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Why Brief a Case?

Click here to access the case brief information and guidelines, and then follow the prescribed format.

Case Brief:

Amber Parker et al., Plaintiffs, v. Indiana High School Athletic et al., Defendants. page 219

Your response should be at least 400 words in length. You are required to use at least your textbook as source material for your response. All sources used, including the textbook, must be referenced; paraphrased and quoted material must have accompanying citations.

Why Brief a Case? Cases are written by lawyers for lawyers. Consequently, there's a structure and method unlike any other type of writing that you've read. Once you know the structure and method, you'll be able to breeze through cases quickly. When the writing is brilliant - for example, cases written by Holmes, Cardozo and Learned Hand - the cases can be as enjoyable as a good piece of fiction. There's drama, conflict, resolution, humor and pathos. Other times, the writing is very non-linear and leaves out important elements, such as the facts of a case. Briefing is the first step in learning how to outline . The brief should distill a case down to its elements, which allows you to immediately understand the principal legal issues at a glance. When you are under the pressure of the harsh glare of an aggressive professor, you want to be able to take one look at the brief and know the answer. Case briefs are an important tool, but it's also important to keep briefs in perspective. Many students labor intensively over case briefs by creating forms and making sure that the wording is perfect. A brief is just a tool that helps you accomplish three things - build comprehension, answer questions in class and complete an outline. You'll never be graded on a brief. If you're spending time on stylistic niceties that don't accomplish one of the three goals then you're not spending time wisely. Three Reasons to Brief a Case 1. Rewriting the material leads to better comprehension . 2. Creates a cheat sheet for questions in class . 3. Serves as a starting point for outlining . Briefing is a phase that you eventually grow out of. After the first semester, students tend to brief a lot less. Their briefs may just end up being the rule of law or they will write notes in the margin of the casebook, which highlight the different elements. While some complex cases in your second and third years demand briefing, you will probably pick up the skills you need in your first year to analyze cases on the fly.
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How to Brief a Case Briefs should be a one-page summary of the case. Structure the summary according to the elements listed below. The structure adheres to the types of questions the professor asks in class and to the information you'll need for outlining. Not every case can be summed up in one page, but it's a good discipline to attempt to condense the material. THE ELEMENTS OF BRIEFING Procedural History Legal Issue Facts of Case Statement of Rule Policy Dicta Reasoning Holding Concurrence Dissents You might consider creating a standard form using a word processor, then fill in the blanks as you read the case. You may want to modify the form as you go along through the semester. Professors will differ as to what they like. At the end of this chapter is a sample brief. Procedural History How did this case get to this particular court? Typically, you will be reading case law from the appeals court. That means the case has already been decided at a lower court and the losing party has appealed to a higher court. Typically, the lower courts don't write opinions on their decisions, consequently, you'll almost always be reading appellate decisions. The judge often starts the case with information on how the court below decided the case and which party is making the appeal. Often the cases will present a detailed history of the arguments presented by both parties in the court below as well. At minimum, you should be able to answer the following two questions that your professor is likely to ask in class: Who is appealing on what issues?
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dear student... View the full answer


Amber parker, the former girl’s basket coach at Franklin Country high school, filed the suits on
behalf of her daughter who played on the teams who accused the Indiana High school Athletic...

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