10-09-2016 legal writiing1 | Law homework help

Law Office Memo

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There are different types of legal authority and each plays a different role in your legal research.

For this assignment, your supervising attorney (your instructor) has called you into her office to discuss two new cases with you. She would like you to conduct some research regarding some questions the firm’s clients have posed to her. Read the two fact patterns below and answer the questions that follow in a law office memo format. You can find the format for writing a law office memo on the Legal Writing Resources page.

Case 1

Five months ago, your firm’s client moved to a city in Alabama from a different state. She wishes to run for city council. Your research reveals that the city does not have an ordinance defining residency, nor does it contain the requirements necessary to establish residency. Furthermore, Alabama does not have a statute addressing the residence requirements for municipal elections. You have, however, located the following authority:

  • A 1998 Alabama state statute which provides that a candidate for state supreme court judge must have resided in the state three years prior to the election.
  • A 2000 Georgia state statute which states that individuals running for any county or municipal office must have resided in the county or municipality for six months.
  • Reisin v. City. A Georgia state Supreme Court decision holding that a person running for any municipal position must reside in the municipality for three months.
  • American Jurisprudence Second section, which provides that most states have a three-month residency requirement for the purposes of eligibility to run for municipal positions.

Instructions: State what types of authority resulted from your research. Give your analysis and reasoning in response to the questions in a law office memo format. When answering the questions, remember that it is possible for the authority to fall into more than one category.

  1. Which authority is primary authority and which is secondary authority?
  2. Which, if any, of the authority is mandatory authority and why?
  3. Which authority can be persuasive authority and why?

Case 2

In this case, your law firm represents a company called “Company X”. Company X sells consumer products in State A. Your supervising attorney asks you to locate primary authority which is related to the sale of goods in State A. Your research reveals the following authority:

  • State A’s Uniform Commercial Code Act;
  • State B’s Uniform Commercial Code Act;
  • A federal statute – the Consumer Credit Act;
  • A decision from the highest state court in State A which is on point with the issue you have been asked to research;
  • A decision from an intermediate state court in State A which is on point with the issue you have been asked to research;
  • A decision from an intermediate state court in State B which is on point with the issue you have been asked to research;
  • A decision from a trial court in State A which is on point with the issue you have been asked to research;
  • An ALR reference that directly addresses the issues in the case; and
  • Restatements of the Law that define the sale of goods, consumer credit, and other terms which relate to the problem.

Instructions: Provide answers to the following questions in law office memo format:

  1. State which of the sources of law that you have found are primary authority.
  2. State the hierarchy of authority with regard to the primary sources of the law that you found.

Your memo should be 2 or more pages in length, double spaced. Be sure to implement the writing strategies you have learned from “The Elements of Style” when writing your law office memo.

Before submitting, you will need to ensure that your assignment is “law office ready” by having it reviewed and signed off by a Writing Workshop instructor. Please see the weekly announcements for more information.

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