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An informal record, in the form of a brief written note or outline, of a particular legal transaction or document for the purpose of aiding the parties in remembering particular points or for future reference.

A memorandum may be used in court to prove that a particular contract was made. For instance, in a real estate transaction, a memorandum can be used to show that the parties to a sale have entered into an agreement to sell a particular parcel at an indicated price, in addition to other details of the agreement. This type of memorandum is also referred to as a binder.

An attorney might use a memorandum to explain and summarize a specific point of law for a judge or for another attorney.

A memorandum decision is a written decision, issued by a court, which reports the ruling, and the decisions and orders of the court. It does not, however, contain an opinion, which is an explanation of the rationale upon which the decision was based.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. 1) a brief writing, note, summary or outline. 2) A "memorandum of decision," or "memorandum opinion" are brief statements by a judge announcing his/her ruling without detail or giving extensive reasons, which may or may not be followed by a more comprehensive written decision. Such memoranda (plural) are issued by appeals courts in language such as: "The petition of appellant is denied for the reasons stated in Albini v. Younger," or "The decision below is affirmed."

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

MEMORANDUM. Literally, to be remembered. It is an informal instrument recording some fact or agreement, so called from its beginning, when it was made in Latin. It is sometimes commenced with this word, though written in English; as "Memorandum, that it is agreed," or it is headed with the words, "Be it remembered that," &c. The term memorandum is also applied to the clause of an instrument.

MEMORANDUM, insurance. A clause in a policy limiting the liability of the insurer. Its usual form is as follows, namely, "N. B. Corn, fish, salt, fruit, flour and seed, are warranted free from average, unless general, or the ship be stranded: sugar, tobacco, hemp, flax, hides and skins, are warranted free from average, under five percent; and all other goods, also the ship and freight, are warranted free from average, under three percent unless general, or the ship be stranded." Marsh. Ins.223; 5 N. S. 293; Id. 540; 4 N. S. 640; 2 L. R. 433; Id. 435.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
I argue that these memoranda contain important policy content, and that in recent years, they have been used interchangeably with executive orders.
The Memoranda of Understanding concern the cooperation between the two counties in the fields of education, energy and desalination and waste water treatment and reuse, while the Agreement concerns the cooperation on legal affairs.
An index of interview memoranda, exhibits and visual aids follows the synopsis.
Although the issuance of these two memoranda seems to indicate the IRS's willingness to challenge these types of transactions based on multiple statutory and judicial theories, the sustainability of such challenges in a court has yet to be determined.
At issue in Roxworthy were two memoranda prepared by KPMG LLP for the general counsel of Yum!
My memoranda of May 21, 2003, designating the Secretary of the Army as Executive Agent for the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, and June 16, 2003, providing for the exercise of that responsibility in support of the CPA, are modified accordingly.
--All transactional documents, including agreements, contracts, instruments and schedules and, if the taxpayer's participation in the transaction was promoted, solicited or recommended by any other party, all material received from that other party or that party's adviser(s); --All internal documents or memoranda used by the taxpayer in the decisionmaking process, including information presented to the taxpayer's board of directors; and --All opinions and memoranda that provide a legal analysis of the item, whether prepared by the taxpayer or its tax professional.
The Court then examined the landlord's attorney's application and concluded that the hours expended in preparing post trial memoranda were excessive.
In two of the four offering memoranda, Vintech also included an "independent accountant's report" (IAR) prepared by the firm, which said the firm had reviewed the forecasted income tax basis statements of income, expense, partners' capital and cash flow for each of the years included in the forecasts.
The task force observed that nothing "prohibits IRS personnel from requesting both a [traditional] TAM and a Generic Legal Advice memorandum on an issue." It suggested that some Generic Legal Advice memoranda may be completed in less than 30 days, and relatively few should require more than 180 days.