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What do you need at the very beginning of the research process?
A clear understanding of the facts involved in a client's situation - a factually rich picture of the events and people involved in the client's situation.
Why are the client's facts so important?
Because the facts determine the area of law to be researched.
What are the three basic fact categories?
- Relevant facts
- Explanatory facts
- Legally unimportant facts
What are relevant facts?
Facts that are absolutely essential and cannot be ignored.
How do you identify a relevant fact?
- Remove the fact and ask if it significantly changes the situation.
- Change the fact and ask if it significantly changes the situation.
- If either one alters the fact situation then it is probably a relevant fact.
What is an explanatory fact?
A fact that enables the researcher to grasp the entire picture of the events by supplementing and explaining the relevant facts.
What is a legally unimportant fact?
A fact that plays no role in the legal situation.
What must you do if your research is focused on case law?
Ensure that your client's factual situation is as similar as possible to the published cases that have precedent.
When comparing the client's facts with those of a reported case, what 3 things do you look for?
- Factual similarities
- factual unknowns
- Factual differences
What is a legal issue?
A specific question raised by the facts to be resolved in court.
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