Premium Essay

How to Brief a Case

In: Social Issues

Submitted By amorgan8
Words 919
Pages 4



A case brief is a dissection of a judicial opinion -- it contains a written summary of the basic components of that decision.
Persuasive briefs (trial and appellate) are the formal documents a lawyer files with a court in support of his or her client’s position.

Functions of case briefing

Case briefing helps you acquire the skills of case analysis and legal reasoning. Briefing a case helps you understand it.


Case briefing aids your memory. Briefs help you remember the cases you read (1) for class discussion, (2) for end-of-semester review for final examinations, and (3) for writing and analyzing legal problems.

Do not try to memorize case briefs. Learning law is a process of problem solving through legal reasoning. Cases must be read in light of the series of cases with which they appear in your casebook or on the class syllabus.

Briefing a case: The steps

Although the exact form of your briefs may and can vary from case to case, the following parts should appear somewhere in your brief in a way that helps you understand the case and recall the needed information.

Read through the opinion first so you will understand the overall story and identify important facts, etc., before beginning to brief the case on paper.



Case name (to identify the parties)
Court name
Date of the decision
Page number where the case appears in the textbook


Statement of Facts


Identify legally relevant facts, that is, those facts that tend to prove or disprove an issue before the court. The relevant facts tell what happened before the parties entered the judicial system.



Identify the relationship/status of the parties (Note: Do not merely refer to the parties as the plaintiff/defendant or...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

How to Case Brief

...HOW TO BRIEF A CASE [OR–WHY DIDN’T I CHOOSE TO GO TO MEDICAL SCHOOL] By Dana L. Blatt, Esq. You are just about to start law school. You buy all of your required casebooks [they are about two feet thick–only “slightly” intimidating], and you receive your first assignment. You are simply told, “read the first 100 pages in each book and BRIEF all of the cases!” O.K., you know how to read [hopefully], but what does it mean to “brief” a case? You have heard of “briefcases,” but that is something that you carry around. The last time you sang at a karaoke bar someone may have asked you to be “brief,” but instinctively you know that that is not the kind of brief that is being discussed here. And you may even be wearing “briefs.” But, what is a brief of a case? For that matter, what is a case? The purpose of this article is to teach exactly what briefs are, why they are important, and how to draft them. You will learn most of the various ways to brief a case, the basic elements of each brief, and how briefs are used in various contexts. Additionally, you will read sample cases and briefs of those cases in every format. By the time you finish reading this, you will be so sick of briefs, that you will wish this writing were much briefer! So, now let’s get down to business. What is a case? A “case” starts out as a lawsuit between two or more people. The parties to the lawsuit have a trial and one party wins while the other loses (or possibly there is......

Words: 17675 - Pages: 71

Premium Essay

How to Brief a Case

...How to Brief a Case Using the “IRAC” Method When briefing a case, your goal is to reduce the information from the case into a format that will provide you with a helpful reference in class and for review. Most importantly, by “briefing” a case, you will grasp the problem the court faced (the issue); the relevant law the court used to solve it (the rule); how the court applied the rule to the facts (the application or “analysis”); and the outcome (the conclusion). You will then be ready to not only discuss the case, but to compare and contrast it to other cases involving a similar issue. Before attempting to “brief” a case, read the case at least once. Follow the “IRAC” method in briefing cases: Facts* Write a brief summary of the facts as the court found them to be. Eliminate facts that are not relevant to the court’s analysis. For example, a business’s street address is probably not relevant to the court’s decision of the issue of whether the business that sold a defective product is liable for the resulting injuries to the plaintiff. However, suppose a customer who was assaulted as she left its store is suing the business. The customer claims that her injuries were the reasonably foreseeable result of the business’s failure to provide security patrols. If the business is located in an upscale neighborhood, then perhaps it could argue that its failure to provide security patrols is reasonable. If the business is located in a crime-ridden area, then......

