Process of forming Memorial
Authored By- Upasana Sahani
Keywords: Moot Courts, Moot Court Memorial, Research, Legal Quality etc.
Artificial courts for the law students are referred to as moot courts. It is a kind of a debate on the particular case decided by the court or specific subject or issue or any case prepared for this purpose. It is an activity organized at several law colleges in which students take part in moot court proceedings that involve drafting memorials and speaking at oral argument. The best way to start a memorial is to read the problem again and again as you can and clear up your basic relating to the topic involved in the proposition. A lot of reading skill is required with a proper and correct procedure.
This skills required to qualify as a competitive student is what drives educators to increase the student experience. A law student or lawyer must know to draft a nice court memorial. Various opportunities to learn real-time dynamics of the vocation are provided in laws schools through activities just like the moot court competition, ADR competition so, a student must learn to draft a good court memorial.
The memorial is a document as important as a speech before the judge. This is because, for Judges, the moot court memorial represents the counsel’s clarity on issues, problems and objections. The memorial enhances the counsel’s oral arguments as long because it is comprehensive, concise, and conceptualized. Here there is a need to look at the procedure of drafting a good moot court memorial.[i]
Format of Moot Court Memorial
The Moot Court memorial starts with the Table of Contents, Index of Authorities, and the statement of Jurisdiction. These three headers begin the moot court memorial leading towards the party that the memorial wishes to draw arguments. The ‘body’ of the memorial constitutes the ‘Statement of Facts,’ ‘Statement of Issues,’ ‘summary of arguments’ and ‘Arguments advanced.’ This part requires the most amount of research and well-defined headers and subheaders.[ii] Similarly, concluding the moot court memorial is the ‘prayer’ that lays down the final intention or the interests of the clients in the dispute. The council has to be to be clearly informed regarding the appropriate remedy that his client seeks in the dispute, in keeping with the moot court problem.
It is relevant to know the way to analyze and understand, how to do research, and to develop this skill. A professor at Harvard Law School describes a way to conduct legal research using four easy steps. These steps are:
1) To Get started
2) To Consult secondary sources
3) Finding primary Authority, and
4) Updating and analyzing the controlling law.
First Step: Begin by reading the problem given and framing the legal issues. This includes reading understanding and analyzing the facts and finding relevant issues. From this analysis, the researcher obtains an idea of what he aware of and what he has to learn. This is the assessment stage. It also includes making notes of the jurisdiction and the primary law involved, generating keywords or search terms that could best fit the required results.[iii]
Second Step: Consult secondary sources. Secondary sources provide good clarity on the subject of research and contain a wide part for information instead of starting from scratch. The researcher can refer to the legal dictionary, as the rule is applied, and citations to the primary source.
Third Step: Secondary research makes it easier to understand the primary research because of the enhanced contextual clarity. The next step, therefore, is to research primary sources for all the other relevant details and depth.
Fourth Step: The final stage is to update and analyze the controlling law which includes reading the law such as bare acts with case laws etc. [iv]and going into the details such as its relevance, whether or not it’s binding, and its scope. Here, the laws referred to and cited must be good law.
Lastly, the aim of advancing arguments during a legal dispute is to convince the judge ‘otherwise’ and NOT contradict the very subject matter of the dispute.
A moot court memorial is no good if it does not have legal quality. Legal quality is about legal concepts & clarity and therefore the correct application of laws to facts. It is important to do the research on legal intricacies relevant to the subject matter. For instance, the relevant principles, doctrines, or framing defenses to the prima facie rule. Good research hence is not just about various case laws but also about knowing the objections that can arise. The moot court memorial must address these objections under the ‘arguments advanced’ section of the memorial[v]. There shall a comparison of cases that the other party may raise in their defense. Simple English can be used for more clarity.
It is important to have a good structure that is comprehensive at first glance. There should be a well-defined index and paginations. The Index shall clearly be outlined with points and subpoints. For example, mentioning the types of issues advanced on the index with brief and clear notes under each issue alongside sub-issues or objections if any. The content must be logically structured for the best effective comprehensiveness.
The citation must be done with related and relevant sources within the desired format. The sources should be authentic, preferably those subjected to copyright. This shall have a good impression on the judge and give more volume to the moot court memorial.
Some authentic sources are : Manupatra, HeinOnline, J store, Administrative sources, etc.
Lastly, Spiral binding the memorial and using good quality paper shall result in a nice presentation. Using the relevant format and colors as prescribed.[vi]
The skills required have expanded as there is a number of students trying to succeed with fewer opportunities day by day. This problem is simplified by incorporating mock practices like the moot courts that provide an equally overwhelming experience to a student willing to learn the application of law and his skills for representing his clients in real courts. Moot courts are like simulators ensuring that one adapts to the inevitable all challenges he shall face, should he make litigation his vocation. For excelling in such a competition, one should make sure that he adapts all measures for an excellent moot court memorial to obtaining the best results.[vii]
[i]Legodesk. 2020. Procedure To Draft A Good Moot Court Memorial. [online] Available at: <https://legodesk.com/legopedia/good-moot-court-memorial/>[Accessed 18 September 2020]. [ii]Legodesk. 2020. Procedure To Draft A Good Moot Court Memorial. [online] Available at: <https://legodesk.com/legopedia/good-moot-court-memorial/> [Accessed 18 September 2020]. [iii]Lawtraction India. 2020. BE A MASTER OF MEMORIAL DRAFTING !! - Lawtraction India. [online] Available at: <https://lawtraction.in/be-a-master-of-memorial-drafting/> [Accessed 18 September 2020]. [iv]Lawtraction India. 2020. BE A MASTER OF MEMORIAL DRAFTING !! - Lawtraction India. [online] Available at: <https://lawtraction.in/be-a-master-of-memorial-drafting/> [Accessed 18 September 2020]. [v]Legodesk. 2020. Procedure To Draft A Good Moot Court Memorial. [online] Available at: <https://legodesk.com/legopedia/good-moot-court-memorial/> [Accessed 18 September 2020]. [vi] Sites.google.com. 2020. The Jurist - Mooting Experience. [online] Available at: <https://sites.google.com/view/the-jurist/notebook/mooting-experience> [Accessed 18 September 2020]. [vii]Legodesk. 2020. Procedure To Draft A Good Moot Court Memorial. [online] Available at: <https://legodesk.com/legopedia/good-moot-court-memorial/> [Accessed 18 September 2020].