how to write a judicial opinion

A judicial opinion is a form of legal opinion written by a judge or a judicial panel in the course of resolving a legal dispute, providing the decision reached to resolve the dispute, and usually indicating the facts which led to the dispute and an analysis of the law used to arrive at the decision. Electronic versions of … 0000000636 00000 n There is a tradition in New Jersey appellate cases to never issue a short, succinct opinion when a long one is at hand. stream ���9��$q�+�&%u�8R�0 trailer <<10BE9B00A93A4DC08E99AC4E5CA7FD8B>]/Prev 225364/XRefStm 1705>> startxref 0 %%EOF 1034 0 obj <>stream At times, the justices voting for a majority decision (e.g., to affirm or reverse the lower court's decision) may have drastically different reasons for their votes, and cannot agree on the same set of reasons. Webmail, Contact Us | Directions | Calendar | Privacy & Legal Statements | Accessibility, Penn State Law - University Park | Lewis Katz Building, University Park, PA 16802,, International Law Practice & Extracurricular Activities, Advice to Law Clerks: How to Draft Your First Judicial Opinion, Judicial Opinion Writing: An Annotated Bibliography. Festival of Sacrifice: The Past and Present of the Islamic Holiday of Eid al-Adha. Copyright by the Texas State Law Library. Use of Internet Materials in Opinions [PDF] � D � q � � endstream >> %PDF-1.3 xref �� �� 1 � � � _ � { A dissenting opinion (or dissent) is an opinion written by one or more judges expressing disagreement with the majority opinion. /TrimBox [0 0 612 792] Because it constitutes the practice of law, an opinion letter must be signed by an attorney. Each slip opinion has the same elements as the bench opinion—majority or plurality opinion, concurrences or dissents, and a prefatory syllabus—but may contain corrections not appearing in the bench opinion. >> 0000023307 00000 n Gerald Lebovits & Lucero Ramirez Hidalgo. 0000003414 00000 n Normally, appellate courts (or panels) are staffed with an odd number of judges to avoid a tie. Acknowledging that there is "no single right way to write judicial decisions/opinions," the author seeks to "expose the writing judge to an assortment of methods, styles and techniques" that can improve his opinion writing. In addition to offering guidance on writing, this publication discusses how to delegate work to judicial staff to improve the efficient disposition of cases. A majority opinion is a judicial opinion agreed to by more than half of the members of a court. 0000002076 00000 n A majority opinion sets forth the decision of the court and an explanation of the rationale behind the court's decision. Charles G. Douglas, III, How to Write a Concise Opinion, 22 Judges J. 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 … The letter can also be said to as an opinion of how the highest … endobj helping define how government rules and regulations are intended to be administered. If the Querist (which is what we call a person who seeks the opinion) is himself confused, his questions will be equally mindless. First, a bench opinion may be handed down, with the judge or panel of judges indicating their decision and a rough explanation of the reasoning underlying it. There are also useful things to identify amid the pages to help focus reading. Here you will find a sampling of the articles on this topic. The next five sections are the legal issue, an answer, the statement of facts, a discussion and a conclusion. endobj Judicial Writing Manual: A Pocket Guide for Judges, Second Edition. %%EOF 0000037199 00000 n 0000002410 00000 n The first section is the heading that includes a one-line case descriptor. 4 (1983) Gerald Lebovits & Lucero Ramirez Hidalgo, Advice to Law Clerks: How to Draft Your First Judicial Opinion, 36 Westchester Bar J. 0000000950 00000 n /Parent 25 0 R << 0000035818 00000 n /Length 2979 They are not issued for the purposes of deciding a particular case before the court in question. J. /H [ 950 512 ] >> 0000006291 00000 n A dissenting opinion does not create binding precedent nor does it become a part of case law. Plaintiff Alison Rosenberg took Merck’s drug, Fosamax, for osteoperosis. In some cases, a previous dissent is used to spur a change in the law, and a later case will write a majority opinion for the same rule of law formerly cited by the dissent. 0000046726 00000 n This 2008 article was written by Gerald Lebovits, Alifya V. Curtin and Lisa Solomon and is available on the SSRN website. Resources to help you draft legal documents that are clear, appropriate to their audience and purpose, and cited properly. 0000003298 00000 n Second, when published, opinions announce the law to judges, academics, other lawyers, and the interested public. /N 8 /P 0 [2] In contrast to regular opinions, a per curiam does not list the individual judge responsible for authoring the decision,[2] but minority dissenting and concurring decisions are signed.[3]. The last section is the conclusion, which should summarize the document and describe the legal analysis. Such decisions can usually be cited as precedent by later courts.

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