How To Dissect The MPT Task Memo
The Task Memo is a very important part of the MPT and it is critical that you follow the directions closely! In this post, we discuss exactly what you should look for in the MPT Task Memo.
How To Dissect The MPT Task Memo
1. Determine the type of assignment.
The first thing you should look for in the Task Memo is the type of assignment you have been given. Are you being asked to write a brief? A memo? A letter?
Persuasive briefs and objective memos are the most common tasks. Although less common, letters have also been assigned from time-to-time. Because of the frequency with which these tasks are assigned, you should come to the exam with a prepared, memorized format that you will utilize if given one of these common tasks.
If you are given a less common assignment, don’t fear if you don’t have a prepared format in mind! Instead, check the task memo for additional instructions regarding formatting. Sometimes, an additional formatting memo is included for the less common tasks and can be found behind the task memo. Review any additional formatting instructions carefully!
2. Understand specific sections to include (or exclude).
The task memo may instruct you to specifically include (or, commonly, exclude) certain sections, such as a statement of facts. Take note of any particular sections that you must (or must not) include in your response. As you are reading the Task Memo, you may want to start setting up your response and make particular note of these sections that you must (or must not) include!
3. Take note of any procedural requirements or aspects of the case.
For instance, note if you are arguing for or against a particular motion, if this case is on appeal or at the trial level, or any other relevant procedural information that you are given. Although it may not directly affect how you respond to the task, it may help you think about how to frame your answer!
4. Address all specific issues and arguments that are highlighted.
The Task Memo may provide information about specific issues to address or arguments to include within your answer. It is important that you take note of these issues and arguments and make sure you fully address them! Furthermore, these highlighted issues and arguments may help you draft the overall structure of your response!
For example, in the February 2019 MPT which involved a client whose license to operate a child care center was about to be revoked (and who wanted to obtain a preliminary injunction to stop that action), the Task Memo instructed examinees to address the following:
- All the requirements for a preliminary injunction;
- The evidence available for each of the requirements; and
- Any arguments the opposing party may make (and a response to these anticipated arguments).
Each of these points must be fully addressed! A common mistake is that students do not anticipate the opposing party’s arguments. This is a necessary step for almost all MPTs, and it is CRUCIAL where the task memo specifically instructs you to do this!
5. Note details regarding the parties involved.
Take note of the law firm’s header and the name of the person assigning the task. Be sure to write down the names of the other parties and details such as who is the plaintiff and who is the defendant. This can help you set up the structure of a memo or brief, whatever the assignment may be.
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