Words: 910 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay


...SYLLABUS LAW/531 Business Law Copyright ©2014 by University of Phoenix. All rights reserved. Course Description This course prepares students to evaluate the legal risks associated with business activity. Students create proposals to manage an organization's legal exposure. Other topics include the legal system, alternative dispute resolution, enterprise liability, product liability, international law, business risks, intellectual property, legal forms of business, and governance. Course Dates Oct 14, 2014 - Nov 24, 2014 Faculty Information Name : Email Address : Alternate Email Address Phone Number : ADRIENNE YEUNG (PRIMARY) Not Available Policies Faculty and students/learners will be held responsible for understanding and adhering to all policies contained within the following two documents (both located on your student website): • Academic Policies University policies are subject to change. Be sure to read the policies at the beginning of each class. Policies may be slightly different depending on the modality in which you attend class. If you have recently changed modalities, read the policies governing your current class modality. Get Ready for Class • Familiarize yourself with the textbook used in this course. Course Materials All electronic materials are available on your student website. Week1 Legal Forms of Business and Alternative Dispute Resolution Tasks • Review the Week 1 Study Guide. • Review the Knowledge Check Faculty and......

Words: 2154 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Case Brief

... Bourland 724 F. 2d 1142 Case Brief Instructions Please note that, unlike the case you have been assigned, the cases in the text have been stripped down to a fundamental legal issue related to the chapter of study and do not contain much of the procedural aspects you may find in your case. DECIDE ON A FORMAT AND STICK TO IT: Structure is essential to a good brief. It enables you to arrange systematically the related parts that are scattered throughout most cases, thus making manageable and understandable what might otherwise seem to be an endless and unfathomable sea of information. There are, of course, an unlimited number of formats that can be utilized. However, it is best to find one that suits your needs and stick to it. Consistency breeds both efficiency and the security that when called upon you will know where to look in your brief for the information you are asked to give. Be mindful that the operative word is “brief”; ideally the case brief should be about one page in length and never over two pages. Nevertheless, it is important that a brief contain the following: TITLE AND VENUE: Identify the case name and citation in the correct format. RULE OF LAW: A statement of the general principle of law that the case illustrates in the form of a statement. Determining the rule of law of a case is a procedure similar to determining the issue of the case. Avoid being fooled by red herrings; there may be a few rules of law mentioned in the case excerpt, but usually only...

Words: 1396 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Law Assignment 1

...One of the most important skills you will learn in this course is how to “brief” a case. Judges interpret the law to resolve a dispute between two parties in a civil trial. This interpretation is documented in an “opinion”. These opinions are indexed in volumes and online. Opinions can be complex and address a variety of issues in the plaintiff’s claims or claims. Using case “briefs” will help you to understand how the court interpreted the law and how that interpretation may apply to another situation. A brief of a case will contain the parties involved, the relevant facts of the case, the issue the court is deciding, the rule of law, and the courts conclusion and rationale. Instructions: Use the Temple’s online library to search for this citation: “88 F.Supp.2d 116” Access this database by following these steps: 1. Access TU Portal 2. From TU Portal, select TU Library link on the left 3. In TU Library, select Databases, and then All Databases A-Z 4. Open the LexisNexis Academic Database 5. Select Look up a Legal Case 6. Search for citation: 88 F.Supp.2d 11 This will allow you to access this cases opinion, read the opinion in entirety and answer the following questions. Question 1: What court is issuing this opinion? UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK Question 2: Provide a brief description of a plaintiff? Who is the plaintiff in this case? JOHN D.R. LEONARD is plaintiff. He saw the AD which was......

Words: 732 - Pages: 3

Free Essay


...Notes on Case Analysis David Robinson, September 2008 Business school cases are quite long and complicated. We study cases not so much to find the right answer, but to train ourselves in systematic analysis so we will be effective decision makers in the business world. Successful case preparation depends on multiple readings of the case and multiple points of view. Multiple Readings of the Case If you attempt to analyze a case by pulling an “all-nighter” (waiting until the last minute, spend hours poring over the case and going line by line looking for insights) you will be overwhelmed. You should plan for multiple readings of the case over several days, complemented by group meetings and discussion. Multiple Points of View Even if you are preparing to write an individual brief, you should plan to discuss a case with a study group. You’ll notice that in business the major consulting firms always assign a team of people to each client, not just their single best industry expert. The reason for this is that no one person is likely to comprehend all the problems a firm faces. No two individuals are likely to have the same insights, but the combined wisdom of a team is likely to come up with a fairly comprehensive analysis. First Reading of the Case You should read the case first on your own—if you meet with your study group and open the case book and say, “OK, what’s this about?” there is every likelihood that your team will degenerate into “group think” (one person comes...

