This does not necessarily imply brevity, but once the point has been made, nothing more need be said.Having said that, completeness and total accuracy is vital and conciseness should not come above giving full and precise advice. Such a request will usually include any documents in the case.
There will be facts in any case which are relevant and pertinent to the case and facts which are not.
A legal opinion must focus on the relevant facts, but it may also be necessary to specifically advise that certain things are not relevant.
The use of plain English simply involves saying what needs to be said in the clearest way possible and avoiding unnecessary verbosity.
There are times where technical terms will have to be used if they carry the precise meaning of the advice being delivered. Perfect grammar, punctuation and precision of language are essential. A legal opinion will often contain a complicated set of facts which will have to be sorted into specific legal issues and defined in legal terms. Clarity of expression can only be achieved through thorough planning and thought. Any legal opinion will be conveying a particular point, but that point will inevitably need to be broken down into sections.
Each section will culminate in an opinion and each opinion must be fully explained and justified.
Clarity of legal writing also requires conciseness.The client will want to know for example not “will liability be established?”, but “will I get any money out of this and if so how much?Above all it is vital to remember that in being asked to draft a legal opinion, you are being asked to advise. Lay out the pros and cons of a particular course of action, but always come down on one side or the other..Giving a percentage chance of success at the beginning of a legal opinion is one way of being clear about what you think the client’s prospects are.Other types of cases will involve different legal frameworks, but whatever the legal issue, the must be continuously advising on the strength of the client’s position in the case.One question which is implicit in every request for a legal opinion is ‘what should be done next?If the client’s case is not viable they must be advised of this in the course of the legal opinion, if there is something which can be done to improve the client’s prospects of success, a good legal opinion will spell this out very precisely.Numbered action points are one way of achieving clarity in this regard.” A legal opinion will often have the over arching question of does the client have a good and viable case.This is clearly the most important question to any client and must be approached with honesty and directness.