Most of the cases I mediate are fact-dependent. The law is settled; it is up to the parties to correctly apply the law to these facts. Yet, lawyers sometimes show up with little understanding of what the relevant law is. When the applicability of statutes and regulations is cloudy, case law provides interpretation. Reconsider how these three logic skills apply to that case you know just needs to be settled before parties spend any more time or money.
Every individual is different; hence, every case is unique in some ways. Legal analysis involves researching legal precedents to see the similarities to and differences from the facts of this dispute.
If case law favors your position, fashion your arguments to show why the precedent is an analogy for the facts of the present case. Instead of understanding this basic legal skill, I see advocates argue against their client’s interest that there are differences.
To create an analogy, one must extrapolate, i.e., show how the court deciding this case should apply the reasoning of the previously decided case to different facts to rule in favor of the client. This argument requires thoughtful preparation and creativity.
An attorney who argues that a precedent is so different that it has little bearing on the present dispute is distinguishing that precedent. This is an analysis of degrees of difference.
If you dig deep enough, you can probably find cases that could suggest opposite results for your case. Don’t ignore the unfavorable ones. The skillful practitioner will show why the favorable cases are analogous to the one being negotiated and the unfavorable ones should be distinguished.