Central to writing a good case note is developing your ability to distil the key facts and ratio decidendi and capture all of this in a few handy, easily memorised bullet points. Simple in description but maddening in practice, especially when some cases span hundreds of pages. Much of your ability to sift the vital points of law and facts from broad historical outlines of the law or seemingly irrelevant segues will come from mastering your bulk reading skills and constant practice. Once you have read a case and feel you have a grasp of some of its major issues, you will need to organise them as a case note.
How Do You Write a Legal Case Note? – Case Commentary
Writing case notes - Law research and writing skills - Library guides at Monash University
Typical Outline of a Note. While some may have a greater facility for language than others, there is nothing natural about good writing. It comes from practice—and from rewriting. Advice on writing is easily dispensed but difficult to follow.
Legal Research Skills
In my previous blog posts, we have looked at how to write legal research essays Part 1 and 2 and how to answer legal problem scenarios Part 1 and 2. This time, we are turning our attention to writing legal case notes, a more unusual type of question that you may nevertheless still encounter in your studies. There is a quick explanation below of what a case note is if you are not sure. We will start by looking at some general principles and tips to keep in mind, then move on to the first part of a case note — the case summary. This may be all that your question requires; alternatively, you may also be required to write a case critique or commentary.
In my last blog post, we looked at how to write a case note. In particular, we considered how to do the summary and some general principles for the case note as a whole. In this blog post, we will be looking at how to write the second half of a case note — the commentary or critique.