For this assignment, you will write a formal case brief on one of the five recent Supreme Court cases attached to this assignment. Remember that you only need to brief ONE of the five cases.
Case briefs are used to highlight the key information contained within a case for use within the legal community – because court cases can be quite lengthy. Note: because the purpose of the exercise is for you to learn to highlight and summarize key information, your merely copying and pasting language directly from the case does not accomplish this goal. You must summarize the facts in your own words and use quoted material sparingly. Most of the material in the brief should be paraphrased. Quoted material should make up no more than 15% of the brief. The case itself should be the sole source used to create the brief – i.e., you should not cite outside sources such as a case briefs/case descriptions prepared by someone else/found online.
Five final notes: (1) In the U.S. Supreme Court, the roles of the parties are typically referred to as that of Petitioner and Respondent (not Plaintiff and Defendant or Appellant and Appellee); (2) If there is only one each of the issue, holding, and reasoning sections of the brief, you don’t need to number them (Issue 1, Issue 2, etc.) – and NOT every case has more than one issue; (3) Make sure that you put something in the comment section of the brief; (4) The more closely your brief’s structure resembles that of the model case brief, the more likely it is that you are preparing your brief correctly; and (5) The reasoning (aka rationale/analysis) section is the heart of the brief, so you should spend a significant amount of time discussing the specific analysis undertaken by the court when reaching its decision (this should generally be the longest part of a brief and counts for 25% of your grade for the brief).
I have also attached a sample case brief, a “how to” brief a case handout, and the grading rubric that I will apply when grading this case brief. Please note that the file saved as “SampleCaseBrief” is the sample case brief that briefs Delahanty v. Hinckley, 564 A.2d 758 (D.C. 1989) saved as “sampledelahantycase.” The Delahanty case is NOT one of the cases you may choose to brief – it is included so that you can look at it in conjunction with the sample case brief.)
As always, if you have questions, let me know!!
Please submit your completed brief as an attachment in the Assignments section.