Not sure if you have access to the original question or not, Please let me know. My professor sent me critquing on the IRAC fomat as follows : the essay looked ok but the following format (see explanation) must be used in order to have a passing grade. The 2 cases to use are Didday v. Bradburn, 2000 Ohio App. LEXIS 614, 2000 WL 197245 (Ohio Ct. App., Clermont County Feb. 22, 2000) and BEBOUT v. PEFFERS, 1986 Ohio App. LEXIS 8030, 1986 WL 9303 (Ohio Ct. App., Knox County Aug. 18, 1986)
IRAC = Issue - Rule - Analysis - Conclusion.
It is a way to organize your work in a legal memorandum to insure you have
all the components necessary when using case law to form an answer to a
Below is a general breakdown of what goes into each section for a basic
style of IRAC organized memorandum:
Summary of Facts:
Here you state what the assignment facts are; what the hypothetical case is about that
the assignment describes. It tells the reader where the issue comes from that is being
researched, discussed and concluded.
Here you create a simple statement that tells what it is (the question) that the case law is
going to answer regarding the assignment facts. You want this worded so that the
reader clearly understands what the controversy is and what needs to be determined by
the case law.
This is where you present cases that address the issue at hand.
When you present your cases you want the proper citation and then to include three
parts of each case: 1. What the law is that was determined to govern (rule) over the
issue; 2. Brief details of the case to show HOW the court applied that law in order to
make their decision; 3. The court's decision
When reading through cases take note of key words such as “required elements,” “two
part test,” and other phrases that indicate some sort of criteria required by law for a
claim. These make it easy to spot key areas of law that are essential to include. Look for
where the court defines a legal theory, as within a definition is often found the criteria
for what the law is surrounding the theory. The court will often define a theory,
establish a list of required elements, etc., and then begin to discuss how the facts of the
case fit into what the law requires and if certain aspects are met or not met in order for
the outcome to be decided.
Below is an example of how law would be presented in the Rule section:
In regard to relocation by a custodial parent, Gruber v. Gruber, 400 Pa. Super. 174 ( 1990), established
three elements that must be examined in order to determine if a custodial parent should be permitted to
relocate at a considerable distance from the non-custodial parent:
1. The potential advantages of the proposed move, economic and otherwise, and the likelihood
the move would improve substantially the quality of life for the custodial parent and the child
and is not the result of a momentary whim on the party of the custodial parent; 2. The
integrity of the motive of both the custodial and non-custodial parent in either seeking the
move or seeking to prevent it; 3. The availability of a realistic substitute visitation
arrangement, which will foster adequately an ongoing relationship between the child and the
non-custodial parent. Id. at 186.
Furthermore, the court held that when a reasonable alternative visitation plan is developed, maintaining
weekly visitation with the non-custodial parent is not necessary and should not prevent a move that offers
an improved lifestyle and substantial advantages to the custodial parent and children he case would continue to be presented in the write up and then the details of how that
law applied to the case facts in Gruber would be used in the Application section to
indicate how the law would then be applied to the assignment case in the same manner.
Depending on the details, the outcome of the assignment case might be different than in
Gruber, or it may be the same.
Choose at least two cases (or more if the assignment indicates it to be necessary) that
offer the best law relevant to the assignment and present the case info from those two
cases here in the Rule section, with the most important being the LAW that
governs. You can use a combination of paraphrasing the details of the case and how the
court applied and decided, and reserve direct quotes for the actual law used.
Here you refer back to the cases in general, and apply the law to the assignment case
based on how it was applied in your presented cases. You compare and contrast the
assignment facts/details with those in the presented cases to show how/why the court
would apply the law in a particular way to form an outcome. By the end of this
discussion, your conclusion should be obvious to where it seems to be restating the
obvious when you write the conclusion below.
An example of how to apply case law using the case above is:
In our case plaintiff father seeks to prevent defendant mother from relocating from Pennsylvania to New
York with their 10 year old child. The court needs to apply the factors established in Gruber v. Gruber,
400 Pa. Super. 174 ( 1990), to determine if such a move should be allowed even though it requires a change to the child custody/visitation agreement. The first factor in Gruber is to assess the advantage
afforded to the child and mother and determine the benefit. As found in Gruber, where the mother had
obtained a new position in New York which provided a higher salary as well as tuition for a wellrespected
private school, the defendant mother in our case has been offered a position in the state of NY
which will increase her economic stability and ability to provide for her son. The school district the
potential move would allow the child to attend is a sought after district in the area. In addition, the
pending marriage of the defendant mother would provide a stable home environment and further support
for the child. This satisfies the first factor in Gruber and establishes that the move is not on a “whim” or
without basis or focus on the best interest of the child. (This would continue on from here applying each
factor established in the rule and how the court used it to the facts of the case at hand. It would compare
and contrast the situation in the presented case to determine how the law would relate and apply to the
situation being determined.)
Here you give a very brief and concise statement that establishes the “answer” to the
issue(s) of the assignment. Do not repeat case details or analysis/application. Simply
give the answer to the issue statement.
An example conclusion statement:
According to Pennsylvania law, defendant Smith would be granted permission to move with the child to
NY as all the required factors have been successfully met regarding advantage, motivation and a revised
A few generallegal writing tips
Legal writing does not use the APA format. Textbooks and bibliographies are not
part of a legal memorandum.
Single spacing with NO first line paragraph indent is standard format.
Quotes over 49 words require left block indentation without the use of quotation
ANY direct wording from a case or source MUST have a legal citation in order to
not be considered plagiarism