LEGAL RESEARCH AND OPINION

Category: Legal Services

Written by David J. O. Tuhusula on 26/03/2024
The author’s views are entirely their own and may not always reflect the views of Putranto Alliance.

Table of Contents

Introduction

The realm of legal research and opinions forms an indispensable core of law practice, serving as a beacon for solving complex issues within the legal domain. This discipline empowers legal professionals to furnish comprehensive and satisfying answers to multifaceted legal questions through precise gathering of facts, precedents, and legal authorities 

Definition

Legal research is an intricate process aimed at uncovering legal precedents and identifying pertinent legal authorities to address various legal inquiries. These authorities include statutes, regulations, jurisprudence, and international agreements or foreign constitutions. The breadth of resources available for legal research underscores the importance of precise interpretation to ensure the accuracy and relevance of the findings.  

Similarly, legal opinions issued by licensed legal professionals provide a formal analysis regarding specific legal matters, helping clients navigate the complexities of the law. 

The Importance of Legal Research and Opinion

Tightly related to legal research, a “legal opinion” is a formally expressed letter from licensed legal professionals (usually lawyers), with the content usually containing legal analysis regarding a certain matter, as requested by the client. The Black’s Law Dictionary defines a legal opinion as a “lawful statement written by a court judge, judicial officer, or legal expert. Decision on an action, condition, or intent being within the law. Also, refer to the opinion of counsel.”

Legal professionals usually provide legal opinions to provide solace for clients who are not familiar with the workings of the current law. However, cross-border business transactions may also benefit from them. In a legal opinion, the legal professional expresses their understanding in writing regarding the connectivity of the legal issue at hand with the governing provisions to identify the issue further and/or the risks that might surface.

For example, a client wants to open a branch for their business in another country, but naturally, the country in question adopts a different kind of law from the client’s country. In this case, the client may ask their legal advisor to contact the law practitioners in the destination country to seek a legal opinion to further understand the law in the said country. By doing this, they can understand whether the type of business is valid, complies with the law, and so on.

Fundamentally, a legal opinion cannot be a substitute for legal advice.

The Best Time to Conduct Legal Research and Opinion

Legal research should be initiated at the earliest stages of case preparation or whenever legal issues arise. Early engagement allows for the thorough exploration of legal precedents and authorities, providing ample time for the refinement and adjustment of legal arguments. This ensures the legal strategy is built upon a solid foundation of relevant and up-to-date information.  

Similarly, obtaining a legal opinion is most prudent when making significant legal decisions or transactions, such as entering new markets, drafting critical agreements, or facing complex legal dilemmas. This timing ensures clients can make informed decisions, mitigate legal risks, and align actions with the prevailing legal landscape. 

Benefits of Legal Research and Opinion

For legal practitioners, research equips them with a comprehensive understanding of applicable laws and precedents, enhancing the quality of their legal arguments and strategies. It fosters a methodical approach to case preparation, bolstering the chances of favorable outcomes. 

For clients, legal opinions provide a clear analysis of their legal position, potential risks, and the legal validity of their actions. This clarity is invaluable for making informed decisions, particularly in complex legal environments or transactions, and is able to safeguard against legal and financial repercussions, offering peace of mind and strategic advantages. 

How to Conduct Legal Research and Legal Opinions

The party of interest can conduct legal research. However, it is better to involve legal experts knowledgeable in the field. A legal research involves several key steps: 

  1. Identifying the legal issue
    The question and/or the problem should be clearly defined to prevent misconceptions and/or misuse of information.

  2. Finding and using relevant resources
    The existence of legal databases, libraries, and online resources to gather resources (such as statutes, existing cases, and/or other related writings) should be optimally utilized.

  3. Analyzing existing resources and information
    While the rule of thumb of laws and regulations is the prevention of multi-interpretation, it’s still important to carefully interpret the meaning and the reason for the establishment of the law. Ensuring the laws and regulations are up-to-date is also equally important.

Conversely, it is advised that only legal experts should provide a legal opinion due to more often involving complex issues, which require in-depth knowledge that can only be obtained from specific certifications and/or experience in the field.  

How We Can Help

Our experienced legal advisors are well-versed in providing legal opinions (and, if required, legal advice).  The involved parties can avoid both legal and/or financial consequences that may prove to be fatal in the future. From doing legal research, analyzing documents, and participating in any possible confrontational situations, we go above and beyond to provide the opinion and/or advice you may need for your future endeavours in business.

FAQs

No, a legal opinion is different from legal advice.  

A legal opinion provides an analysis based on current or past legal facts and identifies potential legal risks, whereas legal advice offers guidance on future actions based on this analysis. 

While not mandatory, legal research conducted by professionals with legal education backgrounds is generally more efficient and reliable due to their expertise and access to comprehensive legal databases and resources. 

The legal experts of Putranto Alliance are well-versed in their fields of study and capable of assisting clients with their legal needs accordingly while ensuring quality work and clients are well-equipped for their business endeavors. 

Yes, and it should be updated. A legal opinion generally only encompasses the currently applicable and existing laws and regulations during the timeframe of the creation of such a document.  

Putranto Alliance is committed to continuous knowledge and improvements to provide quality work. This commitment ensures that clients comply with the latest legal frameworks, protects them from potential penalties, and optimizes their legal strategies. 

Yes, it is possible. 

Putranto Alliance consists of multiple business units that are well-versed in their respective fields. Putranto Alliance can provide expert advice concerning multiple perspectives clients may need on their business endeavors. 

Yes, a legal opinion can potentially be used as evidence in court proceedings, but its admissibility and weight as evidence depend on several factors, including the relevance, reliability, and credibility of the opinion.  

In some cases, the attorney or legal expert who provided the legal opinion may be called to testify as an expert witness. The court will evaluate the qualification of the witness, expertise, and the relevance of their testimony in determining its admissibility and weight as evidence. 

Even if admitted as evidence, the weight and persuasiveness of a legal opinion will depend on various factors, including the expertise and credibility of the author, the thoroughness of the analysis, and the persuasiveness of the legal arguments presented. Not to mention, the admissibility and weight of a legal opinion as evidence are subject to the discretion of the presiding judge, who will evaluate the relevance, reliability, and probative value of the opinion in the context of the specific case. 

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