These Guidelines give you an outline of the critical elements to be addressed. FOLLOW THE OUTLINE! Clearly label your sections and clearly address the required criteria in each section. FOLLOW THE OUTLINE! Don’t make up your own section titles, stick to those in the outline from the Guidelines. FOLLOW THE OUTLINE! Do not deviate from the outline. FOLLOW THE OUTLINE! Hint: I want you to follow the outline. If this is unclear, please ask me for clarification.
- Introduction: Articulate what you feel are the strengths of your company’s legal claim or defense. (The intro should be a brief general summary of the facts as they pertain to your client. Do NOT repeat all of the facts from the prompt. Summarize. Briefly. A chronological summary is the preferred approach. Make sure to state briefly but specifically what you think the strengths of your client’s case are. This section should be no more than 3 paragraphs long. Remember, this is an intro, you will go into details later in the memo.)
- Client’s Case
- A.Facts and Laws
- Analyze the facts related to employment discriminationor unlawful termination based on your company’s perspective. (Discuss and analyze the facts related to employment discrimination or unlawful termination from your company’s perspective. If you are representing Greene, Lawson is making a Title VII employment discrimination claim against you so you should discuss Title VII, PDA (and any other potential issues) here but you do not need to go into extreme detail. If you are representing Howell, you should discuss unlawful termination due to her firing for being tardy as well as fraudulent inducement. For both clients, employment at will should be discussed. Remember, this is a memo. But, you need enough detail so the reader understands your position. Do not simply repeat the facts from the prompt scenario here.)
- Analyze the facts related to contract issuesbased on your company’s perspective. (Discuss the facts related to contract issues from your company’s perspective. (Greene will have confidentiality agreement issues and Howell has an actual employment contract with non-compete provisions. Howell will also have some contract issues related to fraudulent inducement.)
- Identify the operative employment and contract lawsthat apply to your company’s case. (Here you should identify the laws that might apply to both employment and contract issues for your company’s case. You should identify the law and briefly state how it applies. At a minimum, you should identify any laws you mentioned above in sections 1 & 2 and any others (state and/or federal) that might apply. Make sure you do this in a separate section.)
- Select cases that support your company’s position in terms of employment discriminationor unlawful termination. Justify why they support its case. (Do some research, find some cases that directly apply and list them here with a brief explanation of how they apply. The cases don’t have to be New Hampshire cases. For example, if you are Greene, you should look for some pregnancy discrimination cases that have a similar fact pattern. For Howell, termination due to tardiness and fraudulent inducement could apply in this section. Note that the rubric says “cases” so you need, at least, two cases here. There are many, many cases with similar facts that will apply here. Good places to find cases are the Lexis/Nexis database and HeinOnline in the Shapiro Library and Google Scholar. You will be able to find plenty of relevant cases using only these sources.)
- Select cases that support your company’s position in terms of contract disputes. Justify why they support its case. (Same as section 1 above but for contract issues. For Greene that would be breach of confidentiality agreements. For Howell consider non-compete and stealing trade secrets cases as well as the fraudulent inducement issues.)
- Facts to be Determined
- Determine any factsthat will help you better analyze your company’s position. In other words, what questions do you need answered before you can proceed? (This part is simple: What else do you want/need to know that you don’t already know? Believe me when I say that there are many, many facts that you don’t know in this scenario. Don’t tell me things like you want to know what the confidentiality agreement included. In reality, you would already know that. You should ask specific questions here, not general questions.)
- Explain how the identified facts will help establish the legal rights and/or obligations of the defendant in relation to your company. In other words, how would those facts reflect on the propriety and legality of the decisions that were made? (The unknown facts you identified above need to be connected to the case. Why do you want to know this information? How would you use it? How would it help or hurt your case?)
THIS IS WHERE MILESTONE ONE ENDS AND MILESTONE TWO BEGINS.
- Application of the Law to the Facts: Using the precedents you have selected in case law, regulations, and substantive law, assess the strengths and weaknessesof your company’s arguments in court. Is it probable your company will win this legal dispute? (This is also very simple. Articulate the strengths and weaknesses of your company’s case for both the termination and contract issues. Use the laws and cases you selected and tell me how they help or hurt your case. Seldom will you find a supporting case that is 100% on point, that is, even if you find a case that helps it could also hurt your case. Be honest in your assessment here. No matter which company you defend, it’s not all roses for you. This should probably be the most detailed section of your memo.)
