PP3e Appendix A - Z01_GOLD0000_00_SE_APPA.QXD 1:20 AM Page...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
APPENDIX A How to Brief a Case CRITICAL LEGAL THINKING Judges apply legal reasoning in reaching a decision in a case. In doing so, the judge must specify the issue presented by the case, identify the key facts in the case and the applicable law, and then apply the law to the facts to come to a conclusion that answers the issue presented. This process is called critical legal thinking. Skills of analysis and interpretation are important in deciding legal cases. Key Terms Before embarking upon the study of law, the student should be familiar with the following key legal terms: Plaintiff The party who originally brought the lawsuit. Defendant The party against whom the lawsuit has been brought. Petitioner or Appellant The party who has appealed the decision of the trial court or lower court. The petitioner may be either the plaintiff or the defen- dant, depending on who lost the case at the trial court or lower court level. Respondent or Appellee The party who must answer the petitioner’s ap- peal. The respondent may be either the plaintiff or the defendant, depend- ing upon which party is the petitioner. In some cases, both the plaintiff and the defendant may disagree with the trial court’s or lower court’s decision and both parties may appeal the decision. Briefing a Case “Briefing” a case is important to clarify the legal issues involved and to gain a better understanding of the case. The student must summarize (brief) the court’s decision in no more than 400 words (some professors may shorten or lengthen this limit). The format is highly struc- tured, consisting of five parts, each of which is numbered and labeled: 445 Part Maximum Words 1. Case name and citation 25 2. Summary of key facts in the case 125 3. Issue presented by the case, stated as a one-sentence question answerable only by yes or no 25 4. Holding—the court’s resolution of the issue 25 5. A summary of the court’s reasoning justifying the holding 200 Total words 400 Z01_GOLD0000_00_SE_APPA.QXD 12/9/09 1:20 AM Page 445
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
446 APPENDIX A How to Brief a Case 1. Case Name and Citation The name of the case is placed at the beginning of each briefed case. The case name usually contains the names of the parties to the lawsuit. If there are multiple plaintiffs or defendants, however, some of the names of the parties may be omitted from the case name. Abbreviations often are used in case names. The case citation—which consists of a number plus the year in which the case was decided, such as “126 L.Ed.2d 295 (1993)”—is set forth below the case name. The case citation identifies the book in the law library in which the case may be found. For ex- ample, the case in the above citation may be found in volume 126 of the Supreme Court Reporter Lawyer’s Edition (Second), page 295. The name of the court that decided the case appears below the case name.
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 11/15/2011 for the course LEGAL PA101 taught by Professor Pamelabasmajian during the Winter '11 term at Kaplan University.

Page1 / 12

PP3e Appendix A - Z01_GOLD0000_00_SE_APPA.QXD 1:20 AM Page...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online