A statement of facts is a legal document which sets forward factual information without argument. These documents are used in a variety of legal settings, ranging from appeals to filing vehicle registration paperwork. Depending on the context, a statement of facts may be prepared by a legal professional, or it may consist of a form with options to check.
The goal of a statement of facts is not to put forward an argument, but rather to present factual information in a clear, easy to understand way. That said, many lawyers may make implicit arguments in a statement of facts, using a variety of tricks to sway the reader to one point of view or another. Typically these arguments are designed to paint someone in a favorable light, or to dismiss the reliability of someone else.
Vanessa Place is a writer and lawyer, and co-director of Les Figues Press. She is the author of Dies: A Sentence, the post-conceptual epic La Medusa, and Notes on Conceptualisms (with Robert Fitterman). Her nonfiction book about sex-offenders and the morality of guilt, The Guilt Project: Rape and Morality, will be published in 2010.