Words: 2316 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Green Project

...PMGT 702- Project Leadership: Skills for Project Managers In Class Case Studies A. Case Study: Fortis Inc. and the Chalillo Dam B. In Class discussion and written team brief September 19, 2012 C. Learning Objectives The objectives of this case as it relates to the Project Leadership Course are threefold: 1. To identify the stakeholders influenced by the corporation and those that influenced the corporation. 2. Determine the influence of each stakeholder (High, Medium, Low) 3. Based on the analysis, develop a strategy for managing the ENGO stakeholder relationship. D. Individual student preparation 1. Obtain a copy of the case study (see instructions below). 2. Prepare at home: Study the case from the point of view of the Learning Objectives (above) and come prepare to discuss the learning objectives E. In Class Written Team Brief You would be placed in teams during the class. A written team brief is required to be completed in class based on the following question: Identify the stakeholders that could influence Fortis or be affected by Fortis in relation to the Chalillo dam business opportunity. How much influence do they have? (Rating scale: H, M, L or a combination of the three) F. Confidential Peer Review Evaluation Due date: September 26, 2012 Each team member MUST complete a confidential evaluation for each of your team members using the template at the end of this document. You MUST hand......

Words: 730 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Business and Economics

...Prerequisite: Management 246 or equivalent. Textbook and Other Course Materials The course text is International Business Law and its Environment, by Schaffer, Agusti, Dhooge, Cengagge Learning, (9th ed. 2015). This can be an expensive textbook so you should consider purchasing the eBook at the Titan Bookstore. Also, I will provide links to PowerPoint presentations and other select added course materials on the course website. Course Mechanics and Procedures Open-Door Policy. My policy has always been “open-door.” Therefore, you should not hesitate to contact me in person or by e-mail1 or telephone. Reading. We will cover many chapters from the text during the semester. Course readings will include chapters from the text plus the assigned cases cited below. Bring your text to all class sessions since we will refer to it frequently. 1 Please be advised that e-mails may contain confidential information such as grades. Therefore, consider whether other people (e.g., family members or employers) have access to your e-mail address before transmitting or requesting confidential information in an e-mail. Mgmt 346—Syllabus—Spring 2016 1 Teaching Methods and Typical Class Sessions. The teaching methods will be lecture...

Words: 3880 - Pages: 16

Premium Essay


...Briefing a case for Business Law Briefs are written by lawyers in preparation - for exams, mediation, and trials. The purpose of a good brief is for you and your audience to be able to discern what the “meat of the coconut” in a case, quickly easily and in a short period of time. A brief contains three parts, a short statement of the facts, the decision and the reasons for the decision. a short statement of the facts The first thing to put in the brief is a short statement of the facts, answer the questions Who, What, Why, When and How. Think of yourself as a reporter trying to get “just the facts mam, just the facts”. 1. Who sued who? Who was the Plaintiff? Who was the defendant? Were their multiple parties? Who was the judge? 2. What were they arguing about? Money? Property? A legal issue? What Court were they in? 3. Why are the facts important to the case? What seem to be the most significant facts? 4. When did the case occur? If a case is very old it may no longer be current law. 5. How did the events unfold, who did what to who? In some cases will be easy to describe the facts, in others it will be more difficult, but determining the facts are where all cases begin, our system is fact based. The Holding of the Court Also known as the “Decision and Remedy.” What did the Court decide? Who won the case? Did the Court hold for the Plaintiff or Defendant? What was the court’s order? Did the Court order a new trial? Affirm the court below...

Words: 449 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Information System

... | | | |U10230366, U1008620 ,U0929909 | Table of Contents 1. Brief History of British Airways 3 The decision making process 4 British Airways uses the following information tools at its strategic level. 4 Executive Support System (ESS) 5 Senior management in BA use the following information tools. 6 Transaction Processing Systems (TPS) 7 Roles for Management Information Systems in British Airways 8 References: 9 Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) 10 The Entities: 11 Entities and Attributes: 11 Entities and Attributes 2 12 First cut ERD Diagram for ELRSC. 13 Normalisation Diagram 14 Requirement Specification for the E L R C System 16 Use case Description for ELRSC 18 Screen shot of use case For ELRSC. 34 Screen Shot Turnitin Report 35 1. Brief History of British Airways The purpose of this project is explore how information systems helps organisations to make decisions at different levels to achieve set objectives and...

