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CL727 LEGAL ANALYSIS AND WRITING Modules 10-11 Assignment:


Modules 10-11 Assignment: Brief Answer, Analysis, and Conclusion

This assignment will be due in Module 11. Your assignment is to write the Brief Answer, Analysis, and Conclusion sections of the interoffice legal memorandum.

Make sure to follow the format instructions. Use the grading rubric checklist, found at the end of this document, when proofreading and editing your work.


To: Associate

From: Senior Partner

Date: [Most Recent August]

Re: Ms. Barbara Cortillo's Potential Trespass Claim


Ms. Barbara Cortillo has retained our law firm to determine whether she has a claim against Debra Gaston. Ms. Cortillo believes that Gaston trespassed onto Ms. Cortillo's land. I met with Ms. Cortillo last week and she decided that she is only interested in a trespass claim and only if success is likely.

Ms. Cortillo's property is located in the Second District, California Court of Appeal. After my interview with her, I did some research and found that the following three cases apply: Miller v. National Broadcasting Company (a California case), Baugh v. CBS, Inc. (a federal case), and Mangini v. Aerojet-General Corporation (a California case). I did not make a note of the citations. Please access these cases on Westlaw. Use only these three cases to analyze Ms. Cortillo's potential claim. Do not conduct any other research or address any other potential claims or damages.

Ms. Cortillo stated the following facts during my interview with her.

Two large mansions known as Casa Cortillo and Paradiso sit in the foothills east of Santa Barbara. Casa Cortillo's fourteen acres are adjacent to the public road, which marks that estate's north boundary. Paradiso's seventeen acres lie to the south of Casa Cortillo. The only access to Paradiso is by way of a gated road on a private easement along the east boundary of Casa Cortillo. Barbara Cortillo owns and lives at Casa Cortillo, but the ownership and occupancy of Paradiso are uncertain.

Debra Gaston is a successful photojournalist who specializes in taking unauthorized pictures of well-known persons. Three weeks ago, Gaston's key contact at the nation's largest tabloid gave her a tip that a prominent senator, Alexis Madison, was engaged in an extramarital relationship with a 26-year-old man, nicknamed "Cowboy."

After researching the story for some time, Gaston learned on the last day of June that the senator and Cowboy would be together at Paradiso for the Fourth of July holiday. On July 1, Gaston rented a piloted helicopter to fly her over Paradiso and the surrounding area to get a good look at the property. She saw that the only vantage point for good photographs was a cleared knoll on the south edge of Casa Cortillo.

On July 3, Gaston visited Cortillo, carrying a forged letter of introduction from an editor of Nature magazine. Gaston then explained what was stated in the letter: that she was seeking to photograph an endangered bird that nests in the Santa Barbara foothills. She asked permission to enter Casa Cortillo the next day with her photography equipment for that purpose. Cortillo gave Gaston permission.

The next day, July 4, Gaston arrived at 9:00 a.m., paid a courtesy visit to Cortillo and then hiked with her gear to the knoll. She began surveillance of Paradiso at 9:50 a.m. and at various times of the day took pictures of the senator. She took a few pictures of the front door of the mansion, about a dozen pictures of Cowboy walking in the rose garden and by the pool, and several pictures of the senator and Cowboy in the pool, on the deck, and engaged in sexual activity. Gaston thanked Ms. Cortillo for her authorization to photograph as she left Casa Cortillo that evening.

A few weeks later, at the time of a major political convention, the nation's largest tabloid published several of the more intimate pictures of the senator and Cowboy. Ms. Cortillo's neighbor saw the pictures and asked Ms. Cortillo about them. Ms. Cortillo is extremely upset about the situation.


Criteria to be evaluated

Tasks Within the Criteria

Follows Directions

● Completes the correct task

● Stays within scope

Uses Correct Format

● Follows assignment format instructions


Uses correct:

● Spelling

● Punctuation

● Grammar

● Parties are correctly "tagged"

● Quotations are appropriately and correctly included without overuse

Citation Use and Format

● Places citation where required

● Uses correct Bluebook citation format

Tone and Writing Style

● Professional tone

● Not too casual

● Not too stuffy; no legalese

● Effective use of words

● Sentences are not too "choppy" or long

● Sentences are clear and understandable

● Information is not redundant

● Avoids "throat clearing"

● Doesn't personalize writing

Brief Answer

● Immediately follows the Question(s) Presented

● Directly and succinctly answers the Question(s) Presented

● Mirrors the Question(s) Presented

● Enumerates answers if more than one

Analysis Section Overall

● Immediately follows the Facts section

● Adheres to the CREAC format, including mini-CREACs

● Organizes the analysis by issues and sub-issues

● Explains and applies the precedent case for each element of the rule before moving on to the next element and case

● Provides depth of analysis

● Provides a neutral, objective analysis

Analysis Section Conclusion(s)

● Is the first thing stated in the Analysis section

● Correctly, clearly, and concisely states each conclusion

● Uses predictive language

● Doesn't guarantee an outcome

● Doesn't equivocate

Analysis Section Rule(s)

● Immediately follows the conclusion

● Rules serve as a topic/thesis sentence

● Correctly, clearly, and succinctly states the rule of the precedent case

Analysis Section Explanation of the Rule(s)

● Immediately follows the rule

● States facts, holding, and reasoning of precedent case in the correct order

● Includes all facts necessary for the reader to understand the case

● States the holding correctly, clearly, and succinctly

● Clearly explains the court's reasoning

Analysis Section Application of Precedent

● Immediately follows the explanation

● Provides depth of analysis

● Uses the correct precedent

● Identifies analogous and distinguishable facts

● Compares specific "like things"

● Explains what the comparisons mean

● Uses the precedent case court's reasoning to support the application of facts

● Correctly addresses contrary authority by distinguishing facts and showing why the analogous facts are strongest

● Doesn't use the "ping pong" approach

Analysis Section

● Clearly, correctly, and concisely states each conclusion

Final Conclusion(s)

● Uses predictive language

● Doesn't guarantee an outcome

● Doesn't equivocate

Conclusion Section

● Wraps up all conclusions correctly and clearly

● Directly answers the Question Presented

● Gives reasons for the overall conclusion

● Uses predictive language

● Doesn't over-promise or guarantee an outcome

● Doesn't equivocate

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