I hope you've been well. Recently you wrote to us that Loman's Fashions had been sued by a shopper in Small Claims Court for a breach of contract. As you've described it, the shopper claims that she responded to an ad for a "manufacturer's closeout" of designer leather coats; the ad stated that the "early" shopper would "catch the savings. Specifically, you have asked for advice on the question whether Loman's breached a contract with the shopper under the circumstances.
They do not want to litigate, defend or even enter into transactions without obtaining a written opinion from at least one lawyer if not more.
Writing these opinions represent a dialectic between two schools of thought: One, which holds that the lawyer is supposed to give his opinion, not the sources or precedents that he relies upon.
This has the advantage, according to one school of thought, of not disclosing all the cards to the client, because nine times out of ten, a client has his own favourite lawyer, who may not be particularly bright, but comes to you for an opinion because you are supposed to be an expert on the subject.
The other school of thought, to which I subscribe, is to make the opinion precise but exhaustive in its scope.
Rather like saying be not eternal, since being an opinion you must end, but be infinite while you last! If the client chooses someone else and he is able to do an adequate job based on your opinion and research, he would have learned something new and the profession itself will be enriched.
Remember, a profession is only as good as its least competent member and you are judged not by the best of your kind, but the worst.
More of this later, in some future installment. An opinion, as I see it, must set out the questions on which it is sought very clearly and unambiguously.
If the Querist which is what we call a person who seeks the opinion is himself confused, his questions will be equally mindless. It is your duty as a lawyer to unravel his tangled skein of thought, identify the issues that are material and on which the relief he wants depends, and then frame them as questions.
Of course, these must resemble the original questions, because otherwise the Querist will feel that you have not answered him, however stupid his questions might have been. This narration must not employ any fact that has not been supplied rather like the facts in a moot but it certainly ought to include any presumption or natural inference you have made from the facts, for the purpose of the opinion.
You must of course, state that this is your presumption or inference. After the facts are over, you may begin your analysis, on which the opinion depends. An easy way of analysing is to first set out the law and the provisions of the law or laws that are applicable.
Then you go on to summarize the binding precedents judgments of the Supreme Court and the High Court of the State exercising jurisdiction over the subject matter with full citations. If your choice of extracts is precise enough, your ultimate opinion will appear from the extracts of the judgments that you have quoted.
In the analysis you may also point out the conditions which have to exist for the answer to the queries to be positive or negative which will advise the client as to what steps he ought to have taken so that he can correct himself in the future in similar matters.
Then indicate in brief that according to the law applicable to the facts, where the Querist actually stands.
Numbering the paragraphs help, because in your opinion or as part of the analysis you may have to refer to what has been written before and by referring to the paragraph-number you obviate the need of repeating the whole thing.
Now you are ready to answer the Queries, that is, the opinion proper, as it is called. Where that is impossible, keep your answers as short as possible.
An example may help. Remember to use the usual disclaimers, that the opinion is based on the law as it stands on the date when you are signing it, and is based on the facts and documents that were supplied to you by the Querist.How to Write Legal Opinions. By Protik Prokash Banerji.
How to Write Legal Opinions. By Protik Prokash Banerji. Sign in Join. Home; Internship Experiences.
Company; The said opinion is useful to the client to know the legal position basing on the documents produced before the Advocate, in any case if the opposite party become as a defaulter. Writing Legal Opinions Every so often, a client would seek your legal opinion on some matter of concern to him.
Before rushing into an opinion, however, 5/5(3). In-house legal opinions i. In-house counsel frequently issue legal opinions. Questions arise whether in-house legal opinions constitute valid legal opinions or whether they are more in the nature of a representation by the in-house counsel’s employer.
ii. The answer to this question depends in part upon the recipient of the legal opinion. Every word of the legal opinion should be chosen by the writer because it communicates precisely the advice which the writer intends to covey. It is important to write in plain English wherever possible.
A good legal opinion will avoid archaic language and legalese. Use of legalese will create a barrier between lawyer and client and divert the main purpose of the legal opinion; to communicate.
In this letter, I will provide you with my legal opinion and analysis so you can make a qualified decision regarding the charges you face. I will first restate the facts, as I know them, to confirm their accuracy. Under the disclaimer, write that the opinions provided are based on the law as per the time of drafting the opinion.
Moreover, indicate that the opinion is also based on the documents and facts provided. List all the documents that the clients provided for the sake of drafting the legal opinion.