Case Brief #1
- Due Sunday by 11:59pm
- Points 20
- Submitting a file upload
- Available Feb 2 at 12am – Feb 12 at 11:59pm
You need to write a ONE PAGE case brief of the following case. A case brief is a summary of a case. Please follow the formatting structure shown below. I will deduct points if you do not follow this formatting structure. I will discuss it in class today. Case briefs should be single-spaced, 12 pt font, and 1-inch margins. IT MUST BE TYPED.
HOW TO BRIEF A CASE
Title & Citation: The title and citation must be included in their proper forms, and appropriately updated, as they appear above.
Nature of the Case: This section includes the form of action (e.g., libel, invasion of privacy, breach of contract, etc.), the type of proceeding (e.g., appeal from lower court’s jury instructions, discretionary appeal from an appellate court, appeal from a judge’s directed verdict, etc.) and the relief sought (e.g., monetary damages, injunction, etc.).
Facts: This section is where students should include a precise summary of all relevant facts of the case, including the contentions of the different parties and the lower court rulings. What happened? It is most often written in chronological order to help the reader clearly understand the case. The parties are always indicated by their proper names throughout.
Issue: The issue is a precise question about a substantive legal issue that requires only a yes/no answer.
Holding & Decision: First, answer the question asked as the issue (Ex: Yes or No). Second, give the vote (Ex: 6-1-2). The first number is the number of justices agreeing with the majority; the second number (if any) is the number agreeing – concurring – with the majority but for a different reason; the third number (if any) is the number disagreeing with the court ruling. Third, give the last name of the justice who authored the majority opinion. Fourth, offer a clear, in-depth, how/why discussion of the rule of the case and the court’s legal rationale. It must be written in easy-to-understand language. Do NOT use “legalese.” If you do incorporate any legal terms, those terms must be defined.
Concise Rule of Law: In a sentence, summarize the holding of the court. It should be a synopsis of the law applied in the case.
Analysis/Meaning: This section gives the reader a broad understanding of where the case “fits in” with other related cases and the law, as a whole. It compares the case with other similar rulings. It traces trends in jurisprudence to the time of the particular ruling. It gives the relevance of this case to the whole of communication law. What does the ruling mean? What do you think of how the Justices’ reasoning – do you agree/disagree? This section is the most important part of the assignment.
NOTE: An outstanding paper will demonstrate an understanding of all substantive legal issues involved in the court’s ruling and convey that knowledge to a general audience (one with a ninth-grade reading level mastery of the English language). Papers should avoid all discussion of any issue not directly related to communication law or to the First Amendment, and also technical or procedural issues, such as – but not necessarily limited to – sovereign immunity, attorneys’ fees, declaratory judgments, and permanent injunctions, etc. Papers must focus on substantive legal issues only.