Write Opinion Essay
It will then move on to discussing the formulation of the legal opinion itself.
Finally it will discuss the use of law in a legal opinion and how to refer to both case law and statute effectively and efficiently.
That is not to say that the legal opinion should be over simplified.
It will no doubt be conveying specialised legal advice and must therefore be as detailed as the writer thinks necessary.
The use of plain English simply involves saying what needs to be said in the clearest way possible and avoiding unnecessary verbosity.
There are times where technical terms will have to be used if they carry the precise meaning of the advice being delivered. Perfect grammar, punctuation and precision of language are essential. A legal opinion will often contain a complicated set of facts which will have to be sorted into specific legal issues and defined in legal terms. Clarity of expression can only be achieved through thorough planning and thought. Any legal opinion will be conveying a particular point, but that point will inevitably need to be broken down into sections.
Once the facts are at your finger tips, a legal framework needs to be constructed into which these facts can be logically slotted.
One question which is implicit in every request for a legal opinion is ‘what should be done next?The request for a legal opinion will include at least one and usually a number of questions which the legal advisor is being asked to address.For a barrister an instruction to provide a legal opinion will come from a solicitor so any response will be written with the solicitor in mind as the reader, but the solicitor will have requested the legal opinion in order to advise the client and therefore the client must be borne in mind as well.The client will want to know for example not “will liability be established?”, but “will I get any money out of this and if so how much?Each section will culminate in an opinion and each opinion must be fully explained and justified.Clarity of legal writing also requires conciseness.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.If the client’s case is not viable they must be advised of this in the course of the legal opinion, if there is something which can be done to improve the client’s prospects of success, a good legal opinion will spell this out very precisely.Numbered action points are one way of achieving clarity in this regard.