Words: 3378 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

Case Study Sample

...Running head: CASE STUDY XYZ Case Study XYZ: An Examination of Project Procurement Management Practices Group 12 John Doe Jane Smith Bobbie Sue University of Maryland University College Project Procurement Management, Semester XXXX, Section XXXX Professor Stephen R. Guth MMMM DD, YYYY [No Abstract or Introduction required for this assignment] The Inception Phase Rating Scale: 5—Excellent, 4—Very Good, 3—Good, 2—Poor, 1—Very Poor |Project Management Area |Inception Phase | |Scope Management | | |Time Management | | |Cost Management | | |Quality Management | | |Human Resource Management | | |Communication Management | | |Risk Management | | |Procurement Management | ...

Words: 804 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay


...студента | 50 | практические занятия | 2 | | | | Приложение № 2 Шаблон тематического плана учебной программы для бакалаврских программ смешанной формы обучения Тематический план № | Название темы курса или занятия | Постоянная форма | Продолжающаяся форма | | | Кол-во часов | Кол-во учеб. недель | Кол-во часов | | | Лекции | Семинары, практ-кие занятия | | Лекции | Установочныеауд. семинары, практкие занятия | Онлайн занятия | Ауд. семинары, практ-кие занятия | 1. | Introduction to Legal Terminology | 2 | | | 2 | | | 2 | 2. | Main legal systems | 2 | 2 | | | | | | 3. | Types of legal documents | 2 | | | | | | | 4. | Styles of legal writing | 2 | 2 | | | | | | 5. | Case...

Words: 3111 - Pages: 13

Free Essay


...clearly explain how you and your group will be assessed for the dispute resolution assignment, and (iii) provide you with some practical tips to help you prepare. Assignment Scenario: A few years back, Apple and Proview had a legal dispute concerning the ownership of the “IPAD” trademark in China. There were multiple lawsuits, with Apple winning some and Proview winning others. In the end, they settled outside of court for a reported US$60,000,000. In this assignment we are going to pretend that Apple failed to pay the US$60 million to Proview, and that the two sides are going to arbitration in Hong Kong to settle the dispute once and for all. Your group will represent either Apple or Proview, and will prepare a “legal brief” for submission to the arbitration panel stating your side’s case, and providing legal research backing up your position. Instructions and Expectations a. Venue of the Case This dispute is going to take place as an arbitration in Hong Kong. Thus, the groups are to argue their sides as though you were arguing the case to a real arbitration panel.If you have any questions about what this means, please email or call Mr. Bishop. b. Oral Argument There will be no oral argument required. c. Written Argument Each group is required to turn in both a hard and soft copy of a “legal brief” explaining in writing their team’s legal argument. It is up to your group to determine how long or short to make the brief,......

Words: 2199 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Trial Brief

...Discovery in this suit ends April 30, 2014; trial is scheduled for July 1, 2014. 5. Plaintiffs respectfully request that the court grant their motion for summary judgment and deny the Defendant’s motion. summary judgment standard 6. Motions for summary judgment are governed by Fed. R. Civ. P. 56 which provides that a summary judgment shall be rendered if the evidence properly before the court indicates that "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." STATEMENT OF THE CASE Plaintiffs, Issac Slade (“Slade”), Joe King (“King”), Dave Welsh (“Welsh”), and Ben Wysocki (“Wysocki”) collectively known as The Fray, are all apart of an alternative rock music group signed to Epic Records. Compl. ¶ 6. They bring a copyright infringement action against Defendant Washburn. ¶ 1. In 2004, Slade and King artistically created an original musical composition entitled How to...

Words: 5092 - Pages: 21

Premium Essay

Framework for Case Analysis

...A Framework for Case Analysis Case analysis is a problem solving process. You are demonstrating in a systematic way how you have defined a key problem/issue, identified plausible, realistic alternatives (not necessarily limited by those suggested in the case), analyzed these alternatives using common criteria, and finally developed a complete set of recommendations. This process challenges your organizational and communication skills as much as your analytical and quantitative skills. Step 1. Situation Analysis. The first step in systematically analyzing an organization's marketing problems is to conduct a situation analysis. This is not part of the written case brief but it is needed before you can begin the problem solving process. Step 2. Define the Problem/Issue. Once you have conducted a thorough situation analysis, you can identify the problem(s) facing the organization. Be careful not to assume that the characters in the case are objective or accurate in identifying the problem or make a rush to judgment about the problem. Step 3. Identify plausible alternatives. What are reasonable options for solving the identified problem? While you should at least initially consider the options discussed in the case, do not assume that these are the best or even appropriate alternatives, especially if these options are not consistent with the problem. Alternatives should be plausible, not "straw men" that are just knocked aside in order to make a bee line for some obvious......

Words: 2924 - Pages: 12