Memo Outline Assignment OFFICE MEMORANDUM FACT SITUATION FROM: Partners James

Memo Outline Assignment


FROM: Partners James Pennington and Leanna Litt

RE: Divorce of firm client Johnny Smith

Firm File #: 22-CI-000112

Johnny and Jennifer Smith have decided to obtain a dissolution of marriage (divorce) after thirteen years of marriage. Both cheated on the other. Jennifer cheated with Johnny’s former co-worker. To get even, Johnny cheated on Jennifer with her younger sister, Kara. Johnny and Jennifer have been living apart for approximately seven months. Jennifer is living in the 5-bedroom marital home here in Richmond, Kentucky, and Johnny (& Kara) now live in a 3-bedroom condo in Lexington, Kentucky.

Johnny, age 40, is a Lexington bank manager who has an annual income of $175,000. Jennifer, age 38, is a homemaker who prior to the separation had not worked outside the home (aside from helping coach Madison Central’s girls’ softball team) in past 13 years.

During the height of Covid-19, Jennifer began taking college courses at EKU. She had earned an associate degree in Nursing before meeting Johnny, and she is now only 2 semesters shy of earning a Bachelor of Science Nursing (BSN) degree. She was inspired by frontline workers to re-enter the medical workforce. Jennifer now works at Baptist Health Richmond earning $50,000. Her salary could increase to $85,000 annually with a BSN degree.

Johnny has hired us, Kentucky Family Law, PLLC, where you work as a paralegal. Johnny has just informed your supervising attorney, Leanna Litt, that this will not be a “friendly” divorce. Jennifer is being represented by the former family court judge Caitlyn McCoy. Johnny and Jennifer have already had several arguments concerning custody for their two daughers Ella Rose, age 16 & Everleigh Raine, age 14.

These arguments were always intense, but they never resulted in domestic violence. Johnny told us that, “We have fought over how to raise our daughters for years, and I don’t see it getting any better once we go through the big D, and I don’t mean Dallas.” He continued, “We are both hot headed, so I am just not sure how we’ll be able to agree on anything when it comes to the girls. We can’t figure out exchange days and time with them. I can never see us getting along and being able to co-parent together.”

Ella & Everleigh are both “Daddy’s girls” and want to live with Johnny. They blame Jennifer for the divorce because she actually cheated first with Johnny’s -former- loan officer Briley Cole. The girls both play softball, and they want to transfer from Madison Central High School to Frederick Douglass High School (in the school district where Johnny now resides). Frederick Douglass is the back to back defending KSHAA Girls’ Softball State Champions, and the school has graduated 17 softball players who’ve earned D-I scholarships during the past 5 years. Ella, a pitcher, is already being recruited by several Colleges, and her dream is to attend the University of Kentucky on a scholarship. UK sends Ella recruiting material on a daily basis. Johnny feels this relocation would be beneficial for the girls as they both appear to be struggling with this divorce. Frederick Douglass High School has a nationally ranked pre-law program, and both girls aspire to be attorneys one day.

On the other hand, Jennifer played softball at the University of Kentucky before suffering a career ending knee injury going into her Junior year. She taught both girls how to fast pitch – something Johnny could never do. In fact, Jennifer has been offered an assistant softball coach position for Richmond Model High School ($15,000) – contingent of course on Ella and Everleigh and joining the team. This would come with full tuition scholarships ($17,000 each) to Model, a school with rich history of academic success. Model is one of the top academic high schools in the state. Conversely, Model’s softball team has a less than stellar program as they have only won 8 games against 52 losses during the past three seasons with 0 players even offered scholarships during this span.

Johnny has asked Ms. Litt about the following Issues regarding the impending divorce:

1. Both parents want sole custody of the children. However, Johnny would concede to joint custody, which he believes would mean the parents would share equal time with the children, and he wants to be the primary custodian of the children (they live with him).

Issue 1: Johnny would like to know what joint custody means and if it truly means equal time. You are simply answering this question. No need to engage in a full IRAC.

Issue 2: Pursuant to KRS 403.270, what custody determination is a court likely to make when parents are going through an unfriendly divorce, the children have expressed wishes on where they want to live, and one parent has a financial interest in the determination?