- Impact Assessment
- Based on your analysis, how do you believe this situation may affect public perceptionof your selected company? Will the public discourse reflect possible legal outcomes? Be sure to use specific examples. (Hey, you just fired a pregnant woman and you sell jewelry. Do you think the public and your target market might not like this? But, she was also a thief, right? Think about it and discuss it here. If there is any publicity about this lawsuit at all, there will be public perception issues for your company. Remember, this is a personnel issue and would have some privacy restrictions so don’t suggest that you publicly deride her as that will only get you sued again.)
- Make suggestions on how to alleviate anydamages to your selected company’s public perception going forward. Will action(s) related to the other party be appropriate? (What do you suggest that your company should do to minimize the potential public perception issues you identified in the section above? Having her kidnapped and dumped in a hole is not an option here.)
- Recommend how the company should modify specific business practicesto avoid similar situations in the future. (Going forward, if you were in charge, would you recommend any changes to your company’s business practices to try to avoid this type of situation occurring again? What?)
I’ll reiterate still one more time yet again……….. FOLLOW THE OUTLINE!
Here are some general observations and suggestions:
You must choose to represent either Greene or Howell. There are no other choices. You must stick with your choice throughout the three submissions that comprise this assignment. Please state up front who you are representing. Don’t make me have to figure it out.
This is a memo, not an outline. Write in complete sentences. Proof read again and again. Spell check. Those little blue and red squiggly lines in MS Word mean something, don’t ignore them. It is probably worthwhile to ask a friend or significant other to read your work and tell you if it makes sense to them before you submit it.
Even though the prompt states that you are a legal intern, do not try to write like a lawyer. Don’t use five dollar words when plain English will do. The reader of this memo will already understand basic legal principles so keep that in mind. However, if you are going to use legal terminology, make sure you are using it correctly.
Do not cut/paste/copy sections of the prompt into your memo. Do not restate the facts from the prompt. The memo should be written in your own words. Also, do not cut/paste/copy sections from cases or textbooks or websites into your memo. Summarize cases in your own words. Do not include any charts or quotes (e.g., the quote from the HR person at Greene.)
When you submit something to Turnitin, it will give you an “originality score”. If your originality score is above 25% you should take another look at your submission and make sure that you have not cut/paste/copied too much material included in your memo. If your originality score is over 40% I might ask you for an explanation before I grade it. All work must be your own.
Pay special attention to this part of the instructions:
Greene’s sues Jennifer for breach of the confidentiality agreement when it learns that she has given confidential information to Howell. Jennifer counter-sues Greene’s for wrongful termination. Howell sues Jennifer for breach of the covenant not to compete, and Jennifer counter-sues for fraudulent inducement, believing that she was tricked into signing the employment contract with Howell and that Howell was never interested in hiring her, but was interested only in acquiring information on the process to create Ever-Gold. Howell also sues Triumph, claiming that it knew or should have known that Jennifer was subject to a covenant not to compete, and that Triumph should therefore be bound by its provisions.
This paragraph tells you what your client is concerned about. Make sure you thoroughly understand ALL of your client’s potential issues.
I think that Greene is by far easier to write a memo about as the fact pattern clearly supports the various sections of the rubric. Howell is much more difficult. If you choose Howell, you still must address the termination issues, even if you do not think one exists. While fraudulent inducement is a contract issue, in Howell’s case it is also a wrongful termination issue. Just make sure that whoever you choose, you address all sections of the prompt outline criteria.
My outline examples above are not intended to tell you everything you should discover in this fact pattern and I have not mentioned everything you should write about in the various memo sections. So, please don’t take these suggestions and examples as everything you should cover. I’m trying to point you in the right direction. I’m not telling you everything you should write about.
Each Milestone should be 4-5 pages long (not including title and reference pages), using 12-point Times New Roman font and one-inch margins and should be DOUBLE-SPACED. Therefore, the Final Submission should be no more than 10 pages long (not including title and reference pages). I have found that many students have difficulty meeting these page requirements, that is, they write way too much. To meet these page limitations you will have to write concisely, sticking to the facts and keeping your analyses direct and to the point. Do not elaborate on your personal feelings about the case or pontificate about how things ought to be or what should have happened. These actions have already occurred. Now you must deal with them. Stick to the facts and keep it simple. Be objective.
Please make sure you understand the requirements and expectations of this very important 3-part assignment before you begin work. If you have tried to understand and still have questions, please ask me for clarification or post a question on the discussion board.
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