Congratulations on your recent graduation from Law School and passing of the California Bar Exam. You are now an attorney. You have been hired as a Junior Associate at the Law Firm of Dewey, Cheatum and Howe. This is your first assignment.

The purpose of this assignment is to convey your understanding of criminal law, including elements of crimes, criminal defenses, and inchoate crimes. Given a hypothetical situation, you will evaluate what crimes may have been committed, whether those crimes were completed and what defenses might apply. Sample memorandums will be provided to assist you in preparing your memorandum. Papers will be graded based on the quality of the analysis, grammar, and overall writing style.



TO:              Junior Associate

FROM:        Jim Dewey, Sr. Partner

SUBJECT:  Opinion Memorandum

We have been retained by Jack Oberman. Mr. Oberman has been charged by the State with violating Health and Safety Code Section 11352. I have attached the code section and the Jury Instructions for Section 11352. (The entire California Jury Instructions can be downloaded here (Links to an external site.)).

These are the facts as we currently know them:

Jack Oberman is a pharmacist at a local drug store and has never engaged in any form of illegal activity. Local police officers received reports that the drug store was filling illegal prescriptions for Oxycodone, a strong painkiller often sold on the streets. An undercover officer approached Jack on five separate occasions, claiming that he had a daughter suffering from a terminal illness who was in severe pain and discomfort. The undercover officer claimed he could not afford medical treatment and asked Jack to illegally provide him with Oxycodone for his daughter. Jack refused on the first four occasions, but he finally consented after hearing the horrific stories of the young girl’s suffering. Jack handed the undercover officer 10 Oxycodone pills in exchange for $100 and was subsequently arrested.

Please prepare a memorandum analyzing whether or not the government can prove a violation of Health and Safety Code Section 11352 based on these facts. Also include any defenses that may be available to Mr. Oberman. Use this sample memorandum (Links to an external site.) as a guideline to follow when composing this assignment.


11352 (a) Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who transports, imports into this state, sells, furnishes, administers, or gives away, or offers to transport, import into this state, sell, furnish, administer, or give away, or attempts to import into this state or transport (1) any controlled substance specified in subdivision (b), (c), or (e), or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, or specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in subdivision (h) of Section 11056, or (2) any controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V which is a narcotic drug, unless upon the written prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code for three, four, or five years.

11055 a) The controlled substances listed in this section are included in Schedule II.

(b) Any of the following substances

(M) Oxycodone.


Sale, Transportation for Sale, etc., of Controlled Substance

(Health & Saf. Code, §§ 11352)

The defendant is charged with selling a controlled substance in violation of Health and Safety Code Section 11352.

To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:

  1. The defendant sold a controlled substance;
  2. The defendant knew of the substance’s nature or character as a controlled substance; and,
  3. The controlled substance was oxycontin.

Selling for the purpose of this instruction means exchanging a controlled substance for money, services, or anything of value.

example of memorandum assignment


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