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Case Brief Handout for Week 4 Lecture and Assignment 3

Case Brief Handout for Week 4 Lecture and Assignment 3 -...

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CASE BRIEFING FORMAT AND GUIDELINES CASE BRIEF Case briefing is a method of studying law. Its purpose is to have students identify the rules of law found in court cases and analyze how courts apply these rules of law to the facts of a case in an objective and rational manner. Case briefing hones analytic skills and heightens understanding of the role of courts in defining, interpreting, and applying law. There is no single standard for case briefing, but the structure below is common and will serve you well, both in studying the law now and in using the law in the future. PURPOSES OF A BRIEF 1. Establishes a useful means of bringing the facts of a case back to memory in a short time, for whatever purpose, including classroom discussion. 2. Allows you to extract from a judicial decision its future value as precedent. In other words, it helps you find the principles of law that the case sets forth. 3. Allows for easier and smoother review of an area of law. Each brief takes a complex and long document (the case) and reduces it to its key facts, holding, and rationale (the brief). A collection of briefs can provide a comprehensive summary of an area of law. ELEMENTS OF A BRIEF A brief is primarily a self-teaching tool; as such, you should structure them to meet your own needs. Many formats have been proposed by various writers. The method to use is the one that makes the most sense to you. For an introductory law class, the purpose of a brief is more limited than for either a law student or a lawyer. Also, a brief should be brief! A long brief eliminates the most important role of a brief: the boiling down of a complex case to its essence. Several basic components of a brief are present in almost all brief styles. If your brief style includes the following elements, you should do well: Case Name Parties Postural Procedure / History Legally Significant Facts
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