Case brief method

Sample case brief template

The method to use is the one that makes the most sense to you. What rationale is important to include in a brief? Although you might think a pencil might smear more than a pen, with its sharp point a mechanical pencil uses very little excess lead and will not smear as much as you might imagine. Using the chair ownership example from above, a holding that resolves the issue might be: Example: The court found that Smith had not established ownership of the chair by virtue of possessing the chair for seven years. Keep this in mind when deciding what elements to include as part of your brief and when deciding what information to include under those elements. It cites the case law as well as the public policy that the court applied. Issues The issues or questions of law raised by the facts peculiar to the case are often stated explicitly by the court. You can direct your reading to the most important sections and will have an easier time identifying what is and is not important. Experiment if you must, but try to choose a color scheme early on in the semester and stick with it. While opinions may vary, four elements that are essential to any useful brief are the following: a Facts name of the case and its parties, what happened factually and procedurally, and the judgment b Issues what is in dispute c Holding the applied rule of law d Rationale reasons for the holding If you include nothing but these four elements, you should have everything you need in order to recall effectively the information from the case during class or several months later when studying for exams.

Experiment if you must, but try to choose a color scheme early on in the semester and stick with it. This section will describe the parts of a brief in order to give you an idea about what a brief is, what is helpful to include in a brief, and what purpose it serves. In addition to making it easier to review an original case, annotating cases during the first review of a case makes the briefing process easier.

Legal writing--getting it right and getting it written 4th ed. NOTE: Many students misread cases because they fail to see the issues in terms of the applicable law or judicial doctrine than for any other reason.

legal case analysis example

G37 ] Hames, J. You must understand the procedural setting enough to know what happens as a result of the decision. It was later discovered that Robert sexually molested Eric during some of these visits at the family homes all the while Robert was on parole for child molestation.

case brief summary

With a pencil, however, the ability to erase and rewrite removes this problem. Also, a brief should be brief!

How to brief a case for dummies

It is worthwhile mastering. On the other hand, a brief that is too short will be equally unhelpful because it lacks sufficient information to refresh your memory. Allows you to extract from a judicial decision its future value as precedent. Separate Opinions Both concurring and dissenting opinions should be subjected to the same depth of analysis to bring out the major points of agreement or disagreement with the majority opinion. Sometimes a court will see the issue differently than the parties and present a different twist on the issue. Reasoning The reasoning, or rationale, is the chain of argument which led the judges in either a majority or a dissenting opinion to rule as they did. An annotation in the margin, however, will not only swiftly guide you to a pertinent section, but will also refresh the thoughts that you had while reading that section. For instance, if the fact that a car is white is a determining factor in the case, the brief should note that the case involves a white car and not simply a car. Not all facts were recited. How did the court decide the issue? Betty M. Law and Reserve Room KF
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How to brief a case