By On Oct 11, 2018 Form Templates
Its not enough to summarize. You must summarize in a way that every conceivable reader—not just the assigning lawyer—can understand. So dont write your issue this way: "Whether Goliad can take a tax deduction on the rent-free space granted to Davidoff under I.R.C. § 170(f)(3)?" Thats incomprehensible to most readers because its too abstract and it assumes insider knowledge. Also, it doesnt show any mastery of the problem.
Combine book research with computer research. Dont overlook such obvious resources as Corpus Juris Secundum and American Jurisprudence. Look at indexes, digests and treatises to round out your understanding of the subject matter. And when it comes to computer research, dont forget Google Books (especially the advanced-search function): It can open up a great variety of fresh resources in addition to what you find with Westlaw or Lexis.
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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