(In the analysis of your case you should stick to the fundamental issue and don’t get bogged down on procedural aspects).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 tobe an endless and unfathomable sea of information. There are, of course,an unlimited number of formats that can be utilized. However, it isbest to find one that suits your needs and stick to it. Consistencybreeds both efficiency and the security that when called upon you willknow 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 caseexcerpt, but usually only one is the rule with which the judges aremost concerned. The techniques used to locate the issue, describedbelow, may also be utilized to find the rule of law.FACTS: A synopsis of only the essential relevant facts of the case,i.e. those bearing upon or leading up to the issue. The facts entryshould be a short statement of the events that led one party to initiatelegal proceedings against another in the first place. While some casesconveniently state the salient facts at the beginning of the decision,in other instances they will have to be culled from hiding placesthroughout the text, even from concurring and dissenting opinions. Someof the ‘facts’ will often be in dispute and should be so noted.Conflicting evidence may be briefly pointed up. It is impossible to tellwhat is relevant until the entire case is read,as the ultimate determination of the rights and liabilities of theparties may turn on something buried deep in the opinion. The factsentry should seldom be longer than five sentences.ISSUE: A statement of the general legal question answered by or illustrated in the case( may wish to put this portion of the brief in outline form.USE OF PRECEDENT: You should relate how the rule of law discernible from this case compares with that derived from earlier and later cases. Where does this case fit in the series of cases which has shaped the relevant portion of the law? EFFECT ON BUSINESS AND SOCIETY: You should briefly summarize the impact and effect that the ruling in the case will have on business and society.REMEMBER THAT THE OPERATIVE WORD IS “BRIEF”.The link below will assist you in navigating the online library for legal research:http://tamuc.libguides.com/BA301For further elucidation, check these links out:http://www.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/research/brief.htmlhttp://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~ras2777/civlib/casebrief.htmlhttp://www.lawnerds.com/guide/briefing.html ..
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