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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 ?
The fake memorandum was dated April 23, and was signed by Atty.
The memorandum states: Please be informed that your transfer as voter to the City of Baguio was canceled by the Committee on Election Affairs, Commission on Elections, Intramuros, Manila.
Martin urged registered voters who have received the same memorandum to inform his office.
Although the requirements community has the primary responsibility to ensure compliance with this policy, all must work closely together to develop an acquisition strategy (that complies with the procedures contained in this memorandum) and to ensure that use of a non-DoD contract is in the best interest of the Army.
This memorandum applies to both direct acquisitions (i.e., orders placed by an Army contracting or ordering officer against a non-DoD contract) and assisted acquisitions (i.e., contracts awarded or orders placed by non-DoD organizations using Army funds) for supplies and services.
OSD Memorandum, Proper Use of Non-DoD Contracts, October 29, 2004
This memorandum is part of an ongoing cooperation between the FTB and IRS that has seen the FTB publicizing the IRS voluntary compliance initiatives--opportunities for individuals to come forward and avoid costly penalties.
Under the memorandum, the FTB and IRS are planning a coordinated approach that will allow effective use of resources and information sharing at the front end of investigations rather than at the end, which has been the process.
In dismissing the state law claims, the court held such language, along with other warnings in the offering memorandums, should have put the investors on notice there was no guarantee of success when investing in the partnerships.