Thoughts on using a pre-trial motion as a writing sample

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judgefriendlyhand

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Thoughts on using a pre-trial motion as a writing sample

Postby judgefriendlyhand » Wed Aug 03, 2016 9:51 pm

I'm a second year associate who is about to apply for a clerkship position. As with most clerkship applications, this one requires a writing sample. I'd like to use a memo of law that I wrote in support of a MSJ for a case that I worked on last year. For obvious reasons, I don't want to ask my employer for permission. I did 100% of the work on the MSJ and memo.

Assuming that I remove all personally identifiable information from the memo, could using it as a writing sample come back to bite me in the ass?

dixiecupdrinking

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Re: Thoughts on using a pre-trial motion as a writing sample

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:59 pm

Is it publicly filed? Is your name on the brief? If so, I'd tend to think you're probably fine.

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Re: Thoughts on using a pre-trial motion as a writing sample

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:42 am

judgefriendlyhand wrote:I'm a second year associate who is about to apply for a clerkship position. As with most clerkship applications, this one requires a writing sample. I'd like to use a memo of law that I wrote in support of a MSJ for a case that I worked on last year. For obvious reasons, I don't want to ask my employer for permission. I did 100% of the work on the MSJ and memo.

Assuming that I remove all personally identifiable information from the memo, could using it as a writing sample come back to bite me in the ass?


If it's public (e.g., you could even include a link to the paperwork, if the judge asked for it), you're probably fine providing the real memo/the real memo with PII removed.

If it's not public, I'd find something that is, or would dust off some law school samples/write something new based on a hypothetical you find somewhere.

kykiske

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Re: Thoughts on using a pre-trial motion as a writing sample

Postby kykiske » Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:47 am

If it's publicly filed and served on opposing counsel, how could it possibly be protected under any privilege?

1styearlateral

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Re: Thoughts on using a pre-trial motion as a writing sample

Postby 1styearlateral » Thu Aug 04, 2016 10:58 am

kykiske wrote:If it's publicly filed and served on opposing counsel, how could it possibly be protected under any privilege?

My thoughts as well.

kykiske

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Re: Thoughts on using a pre-trial motion as a writing sample

Postby kykiske » Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:30 pm

Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Did some perusing on other websites, and it appears that if the document is: (1) publicly filed (i.e. on ECF/PACER); (2) served on opposing counsel; AND (3) there's no hyper sensitive information on it, redactions are not necessary.

dixiecupdrinking

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Re: Thoughts on using a pre-trial motion as a writing sample

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sat Aug 06, 2016 5:48 pm

I really don't understand why anything "hyper sensitive" would be publicly filed. If the brief is public, my only concern would be, potentially, claiming as your own work product something that was signed by someone else.

kykiske

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Re: Thoughts on using a pre-trial motion as a writing sample

Postby kykiske » Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:13 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:I really don't understand why anything "hyper sensitive" would be publicly filed. If the brief is public, my only concern would be, potentially, claiming as your own work product something that was signed by someone else.


I'm not sure, actually. The forums I found were full of extremely inconsistent comments.

Some posters said that even though the information is of public record, you still need to redact the names.

Others (whom I agree with) posted how once something is publicly filed and served on opposing counsel, there is no more confidentiality. That makes sense to me.

Also, I think you can rectify the concern on who wrote the brief by writing, "I was the associate attorney that primarily wrote this brief. The supervising partner made limited edits. Both of our names appear on the brief." (assuming all of that is true).



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