injun wrote:Hi All,
I tried working on PTA from this past February and it suddenly hit me again why I got a 50. I had problems mapping the issues from the cases to questions asked. This might be a long shot, but would anyone being willing to explain how the issues from the cases can be mapped to the specific questions in the memorandum? I felt like my answer to A blended into the other questions. Thanks in advance for ANY info with this
Note: writing all this partly from memory so details are probably off.
PT stuff is basic bread and butter legal memo writing.
The prompt asked about whether the person was an (1) escrow holder, (2) whether an escrow holder can act in dual capacities, and if so, (3) what restrictions there are on such behavior. Then the second part (4) asked about which one of 3 alternatives was the best path to take.
Your answer to each one of these questions should not have been related to one another. These are all distinct questions, and if you blended them together, it's possible that you didn't understand the question, or didn't understand the facts/rules. It's important to outline to make sure you're hitting the right points. Here's how I did it:
Each case in the materials sets forth a particular situation that was resolved in a particular way. From what, you can infer a rule. For example, it would be something to the effect of:
*"Under circumstances A, B, and C, an escrow holder may not act in a dual capacity because X and Y."
Let's say this case was called "Smith v. Jones." So in your scrap paper you should have 4 separate sections, and under (2) which is for dual capacities, you should write "Jones." Next to that, write down the rule from above. You basically repeat this process over and over again, pulling out the rule. Sometimes cases have multiple rules. There's the obvious one, and then there are a few less than obvious ones. For example, in the "Jones" case above, there may be an additional rule that:
"An escrow holder is a person who holds money for 2 unrelated parties"
Now this rule isn't what the essence of Smith v. Jones is about. But it's still a useful rule to have. This rule should be written down and you should also write "Jones" under (1) to discuss whether a a person was an escrow holder.
You basically repeat this process until you've pulled out all possible rules from all the cases. At that point you should have an out line of the 4 question subparts, along with all the cases and rules laid out. Then you go back to the fact documents (transcripts, memos, letters, etc) and start plugging in these facts to the rules.
So to use the first rule, you should go through the facts looking very specifically for facts that match up with circumstances A, B, and C. Add that to your outline.
Later, when writing, you will use the reasoning (because X and Y) and plug it into that section as quotes.
Outlining should take you a really long time. I spent 1/2 to 2/3 of the 3 hours outlining and putting everything together. This might seem excessive but it keeps your writing clear and consistent. You'll also find that if you do the outlining right, the writing will go by very fast.