By On Sep 26, 2018 Form Templates
If you are writing a research memo, put the question, the answer and the reason up front. Dont delay the conclusion until the end, as unthinking writers do, naively assuming that the reader will slog all the way through the memo as if it were a mystery novel. And never open with a full-blown statement of facts—despite what you may have learned elsewhere. Why? Because facts are useless to a reader who doesnt yet understand what the issue is. Instead, integrate a few key facts into your issue statement.
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.
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