Step 2.1 List fact keywords

From the facts you collected in Step 1, list words that describe the following common key facts.

brainstorm BRAINSTORM

List words that describe …

(a) the parties, particularly their:

i. roles, status, and occupations

ii. relationships

iii. special characteristics

(b) places, particularly:

i. the type of place

ii. the location

iii. special characteristics

(c) objects (that is, the objects or things that caused the problem)

(d) subjects (that is, the subject matter the problem concerns, such as a fire, an assault, or an accident)

(e) timing

Table 12: Common key facts

Describing the key facts in your problem will supply keywords (Step 4) that you can use to frame the legal questions (Step 3) and find relevant background reading, cases, and statutes (Step 5), which will further help you to find the legal concepts related to your fact situation. The key facts will also become significant when it comes time to apply the law (Step 7).

In the next few sections, we list examples of each kind of key fact. We also list some of the ways the key facts can help you identify the relevant legal concepts, such as possible causes of action, defenses, and jurisdictions.

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