Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Issue statements: under-does-when

Another approach to framing a legal issue is the "under-does-when" model, which can also be the "under-when-does" model. It works like this:
  • Under [this law] . . .
  • does [this outcome result] . . .
  • when [these facts happen]?
  • Under [this law] . . .
  • when [these facts happen] . . .
  • does [this outcome result]?
For example:
Under the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct, does prosecutor Mark Rencher deserve to be disciplined by the state bar for dishonesty when--at the police's request--he lied to a dangerous fugitive by saying he was a public defender, when the fugitive was holding hostages, and when Rencher also talked the fugitive into surrendering without harming the hostages?
This style is better than the “whether” style because it is a complete sentence. But it still produces long, complicated sentences.

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