Oops. How did you want that?

The partner asked if I had time for a quick research project. I do, I said, following him back to his office.

“Look this up for me,” he said, once I sat down, and quickly explained. “It shouldn’t take to long.” And I was off, researching the question.

He was right; it didn’t take too long to find the answer. I pulled up the state’s research service and Google, typed in the subject, and was quickly able to find an answer, a set of steps for accomplishing a certain legal result.

But here’s the problem–the partner didn’t specify how he wanted the answer, and I failed to ask. The question is too complicated for a yes or no, but most of the time this partner stops me short of completely drafting out a full memorandum because “this project shouldn’t take too long…” So should I just draft it out and return it to him, or should I just verbally give him the answer, and then face the possibility that he might send me back to draft it up, anyway?

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