Legal Writing Class Notes 3/10/04


About working on journals


You do the writing competition.  You write a short paper about a legal topic plus a short editing assignment.  Then you write a note.  Do the competition!  Do it!  Don’t not do it!


The papers aren’t done being graded yet.  We’ll get them before Spring Break.


About writing the brief


We weren’t assigned the Chapter that describes what goes into a brief.  But we’ll look now.


We’re doing a trial-level brief, not an appellate brief.


Follow the form for the brief that you’ll find in the back of the book.  Check out the sample caption!  In the sample brief, there’s an introduction, statement of facts, argument with headings, and then a conclusion.


Let’s do some exercises designed to have us think about how to transform the office memo into a brief.  What’s the difference between proposing a persuasive question as opposed to a more objective question?  We weren’t assigned the material on formulating a favorable rule.  We do need to draft a persuasive work, though.  We have to take the rule we’ve drafted and think about it from the client’s perspective.  What questions will we ask?


We’ll talk about headings for discussion and then think about what kind of arguments we’ll make given a set of questions.


Exercise 3, pp. 299-300


We’re given a rule and we should start by outlining that rule.  Then we apply the rule to the facts of the problem.


Given the rule and the facts, how do I fashion the headings if I’m writing the brief for one of the parties?  How do I pose the question?


We will do the headings as if we were the counsel for Trayburn.  We want to spin things in his favor.


Exercise 3, p. 326


We’re going to do headings for the Lupinos and the Carillos.  We’re going to draft headings.


Okay, we did it and played with the overhead projector thingy!


One more thing…


Exercise 4, p. 344


The general question is: “Did the tenant vacate the premises within a reasonable time?”  We want to pose the question in a way that’s persuasive on the side of our client.  And our clients are...Chambless and Mendez!


Okay, we did that too!  And it’s almost 6 PM now!


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