mem·o·ran·dum / ˌmeməˈrandəm/ • n. (pl. -da / -də/ or -dums ) a note or record made for future use: the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on economic cooperation. ∎ a written message, esp. in business or diplomacy: he told them of his decision in a memorandum. ∎ Law a document recording the terms of a contract or other legal details.
An informal record, in the form of a brief written note or outline, of a particular legal transaction or document for the purpose of aiding the parties in remembering particular points or for future reference.
A memorandum may be used in court to prove that a particular contract was made. For instance, in a real estate transaction, a memorandum can be used to show that the parties to a sale have entered into an agreement to sell a particular parcel at an indicated price, in addition to other details of the agreement. This type of memorandum is also referred to as a binder.
An attorney might use a memorandum to explain and summarize a specific point of law for a judge or for another attorney.
A memorandum decision is a written decision, issued by a court, which reports the ruling, and the decisions and orders of the court. It does not, however, contain an opinion, which is an explanation of the rationale upon which the decision was based.