance of success can be included in this section if appropriate. Opinion letters are given when you want to know if an action is lawful or if the action will lead to desired legal consequences. They also address the question raised by other professional. They, therefore, provide an authoritative basis for reports, opinions, and reports on matters where other professionals lack the professional capability to make judgments.

Another purpose is to satisfy regulatory requirements. How to Write an Opinion Letter An opinion letter is useful before you get into a transaction. However, any natural interface or presumption you have made from the facts must be included. Do not forget to mention that the interface or presumptions are your personal opinions.

For an easy analysis, first set out the provision of the law and the law itself. After that, summarize the jurisdiction of the High Court or the Supreme Court over the issue at hand. Cite all the extracts. For an ultimate opinion, chose precise extracts on which to base your judgment. The analysis should include conditions necessary for a positive or negative answer.

Besides, advise the client on steps to take when they find themselves in similar situations again. At this point, indicate to your client where they stand in regards to the law applicable. To simplify the analysis process, number all previous paragraphs.

This will relieve you of the burden of repeating previously written information.

Legal Writing at Duke Law School

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Writing these opinions represent a dialectic between two schools of thought: One, which holds that the lawyer is supposed to give his opinion, not the sources or precedents that he relies upon.

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A legal opinion is a written statement by a judicial officer, legal expert or a court as to the illegibility or legibility of a condition, intendant or action. In business, an opinion letter represents the opinion giver's professional understanding of a particular aspect of a transaction or a .

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Drafting a legal opinion can and should always be split into two processes: The thinking process and the writing process. The Thinking Process The first thing to do is to digest and organise the facts. Writing a legal opinion, - Dissertation books amazon. Our company deals exclusively with experienced and well-educated professionals of academic writing.

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Template LEGAL OPINION This is a sample legal opinion for the purpose of paragraph (A) of Part A (Initial Conditions Precedent) of Schedule 1 (Conditions Precedent) to the Contract for Difference Standard Terms and Conditions. It is issued by the CfD Counterparty as guidance. A legal opinion is typically written by following a format that consists of six sections, explains The Law Dictionary. The first section is the heading that includes a one-line case descriptor. The next five sections are the legal issue, an answer, the statement of facts, a discussion and a conclusion.