Your brief should be 1 to 2 pages in Times New Roman font, 12 point. In your brief, you should include the following information:
Follow these directions in yellow when you turn in your case briefs for our class. In your brief, you MUST include the following information:
CITATION of the case: Ex: Smith v. Jarrard, 272 US 123 (1990). The name of the case must be underlined. You can parallel site if you wish. If you do not know what that means, don’t worry about it. The important thing is to underline the name, include where the case is located and the date. The 272 is the volume, US is the digest where the case can be found. Here US stands for the United States Reports, the 123 is the page number and 1990 is the date.
the parties (Who is the plaintiff? The defendant? The appellant? The appellee?)
the history of the case (Who won at trial court? Who won at the lower appellate level? Who won in this decision?)
the FACTS (What happened that caused the plaintiff to sue?) Give the history of the case as well. Which court did the case originate in? Who won? Where did it go from there. Who won?
the plaintiff’s theory (Why he thinks he is right)
the defendant’s theory (Why she thinks she is right)
the legal ISSUE (a yes or no question): This is usually premised by the word “whether” in the case itself. This is a yes/no question which involves the law. Your issue in your brief should look something like this:
EX: The issue is whether or not the 14th Amendment was violated…
the DECISION of the court (Yes or no–answers the legal issue).
This needs to be written out in sentence format. EX: NO the 14th Amendment was not violated.
HOLDING: If the higher court agrees with the lower court, judgement will be affirmed. If the higher court disagrees with the lower court, the holding will be reversed or vacated and remanded back to the lower court. You find the holding at the end of the case.
Affirmed means the higher court agrees with the lower court. Reversed means the lower court’s decision was overturned. Vacated means the original judgment is legally void, the court sets aside the judgment of the lower court. Remanded means the appellate court sends the case back to the to the lower court with instructions to retry or rehear the case.
the RATIONALE of the court: Why did the court decide what it did. For example, why did the court affirm or reverse the lower court’s decision?
What do you think? Was this case decided correctly? Why or why not?
Post your case brief to the dropbox . It is due by Sunday, 11:55 pm.
Do NOT type your brief in one big paragraph. You must write each area above as a clearly identified section of the brief. Failure to do this will result in a loss of points.
Evaluative Question for Reflection: What do you think about this case? Was this case decided correctly? Why or why not?
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