How to brief a case
Requirementis: one page in length, Double-spaced. The issue part must be in the form of a question and the decision must be a Yes or No answer.
No sources are required.
The solution of every legal problem involves five things. First, the client’s problem exists in a specific factual context. Second, the problem revolves around one or more issues or questions. Third, the problem’s solutions or re solutions hinges on one or more rules of law. Fourth, the problem must be analyzed using the law and the facts. Fifth, a solutions or resolutions of the problem is provided in the form of a conclusion answering the question posed on the basis of the analysis made.
A case is the opinion and decision of one or more judges giving the solution to the legal problem.
A brief of case is simply a shortened and better-organized version of the decision and opinion of a court. Since a solution to a legal problem is no better than its likelihood of the acceptance by some court, solutions must be based on case rules of Law. Thus, the solution of every legal problem ideally requires the writing or thinking through of one or more briefs of cases.
While there is no standard format for a brief of case, the following is the standard format I prefer.
1- Case Title, or Citation
Name V. Name (Court Year)
This section covers what happened from the time the suit was filed until the time it was appealed.
How did this case get this to this court? Who are the parties? What is the posture of this case? Posture means: Who won in the trial court; who is appealing and what specific actions of the trial court are being appealed?
This section covers what happened before the suit was filed. What happened is decided by the judges, and does not include contentions, arguments, assertions, etc., of any of the parties.
On what facts does this decision turn? Or. What facts, if discarded or changed, would result in a different decision?
4-Issues (s) or Question (s):
What problem did the parties pose to the court? Or, better, what problem did the court resolve?
How did the court answer each question in section 4_ Yes or No?
Did the court decide for plaintiff or defendant? Was the decision in the court below affirmed, reversed or vacated- in whole, or in part?
What is the rule of law in this case?
A rule of law is a general statement applicable to two or more cases. It can answer be put in, and should be put in the form of an “If , then “ statement.
This section contains steps in the court’s reasoning not included elsewhere.
This may include rules of law left out of the holding, policy statements and Dicta.
What is the court’s analysis? How did it reach its decision?
A. A brief should be brief.
B. The brief should be stated in your own words. This means no quotations
C. You should read the case several times, then identify material relevant to the elements of the format, and write. Next rewrite- again and again and again.
D. You should include all of the above sections properly numbered and with the correct labels.
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