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Memo - use federal case from another circuit

Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:14 pm
by Extension_Cord
Will it substantially effect my credibility to use a case from another federal circuit?

I found a really on point case in another circuit, but really weak cases in my own. I was wondering if its best to use the weaker one because its in my circuit or to use the other because I dont have space for both.

Re: Memo - use federal case from another circuit

Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:15 pm
by ph14
Extension_Cord wrote:Will it substantially effect my credibility to use a case from another federal circuit?


I would only use it if I couldn't find anything at all from my own circuit. If you can't then it's okay to use a case from another circuit. Your job is to predict the law I think, so if you think the court will find the other Circuit persuasive, then you can use it. But binding precedent is obviously much, much better.

Re: Memo - use federal case from another circuit

Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:33 pm
by flcath
ph14 wrote:
Extension_Cord wrote:Will it substantially effect my credibility to use a case from another federal circuit?


I would only use it if I couldn't find anything at all from my own circuit. If you can't then it's okay to use a case from another circuit. Your job is to predict the law I think, so if you think the court will find the other Circuit persuasive, then you can use it. But binding precedent is obviously much, much better.

If we're talking about an objective memo, then this is the way to go.

Re: Memo - use federal case from another circuit

Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:30 pm
by 5ky
Weak in terms of relevance, or support for your position? That's an important difference.

Re: Memo - use federal case from another circuit

Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:58 am
by NotMyRealName09
This depends on whether your circuit has directly addressed the particular issue you are writing about. If your circuit has only tangentally dealt with the issue, or better yet, not discussed the issue at all, other circuit precedent can be highly persuasive, and is sometimes necessary due to lack of local on-point authority. However, if your circuit has addressed the issue, and the case from the other circuit conflicts with local authority or represents a split in authority amongst the circuits, then it is very weak, and possibly an example of what the law is not.