For this IRAC, you need to consider the following. Analysis of Joint Custody & Sole Custody. Predict who is likely to be the primary custodian parent.

2. In addition, Johnny thinks that because he and Jennifer are so bitter and antagonistic toward each other, that a joint custody arrangement would never work. Therefore, Johnny wants to know if a Court could, and would be likely to, award joint custody in this situation.

Issue 3: Under Kentucky Family law, would a court award joint custody when the parties are not able to cooperate and co-parent together after years of arguing with no hopes of an improved relationship?

3. Finally, Johnny knows that Jennifer also expects to receive alimony (
called maintenance here in Kentucky) from him. She’s told him that she “wants payments for at least 13 years” (equal to the number of years they were married). They will divide material property and assets exactly 50/50. Johnny has told Jennifer that he “can’t pay her maintenance and child support and still have enough disposable income to make ends meet.” Johnny has offered to let Jennifer keep the “mortgage free” marital home valued at $325,000. What are factors the Court will consider. Is Jessica likely to receive maintenance? How long? Here use KRS 403.200 (West). You will need to create your own
complete Issue(s) with the 3 required parts.


Our Associate, Sandy Michelle is working on calculating child support, so you don’t need to address it.

Ms. Litt wants you to research the above issues and prepare an office (internal) memorandum on these issues. She has asked that you research these issues and first prepare a


with relevant authorities included for review before giving her the final product. The final product will be an office memorandum for the Ms. Litt to review before she meets with Johnny again. You must cite

at least five (5)
recent (i.e.,
1990s or later)

State Court Cases, and



You cannot use cases that have been overruled (red flags) unless for background or to discuss points not related to the red flag. That type of case that has been overruled or superseded would supplement the five cases minimum you are required to include in the final memo.
Unpublished opinions or red flagged cases

WILL NOT count as one of the five cases.

Make sure your brief answer does not get so long it is merely a copy of the research and analysis portion of the memo. The analysis and research must be contained within each issue. Remember you are not researching for the sake of giving your opinion, but to provide what the statutes, case law, and other authorities say about these issues. EVERY IRAC has its own conclusion not just one at the end.

The final memo must be typed in 12 point font with 1½” left margins and 1” remaining margins, and have numbered pages, and be double-spaced. The memo must be at least six (6) full pages long but no more than eight (8) pages. You must attach to the final memo only a list of
all cited authority used in your memo, using proper Bluebook citations.
The page limit does not include your citing references.

All citations in the memo must be in proper
Bluebook form and include pinpoint citations where appropriate.

However, I want you to use CR 76.12 for all Kentucky Primary Sources.

You must attach to the final memo a list of
all cited authority used in your memo, using proper Bluebook citations, after having used KeyCite to check the status.
Actually of course you should have been doing that all along in any case so this is just a separate list. Be sure to
KeyCite all cases and statutes cited in your memo, and indicate on your list of cited authority any cases or materials that have “yellow” or “red” flags.


First, you will submit the outline which will correspond to the issues given and include under each section the relevant authorities matching the anticipated analysis and meeting the citation requirements above. Do not turn in seven lines with no authorities listed as the outline.
No bullet points.

Finally, be sure to KeyCite all cases and statutes cited in your memo, and indicate on your list of cited authority any cases or materials that have “yellow” or “red” flags.


Use this format. It is all double spaced in the memo except the top “to, from” part:

Inter-office Memorandum

To: Professor James R. Pennington

Cc: Ms. Leanna Litt

From: (your name)

Re: Divorce of firm client Johnny Jone

Firm File #: 22-CI-000112

Date: (insert date of submission)


(In this section summarize relevant facts.



(State the issues as questions with a brief answer to each)

Analyses: (Your IRACs)

Here in numbered subsections that correspond with your issues you will write the analysis of each issue. You will discuss and summarize the relevant statutes and cases. The analysis and related research must be contained within each section. In each section you should have a conclusion sentence that answers the issues.

Additional information: (If you believe the lawyer will need additional information moving forward with the case or you think there may be another issue the lawyer may want to consider then briefly discuss here in a sentence or two.)


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