Case briefs

You also will have to summarize cases when writing legal memoranda, briefs, and other documents and when making oral arguments to courts. Most likely, upon entering law school, this will happen with one or more of your instructors. It did not stop, but slowed down.

Similar to annotating, the best parts of the case to highlight are those that represent the needed information for your brief such as the facts, the issue, the holding and the rationale. Cases are so dense and full of information that you will find yourself spending considerable amounts of time rereading cases to find what you need.

Then ask, How does this case relate to other cases in the same general area of law. Look for unarticulated premises, logical fallacies, manipulation of the factual record, or distortions of precedent.

40 Case Brief Examples & Templates

Remember that the purpose of a brief is to remind you of the important details that make the case significant in terms of the law. In addition to making it easier to review an original case, annotating cases during the first review of a case makes the briefing process easier.

A brief is a written summary of the case. H36 ; For 3rd ed. A well-constructed brief will save you lots of time by removing the need to return to the case to remember the important details and also by making it easier to put together the pieces of the common law puzzle.

Steps to briefing a case 1. A well-constructed brief will save you lots of time by removing the need to return to the case to remember the important details and also by making it easier to put together the pieces of the common law puzzle.

Board of Education involved the applicability of a provision of the 14th Amendment to the U. For example, a case that has a long and important section expounding dicta might call for a separate section in your brief labeled: P87 ] Ray, M.

With adequate annotations, the important details needed for your brief will be much easier to retrieve. Consider using yellow for the text that you tend to highlight most frequently. Brief of the Case of Eric J.

It might seem strange that it would be hard to reference a short case, but even a short case will likely take you at least fifteen to twenty-five minutes to read, while longer cases may take as much as thirty minutes to an hour to complete.

Be sure to distinguish the issues from the arguments made by the parties. A brief is also like a puzzle piece. For each definition, we show you every rule of law from every case brief in our database that relates to that definition.

Even if this were true, what is relevant for the judge to make his decision is not always relevant for you to include in your brief.

You are trying to find the rule of law that may flow from this case. This section will describe the parts of a brief in order to give you an idea about what a brief is, what is helpful to include in a brief, and what purpose it serves. In reading cases, often the parties and the court do this work for you.

The effort will provide a variety of important benefits. S5 ] Slocum, R. Remember too, that the same case may be used by instructors for different purposes, so part of the challenge of briefing is to identify those issues in the case which are of central importance to the topic under discussion in class.

The decision of the appellate court is reversed. Each brief takes a complex and long document the case and reduces it to its key facts, holding, and rationale the brief.

Lloyd Sealy Library

On the other hand, if you find that having more elements makes your brief cumbersome and hard to use, cut back on the number of elements. State the issues in question.


What rule of law is provided by the case. A summary of the complaint in a civil case or the indictment in a criminal case plus relevant evidence and arguments presented in court to explain who did what to whom and why the case was thought to involve illegal conduct.

There are many different ways to brief a case.

Understand your casebook readings in seconds

Case Briefs for Law Students and Lawyers. Case briefs are vital to any law student’s education. They are a summary of the facts of the legal case. Case Brief. Case briefing is a long-used method of studying law.

Its purpose is to have students identify the rules of law found in court cases and analyze how courts apply these rules of law to the facts of a case in an objective and rational manner. A case brief is a shortened, concise summary of a court opinion, usually in outline form.

Hence the term “brief.” Typically this is used for more effective self-study. Writing a case brief can be rather easy once you’ve got the format down. While this guide focuses more on the structure of a written brief, you should keep most of the elements when doing a book brief as well.

This is a list of all case briefs available on Case Brief Summary. You can also see case briefs displayed by categories. Criminal law and constitutional law currently have the most case briefs available.

A law student case brief is very different from a brief by an attorney. Find out more about the types of case briefs you will encounter in law school.

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