Law Essay

| December 11, 2015

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If you would like to make up for doing the wrong homework or missed quizzes or would like extra credit (0 to 5 points per brief), you may brief as many of the cases on Carmen as you like.  You must brief them in the order they appear on Carmen or you will get no credit.  Each brief should contain the following four parts: 1) facts, 2) issue, 3) holding, and 4) analysis, with each section having a heading identifying it (see below).  Each brief should discuss both the majority and dissenting opinions (if there is one) and be approximately two typewritten, double-spaced pages. Please use proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling.  Do not simply cut and paste from the case. Summarize the case in your own words. If you do quote from the case use quotation marks for the quote. A case and sample brief of the case are posted on Carmen.  Do not redo the example. Briefs not prepared in the proper format will not receive credit.  The first brief is due November 22 by 11:59 p.m. in the Carmen dropbox for briefs. If you do not do the first one by the deadline, you are not eligible to do additional briefs. Any additional briefs that you would like to do are due on or before December 12th at 11:59 p.m. in the Carmen dropbox for briefs.  Briefs may not be delivered by e mail.  You must work independently on your briefs.  Each brief must include your name, course number, and start time of class. Any deviation from the proper format will result in no points. Extra credit briefs cannot raise your grade above a B+.



Facts:       Pinpoint the determinative facts of a case, i.e., those that make a difference in the outcome. Your goal here is to be able to tell the story of the case without missing any pertinent information but also not including too many extraneous facts either. Make sure you have clearly marked the parties’ names and positions in the case (Plaintiff/Defendant or Appellee/Appellant).

Issue:      Formulate the main issue or issues in the case in the form of questions, preferably with a yes or no answer, which will help you more clearly state the holding in the next section of the case brief. Some of the cases have multiple issues. You do not need to discuss issues related to evidence or procedural errors. You can focus on issues related to the material we have covered (or will be covering (for example, employment discrimination)) in class. The issue should state the substantive issue and not say something like: “whether the trial erred in granting summary judgment.”

Holding:    The holding should directly respond to the question or questions in the Issue. It should not simply say the trial court was affirmed or reversed.

Analysis:   This is the most important part of your brief as it describes why the court ruled the way it did. This part of your brief traces the court’s reasoning step by step, so be sure that you record it without gaps in logic.



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Category: Essays

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