WestHow_to_Brief_aCase

WestHow_to_Brief_aCase - HOW TO BRIEF CASES To fully...

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H OW TO B RIEF C ASES 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 defen- dant(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 possi- ble—the court’s answer to the question (or questions) in the Issue section above. 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. A N E XAMPLE OF A B RIEFED S AMPLE C OURT C ASE As an example of the format used in briefing cases, we pre- sent here a briefed version of the sample court case that was presented in Chapter 1 in Exhibit 1–6. TOYOTA MOTOR MANUFACTURING, KENTUCKY, INC. v. WILLIAMS Supreme Court of the United States, 2002. 534 U.S. 184, 122 S.Ct. 681, 151 L.Ed.2d 615. FACTS Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc., hired Ella Williams in 1990 to work on an engine fabrication assembly line with pneumatic tools. Use of the tools eventu- ally caused pain in her hands, wrists, and arms. Her physician placed her on permanent work restrictions that precluded her from performing tasks required on the assembly line. Assigned to different jobs, she again suffered pain and sought medical care. When her physician placed her under a “no A-2
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APPENDIX A HOW TO BRIEF CASES AND ANALYZE CASE PROBLEMS A-3 work of any kind” restriction, Toyota discharged her. Williams filed a suit against Toyota in a federal district court, alleging in part that she had a disability, which Toyota failed to reason- ably accommodate in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). The court issued a summary judgment in favor of Toyota. Williams appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which reversed this judgment, concluding that Williams was disabled because she could not perform the manual work required of her specific job. Toyota appealed to the United States Supreme Court.
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