This element allowed him to release his thoughts without losing them so that he could move on to other cases. Constitutional cases frequently involve multiple issues, some of interest only to litigants and lawyers, others of broader and enduring significant to citizens and officials alike.
Most likely, upon entering law school, this will happen with one or more of your instructors. In addition, Highlighters are particularly useful in marking off entire sections by using brackets.
For each different section of the case, choose a color, and use that color only when highlighting the section of the case designated for that color. When you read your first few cases, you may think that everything that the judge said was relevant to his ultimate conclusion.
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.
An effective way to reduce this time is to annotate the margins of the casebook. While opinions may vary, four elements that are essential to any useful brief are the following: For instance, if the fact that a car is white is a determining factor in the case, the brief should note that the case involves a white car and not simply a car.
Many students misread cases because they fail to see the issues in terms of the applicable law or judicial doctrine than for any other reason. Experiment if you must, but try to choose a color scheme early on in the semester and stick with it.
Annotating Cases Many of you probably already read with a pencil or pen, but if you do not, now is the time to get in the habit. Most professors will espouse the value of briefing but will never ask to see that you have, in fact, briefed. Unlike annotating, highlighting provides an effective way to color code, which makes referring to the case even easier.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure that it works for you, regardless of what others recommend. Because the process of summarizing a case and putting it into your own words within a brief provides an understanding of the law and of the case that you cannot gain through the process of highlighting or annotating.
A How should Colorado law describe the mental state of recklessness? Your textual markings and margin notes will refresh your memory and restore specific thoughts you might have had about either the case in general or an individual passage.
Elements that you may want to consider including in addition to the four basic elements are: Try to keep your briefs to one page in length. Most likely, upon entering law school, this will happen with one or more of your instructors.
On the other hand, a brief that is too short will be equally unhelpful because it lacks sufficient information to refresh your memory.
The techniques in the remainder of this section will describe ways to make full use of your highlighters. Highlighting is a personal tool, and therefore should be used to the extent that highlighting helps, but should be modified in a way that makes it personally time efficient and beneficial.
Keep this in mind when deciding what elements to include as part of your brief and when deciding what information to include under those elements. A mechanical pencil will also give you the freedom to make mistakes without consequences.
This results in a 3-part RULE trimester framework the court announces: Our recommendation is a mechanical pencil. Legal analysis and writing 2nd ed. To the extent that more elements will help with organization and use of the brief, include them.
Your pencil or pen will be one of your best friends while reading a case. G37 ] Hames, J. What issues and conclusions are relevant to include in a brief? The goal is to remind yourself of the basic reasoning that the court used to come to its decision and the key factors that made the decision favor one side or the other.
The elements of the brief create the unique shape and colors of the piece, and, when combined with other pieces, the picture of the common law takes form. C53 ] Edwards, L. While a brief is an extremely helpful and important study aid, annotating and highlighting are other tools for breaking down the mass of material in your casebook.
The remainder of this section will discuss these different techniques and show how they complement and enhance the briefing process.SAMPLE CASE BRIEF Follow this format (except type double spaced).
Your brief should be no more than SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CASE: The case establishes the precedent that the press is to be protected against prior restraint by the government except in exceptional situations.
It was also. How to Write a Case Brief Sample In reviewing a case for the purpose of completing a case brief, there are three main issues to consider. Facts of the Case: This is a summary of events that provides context to the issues discussed in the appeal.
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. Learn how to write a case brief for law school with a simple explanation from LexisNexis.
This is a great resource to help rising first year law students or prelaw students prepare for classes.
A student brief is a short summary and analysis of the case prepared for use in classroom discussion. It is a set of notes, presented in a systematic way, in order to sort out the parties, identify the issues, ascertain what was decided, and analyze the reasoning behind decisions made by the courts.
The case brief represents a final product after reading a case, rereading it, taking it apart, and putting it back together again.
In addition to its function as a tool for self-instruction and referencing, the case brief also provides a valuable “cheat sheet” for class participation.Download