Process of writing a case brief

But there are a few things every attorney can do to be great on paper. The facts are very important as they are the most basic information you would need to make your brief. If a district court is not permitted to step in as the role of prosecutor, a district court would never be permitted to call its own witness.

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Remember that everything that is discussed may have been relevant to the judge, but it is not necessarily relevant to the rationale of the decision. You should identify the legal issue being emphasized in the casebook. In this section of the brief, state the factual and legal questions that the court had to decide.

The example correctly concludes with the procedural history. Make notes describing why the brief is relevant to your course or your class and why it was included in your assignment.


Even with a thorough, well-constructed brief you may want to reference the original case in order to reread dicta that might not have seemed important at the time, to review the complete procedural history or set of facts, or to scour the rationale for a better understanding of the case; annotating makes these tasks easier.

As a lawyer, you will have to read and analyze cases with a careful eye to detail. Pencil or pen — which is better to use when annotating. Because you will not know which facts are legally relevant until you have read and deciphered the entire case, do not try to brief a case while reading it for the first time.

The relevant issue or issues, and corresponding conclusions, are the ones for which the court made a final decision and which are binding. Starting with the first issue, describe each link in the court's chain of reasoning.

Most likely, upon entering law school, this will happen with one or more of your instructors. 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.

At a minimum, however, make sure you include the four elements listed above. Once you know how to effectively write a great case brief, each time you write one, it will get easier.

Similarly, if the plaintiff and defendant presented different versions of the facts, you should describe those differences only if they are relevant to the court's consideration of the case.

Next, state the facts of the case. 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.

So why write them.

7 Tips For Writing A Kick-Ass Brief

The conclusion and procedural disposition of the case should be stated at the end. Highlighting takes advantage of colors to provide a uniquely effective method for reviewing and referencing a case.

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.

If you do this, however, you will exhaust your other colors much faster than yellow and this will require that you purchase an entire set of new highlighters when a single color runs out because colors such as green are not sold separately.

How to Write a Case Brief Law School Success. When writing a case brief, never parrot the court’s language word-for-word; Doing so would violate a defendant’s right to due process. In this case, the prosecution’s case was insufficient without the testimony of the Cassitys.

As a result, it was improper for the district court to. A. Case briefing helps you acquire the skills of case analysis and legal reasoning.

Briefing a case helps you understand it. B.

7 Tips For Writing A Kick-Ass Brief

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. 40 Case Brief Examples & Templates.

How to Write a Case Brief

A case brief is a shortened, concise summary of a court opinion, usually in outline form. Hence the term “brief.” or the process called outlining. Legal Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Case Brief. 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.

If you forget the story, you will not remember how the law in the case was applied. You should also include the facts that are dispositive to the decision in the case. 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.

Some students prefer book briefing to writing out a full written brief. This approach, made popular by Law School Confidential, involves simply highlighting different parts of the case in different colors, right there in your textbook (hence the name).

Process of writing a case brief
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