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LAW Written and Oral Advocacy

This guide provides resources for law students in drafting persuasive legal documents and preparing for moot trials or oral advocacy exercises.

Factum, Brief or Memorial?

Factum, brief and memorial are synonyms for a document used by lawyers to persuade a court, usually an appellate court, to find in support of their client.  The document contains a statement of facts, the grounds of appeal, the standard of review to be applied, the legal arguments of a party's position and the relief sought by the party.   In Canada, this document is called a factum but is a brief in the United States.  The term memorial is used in Scotland, at some international courts and tribunals and for many moot trial competitions.  The documents are very similar and "how to" books from other countries can be referred to for advice on drafting a factum.  Attention must be paid to the Court Rules for the jurisdiction in which the factum is being filed to ensure the appropriate format is being used.

Court Rules and Forms

Every court has rules governing the practice and procedures of that institution which must be followed.  Some courts also provide practice tips or forms that can be very useful.  Links to selective materials from the Alberta Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada are below:

Selective Practitioner-focused Materials (Canadian)

Selected Books Available at the University of Calgary

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