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Case Brief

  1. CASE NAME AND CITATION: As a header on the first page of your brief, you should state the name of the case, identify each partyâs role in the case, and give the full Bluebook style citation to the case.
  2. PARTIES: Who are the parties and what are their roles?
  3. FACTS: Who did what to whom? Include all facts the court considered significant. Summarize in your own words. DO NOT cut and paste from the opinion.
  4. PROCEDURAL HISTORY: Who is asking the court to do what? How did the case procedurally get before the court?
  5. ISSUE(S): What question or questions did the court have to answer in order to make their decision? Your issue(s) should be stated in the form of a question. Make sure you address ALL the issues in the case.
  6. HOLDING: Which way did the court answer the questions posed in the issues? What did they decide?
  7. REASONING: Why did the court decide the case the way it did? What legal standard did they use or establish? What prior cases did the Court rely upon and why?
  8. DECISION: This section gives the Judgment rendered by the court. Describe the final disposition of the case. Did the court affirm the lower courtâs decision, reverse it, and/or remand it for additional proceedings?
  9. COMMENTS: Is there anything else that should be mentioned about this case? Is it a âlandmarkâ case? Was the court âdividedâ? Were there any weaknesses/discrepancies in the courtâs opinions?

Legal case names should be done in standard âBlue Bookâ format. Example: York v. Smith, 65 U.S. 294 (1995). For further info see http://www.law.cornell.edu/citationand look under the âHow to Citeâ section. For more information on case brief format see "How to Brief a Case" in the Case Brief folder in the Student Resources. There is also a model case brief for the case of Delahanty v. Hinckley that you should review. The research requirement does not apply to this assignment. I want the brief to be in your own words, so do NOT include long quotes from the opinion itself.

Your brief should be no more than approximately 2 pages in length, single spaced, and in 12 point Times New Roman font.

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