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Class 1 - Basics of Writing a Case-Brief: US Example

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Thiago Amparo

on 9 January 2014

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Transcript of Class 1 - Basics of Writing a Case-Brief: US Example

STEP 3: Procedural History
1) Who originally initiated claims against whom
2) Legal claims + defense + relief asked
3) Procedure in lower courts
4) Appellate court decision (affirmed/reversed)

Class 1 - Intro to HR II (2013/14)
Basics of Case-Brief Writing

What is a Case-Brief?
“written, analytic summaries of appellate opinions” (Calleros, p. 90):

Analytical Tool (check list)
It helps to read and compare cases
Step 1: Identification
Step 2:
Step 4:
Issue and Holding
Step 5:
Course Objectives (Skill-Building):
1. How to Write Case Briefs
2. How to Recognize and Understand Case Law
3. How to Use Key Legal Databases
1) Name of the case
2) Jurisdiction
3) Level of the Court
4) Type / Date of Decision
5) Citation to Reports
6) First page
1) Principal Parties / Legal Classification
2) Relation between parties
3) Events that led to the dispute
1) Question
2) of Law/Fact (usually both)
3) Sufficiently narrow
4) Basis for precedent
1) Which sources of law?
2) Precedents?
3) Significance of particular facts?
4) General rule or only the case at stake?
Step 3:
Procedural History
Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)
1) Yes/No to the Issue but with a full sentence
3) Important to be able to work as precedent
4) Idea of "central holding" (Roe)
Example: p. 8 (reader)

Difference Terms!:

1) Holding: court's resolution of an issue before it - attached to facts

2) Legal rule of general application: attached to the facts, but general rule.

3) Dictum: does NOT have force of precedent - legal question beyond the facts of the case.

Example: mention to same-sex marriage in a sodomy case (Lawrence v. Texas, 2003)
Legal Terms (for next class):

1) concurring/dissenting/plurality/majority opinion

2) police powers
Full transcript