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How to write a legal opinion Law Help How to write a legal opinion The following will be a guide to writing an effective and legally sound legal opinion. It will begin by discussing the qualities of good writing which is central to writing a successful legal opinion. It will then move on to discussing the formulation of the legal opinion itself.
Finally it will discuss the use of law in a legal opinion and how to refer to both case law and statute effectively and efficiently. Quality of Writing The primary purpose of a legal opinion is communication of advice to either a lay or professional client.
It is therefore of the utmost importance that it is clear and in plain, understandable English. Every word of the legal opinion should be chosen by the writer because it communicates precisely the advice which the writer intends to covey.
It is important to write in plain English wherever possible. A good legal opinion will avoid archaic language and legalese.
Use of legalese will create a barrier between lawyer and client and divert the main purpose of the legal opinion; to communicate.
That is not to say that the legal opinion should be over simplified. It will no doubt be conveying specialised legal advice and must therefore be as detailed as the writer thinks necessary. The use of plain English simply involves saying what needs to be said in the clearest way possible and avoiding unnecessary verbosity.
There are times where technical terms will have to be used if they carry the precise meaning of the advice being delivered.
This should not be shied away from. Perfect grammar, punctuation and precision of language are essential. Clarity defines good writing. A legal opinion will often contain a complicated set of facts which will have to be sorted into specific legal issues and defined in legal terms.
Clarity of expression is therefore vital.
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. Formulation of a Legal Opinion 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.
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.Apr 13, · This feature is not available right now.
Please try again later. Resources for Drafting Judicial Opinions Charles G. Douglas, III, How to Write a Concise Opinion, 22 Judges J. 4 () Gerald Lebovits & Lucero Ramirez Hidalgo, Advice to Law Clerks: How to Draft Your First Judicial Opinion, 36 Westchester Bar J.
29 (). Letter to Attorney Terlaje-Requesting Legal opinion with regard to P. L. Multimedia Communication Letters Letter to Attorney Terlaje-Requesting Legal opinion with regard to P.L. Letters. 25 October Letter to Attorney Terlaje-Requesting Legal opinion with regard to P.L. Letter to Attorney Terlaje-Requesting Legal.
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. written work, such as a factum, opinion letter, pleading, legal instrument, or judgment.
Accordingly, given its importance and potential uses, your memorandum should adhere to the hallmarks of excellent legal writing, • Write this part last but present it first (i.e., before your detailed discussion) so .
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.