By On Oct 11, 2018 Form Templates
Depending on whether or not a fee agreement has already been signed (or a retainer) your letters length and style will be dictated by a number of factors, including the subject and the sophistication of your client. Be cognizant of your clients ability to understand. Is your client requesting a demand letter from someone who injured him in a car crash? In PI cases, the length of the letter may be as much a function of whether or not the defendant has insurance (i.e., money).
Whether you are writing a research memo, an opinion letter or a brief, you will need an up-front summary. That typically consists of three things: the principal questions, the answers to those questions and the reasons for those answers. If you are drafting a motion or brief, try to state on page one the main issue and why your client should win—and put it in a way that your friends and relatives could understand. Thats your biggest challenge.
YFind out what the standards are for citing authority in your jurisdiction. In California, lawyers follow the California Style Manual. In New York, they should (but frequently dont) follow the New York Law Reports Style Manual. In Texas, every knowledgeable practitioner follows the Texas Rules of Form. Other states have their own guides. And, of course, The Bluebook and the ALWD Guide to Legal Citation are widely used as defaults (and sometimes required by court rules). Even if you are not inclined to care much about these things, you better learn to obsess over them. Otherwise, you will look unschooled.
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