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Old 01-07-2017, 11:28 AM   #1
rstitan
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Default Litigation lawyers - how to analyze and summarize information better?

I'm currently working in a law firm's litigation department. My firm handles a lot of complex commercial disputes, which often involve many parties and even more transactions over a long period of time. The affidavits are easily over 50 pages (which consists of conflicting information or different viewpoints of a same event), not to mention the hundreds of pages of other documents that I'll have to read.

I'm expected by my boss to be able to analyze, summarize and remember most information in a case. I find this to be extremely challenging, and so far I think I have not done a very good job.

How do you guys (whether you are in a litigation department or not) handle complex facts? Are there any books that can teach people how to analyze and summarize complex information better? I have thought of using speed reading techniques, but then as a lawyer I know I will miss out important information if I skim through the documents.

Thanks!!
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Old 01-07-2017, 12:26 PM   #2
Natal55
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Default Re: Litigation lawyers - how to analyze and summarize information better?

Are you an attorney or a paralegal?
Law school normally helps prepare for that, as that is what most of law school is.

Did you go to law school as well?
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Old 01-07-2017, 01:21 PM   #3
rstitan
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Default Re: Litigation lawyers - how to analyze and summarize information better?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natal55 View Post
Are you an attorney or a paralegal?
Law school normally helps prepare for that, as that is what most of law school is.

Did you go to law school as well?
Attorney. I went to law school, but my law school doesn't do case briefs. My professors use powerpoints that covers over 50 cases per lecture, and the legal principles are summarized into a few sentences. We study hypothetical cases in tutorials, but no case briefs are required. I guess I'm not that prepared for analyzing complex facts.

Like currently I'm dealing with a shareholder dispute case. Mr. A transfered XXX shares of company B, C, D to Mr. E, some acquisitions happened, then eventually all shares of a company F, a subsidiary of G, went to the hands of one Mr. H. It is argued that there is an undervalue transaction. I get so confused with the facts.

Last edited by rstitan; 01-07-2017 at 01:22 PM. Reason: clarify
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Litigation lawyers - how to analyze and summarize information better?

That's very concerning. I was a trained paralegal, did very similar work in two different jobs.

You should be quite capable of pulling all relevant information in a cogent fashion. I'm sure there are books on the subject.
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Old 01-08-2017, 09:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: Litigation lawyers - how to analyze and summarize information better?

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Attorney. I went to law school, but my law school doesn't do case briefs. My professors use powerpoints that covers over 50 cases per lecture, and the legal principles are summarized into a few sentences. We study hypothetical cases in tutorials, but no case briefs are required. I guess I'm not that prepared for analyzing complex facts.
How long has it been since law school? The reason I ask is that the longer you do this kind of work the better you should get at it.

You can be taught the law but I don't think that there is any way of learning to analyze documents other than just doing it over and over and over until you develop an instinct for it.
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Old 01-08-2017, 08:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: Litigation lawyers - how to analyze and summarize information better?

The above is true, the more you look at the corporate documents and the more familiar you become with them overtime, the easier it gets. It is never easy in the beginning and it takes a lot of time in many many hours, you can't do it quickly in the beginning.
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Old 01-08-2017, 08:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: Litigation lawyers - how to analyze and summarize information better?

But I would also add, that it's certainly not for everybody, if it's not interesting and enjoyable, it's worth thinking about changing either the area of law or the profession.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Litigation lawyers - how to analyze and summarize information better?

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But I would also add, that it's certainly not for everybody, if it's not interesting and enjoyable,
Right.

I spent 35 years in the insurance industry analyzing insurance policies and loving every minute of it. LOL



Kidding aside, I got better and better at it until I could do it in my sleep.
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Old 01-10-2017, 06:16 AM   #9
rstitan
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Default Re: Litigation lawyers - how to analyze and summarize information better?

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How long has it been since law school? The reason I ask is that the longer you do this kind of work the better you should get at it.

You can be taught the law but I don't think that there is any way of learning to analyze documents other than just doing it over and over and over until you develop an instinct for it.
Graduated for a year now. I’m still not used to complex facts and find them intimidating. My boss emphasizes that I must read every single word of every single document, because if I go speed reading I’m bound to miss significant information. He also expects me to remember most details and find out the missing links. This is still very challenging to me.

I know practice makes perfect, but I would be grateful if you guys can share some tips, advice or books about how to effectively summarize and analyze information. I believe there are some skills involved that would allow me to learn and improve?
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Old 01-10-2017, 06:16 AM   #10
rstitan
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Default Re: Litigation lawyers - how to analyze and summarize information better?

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Right.

I spent 35 years in the insurance industry analyzing insurance policies and loving every minute of it. LOL



Kidding aside, I got better and better at it until I could do it in my sleep.
I think if we're more skillful, we'll love the job more
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