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Cover A Practical Approach to Effective Litigation

10. Legal Letters and Opinions  

This chapter deals with legal writing. Professional quality writing is an important skill for the effective litigator. While there is still a focus on oral advocacy at trial, written advocacy has become increasingly important in persuading a court with the focus on defining issues in the statements of case, the use of witness statements as evidence in chief, and the increasing use of skeleton arguments. The clarity of letters and opinions for a client are also important in communicating information and advice. The chapter discusses the purpose, audience, content, and structure of legal writing; the professional use of language; the importance of correct taking and storing of notes; writing letters and e-mails; the role of opinions; the format and structure of an opinion; and the content of an opinion.