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LEGAL OPINION LETTER

(TO A CLIENT)

GILBERT R. HUFANA
Professor
Practice Court
LEGAL OPINION LETTER

• Like the inter-office memorandum, it gives an


objective legal analysis of the client’s legal problem.
• It is usually addressed to persons without any legal
background.
• To be effective, one must be sensitive to the level of
understanding and needs of the client.
• The letter must be written in plain and simple
language accessible to the understanding of a lay
person.
GOAL OF THE LETTER

1. To give the client a case diagnosis


• The client is helped to understand how the law applies
to his situation and to explain to him his legal rights
and obligations.

2. To come up with legal recommendations


• The purpose of the recommendation is to enable the
client to reach a decision what to do with his legal
problems. The client must be given the available
options as well as strengths and weaknesses of each.
PARTS OF AN OPINION LETTER

1. Heading and Introduction


2. Issue/s and Brief Answer
3. Discussion - Rule and Application of the rules to
the facts
4. Conclusion and Recommendation
HEADING AND INTRODUCTION

• Consists of the letterhead of the law firm, date, name


and address of client, salutation and short
introduction.
DE VERA, DE VERA & ASSOCIATES
Rockwell Center, Zamora St.,
San Fernando City, La Union
December 10, 2009

Ms. Teresita Jularbal


17 Mabini St., Catbangen
San Fernando City, La Union

Dear Ms. Jularbal:

Greetings! This is in response to your letter addressed to our firm about the
possible divorce between you and your husband….
ISSUE/S & BRIEF ANSWER

• The issue sought to be resolved in the opinion letter is


stated in question form.
• The answer directly answers and summarizes how the
law applies to the facts.

You asked us about the effect of your husband’s getting a divorce in


Switzerland. Would that allow you to remarry under Philippine laws?
Our answer is No. A divorce obtained abroad on the initiative of the
Filipino spouse cannot be recognized in the Philippines.

This is because…
STATEMENT OF FACTS & DISCUSSION

• State facts relevant to the issue and discuss how the


law applies to the facts.
• State relevant laws and discuss how these laws
applied to the facts relevant to the issue.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

• In the conclusion, one reiterates the answer to the


question raised in the issue/s.
• The recommendation answers the question: “What
do you propose the client to do?” It states the
proposed solution to the issue.
SUMMARY

• The audience will vary much.


• Summarize complex legal principles and put them into
language your reader will understand.
• State the purpose of the letter and give concrete
advice.