How To Brief Cases - BLTC-7e Appendix A for Web site#1...

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BLTC-7e Appendix A for Web site #1 APPENDIX A How to Brief Cases and Analyze Problems How to Brief Cases To fully understand the law with respect to business, you need to be able to read and understand court decisions. To make this task easier, you can use a method of case analysis that is called briefing. There is a fairly standard procedure that you can follow when you “brief ” any court case. You must first read the case opinion carefully. When you feel you understand the case, you can prepare a brief of it. Although the format of the brief may vary, typically it will present the essentials of the case under headings such as those listed below. 1. Citation. Give the full citation for the case, including the name of the case, the date it was decided, and the court that decided it. 2. Facts. Briefly indicate (a) the reasons for the lawsuit; (b) the identity and arguments of the plaintiff(s) and defendant(s), respectively; and (c) the lower court’s decision—if appropriate. 3. Issue. Concisely phrase, in the form of a question, the essential issue before the court. (If more than one issue is involved, you may have two—or even more— questions here.) 4. Decision. Indicate here—with a “yes” or “no,” if possible— the court’s answer to the question (or questions) in the Issue section above.
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BLTC-7e Appendix A for Web site #2 5. Reason. Summarize as briefly as possible the reasons given by the court for its decision (or decisions) and the case or statutory law relied on by the court in arriving at its decision. An Example of a Briefed Sample Court Case As an example of the format used in briefing cases, we present here a briefed version of the sample court case that was presented in Chapter 1 in Exhibit 1A– 3. D.A.B.E., INC. v. CITY OF TOLEDO United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 2005. 393 F.3d 692 FACTS The city of Toledo, Ohio, has regulated smoking in public places since 1987. In 2003, Toledo’s city council enacted a new Clean Indoor Air Ordinance. The ordinance restricts the ability to smoke in public places—stores, theaters, courtrooms, libraries, museums, health-care facilities, restaurants, and bars. In enclosed public places, smoking is generally prohibited except in a “separate smoking lounge” that is designated for this purpose. D.A.B.E., Inc., a group consisting of the owners of bars, restaurants, and bowling alleys, filed a suit in a federal district court, claiming that the ordinance constituted a taking of their property in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The plaintiffs also argued that the ordinance was preempted (prevented from taking
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BLTC-7e Appendix A for Web site #3 effect) by a state statute that regulated smoking “in places of public assembly,” excluding restaurants, bowling alleys, and bars. The court ruled in favor of the city. The plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
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