Strategies & Techniques
Two Versions of a Case Status Memo
Below are two versions of a case status file memo written by a fourth-semester student at the CUNY School of Law for the Economic Justice Project Lawyering Seminar. Version A represents the student's initial draft, and Version B is a revised product. In moving from first to revised draft, the writer substantially edited and focused the text to mirror the function and scope of a case status memo.
As you compare the two drafts, take note of the writer's editing decisions. Consider, for example, the factual details included in the first draft that were omitted in the revised version. The exclusion of these details in the later draft reflects the writer's judgment that they were not essential to the function of the memo. Notice also how the writer has created a revised document that is more visually accessible by adding bullets and widening margins. Also consider that the writer omitted from the revised draft the discussion of potential arguments and strategies, which would more properly appear in an attorney work product memo to file.
A note on abbreviations in the text: NOI refers to Notice of Intent. It is the notice that an agency is required to send before it can implement any reduction or discontinuance of benefits. This notice forms the basis for an appellant's fair hearing rights under 18 NYCRR 358 et seq.