Friday, September 08, 2006

The memo: title and caption

Nearly all legal memos are titled "Memorandum." Beneath the title, most memos contain a simple caption that usually has four parts, like this:


Your employer may have specific preferences for these items, but if not, the first three are self-explanatory.

The Re line might contain client, file, or matter numbers and should state the subject of the memo. State the subject thoroughly but briefly. Your goal is to make it easy for someone not familiar with the subject matter to quickly decide whether to read this memo. Generally, be concrete and specific.

Instead of this:
    Williams Industries issue
which is too general, or this:
    Issue of Andrea Williams, President of Williams Industries, Inc., retaining money received from guests who rented company-owned condominium when the period the condominium was rented was Williams's company-granted timeshare
which is too detailed and long, try this:
    Williams Industries--director's renting company condo to guests

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