A better way to say “I couldn’t find any relevant cases. . . .”

Posted: January 25th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Talking About the Cases | Tags: , | No Comments »

When we research obscure or novel issues, we often find that there are no cases on point. Many lawyers then explain this lack of case law by writing, “I could not find any relevant cases.” That phrasing suggests that you lack confidence in your research. Why couldn’t you find any relevant cases? Did you not have enough time? Did Westlaw or LexisNexis self-destruct before you finished researching? Where did you look?

If you didn’t find it, it’s probably not out there. Since you are responsible for only the reported case law, simply say “No reported cases hold that. . . .” or “No reported cases address the issue of. . . .” These phrases show that you are confident about your research, even though you came up empty handed.

Always try to convey confidence and authority in your writing.


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