How to Write a Memorandum for Litigation 1

How to Write a Memorandum for Litigation

Introduction Use this document as a guide to layout and structure your memorandum for litigation. This document has three sections: formatting, document header, and body organization and content. The formatting section describes how to set up the memorandum layout. The document header section describes both the layout and content of the document header. The body organization focuses on the elements and contents of the body and addendum of the memorandum. The body elements of this are based on CUNY School guidance1 which recommends a format that is common in the legal profession. While there are some similarities to the past memorandum, there are differences as well so read and adhere to the document requirements included in this document. FORMATTING This section provides formatting information for your memorandum. If you do not know how to accomplish any of the formatting requirements, there are many good online resources, please consult them. Paper § Complete your internal business memorandum on 8 ½ x 11 inch plain white paper. § Use portrait page orientation with the 11-inch side vertical (see Figure 1). § You should not use templates for the memorandum that include decorative graphics in

the header and footer (i.e. do not use memorandum templates from word or elsewhere that have graphics or images in the header and footer).

Margins & Page Footer § Set up the document with one-inch margins on all sides. § Place the subject line text of your memorandum in the document footer ½” from the

bottom and 1” from the left side of the page. Make the title in the footer one font size smaller than the body text, to set it apart visually. Your inclusion of the title in the footer allows for reassembly of printed copies if pages get separated (see Figure 1)

§ Number pages in the margin ½ inch from the bottom 1” from the right side of the paper using the same size font as the body text.

1” margin (all sides)

Page number

Footer ½ inch from page bottom Footer ½ inch from bottom Figure 1: Page Layout

How to Write a Business Memorandum 1

How to Write a Memorandum for Litigation 2

Paragraph Set-Up § Set up your document single spaced. § Set up your paragraphs left-justified with no indentation. § Remove extra point spacing before and after paragraphs. Manually add an extra line

between paragraphs, between paragraphs and titles or subtitles and between titles and subtitles.

Font Style and Text Size § Use an easy to read and familiar font such as Times New Roman or Calisto (or other clean

serif font). You should avoid unusual, unfamiliar, or difficult to read fonts that may make it harder for the memorandum’s audience to read the document.


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