Those students, who participate in the programs related to studying criminology or law, know how important case notes or case briefs are. They are of crucial significance as they specify only the most meaningful case aspects and disregarding the details that are not that important. If you know how to write a case brief, you will be able to give the information in a concise form and review the legal rule or principle in a certain legal case. In general, they put a particular case into the content of various relevant materials and serve as an amazingly effective tool for legal studies.
What Is a Case Brief?
A case brief is a document composed to present a legal case in a condensed form with the legal rulings and facts analyzed in the context of this specific case. Thus, a summarized legal decision can be referred to as a case brief.
The field of law implies using the word “brief” in several meanings. First of all, it is a case brief that is composed by the students with law specialization or summarized main points of a certain legal decision. Typically, it is found in the context of appellate court decisions. Those who are well aware of how to write a brief case do not write more than one page for a case brief to be effective. Why is case briefing so important? First of all, learning how to write a case brief, a student gains an insight into the application of particular law principles to a set of specific facts. Secondly, it is a great way to get ready to the final exams as working on case briefs gives an extensive experience and good knowledge. So, what do you write in your notes, working on an assignment of this type?
Structuring a Case Brief
- Title of the case
- Name of the publisher
- Year and setting (court)
- Procedure (how the case appeared in the court of appeal)
- Narration on the statement of facts
- Appeal issues
- Arguments from every side
- Implications of the policy implications
- Black rule of law
- Appellate or rationale used by the judges
- Concurring or dissenting opinions
Written Legal Briefs: Step-by-Step Guidelines
According to the standards of brief case writing, it is recommendable to start the document with citation of the case. Thus, it is necessary to mention both names of the parties in the form A versus B. The following stage is including the name of the publisher and the source of the information. You should also mention the year of making a decision and final publishing as well as the court that made it.
The main part of the case brief starts with the fact setting. It is important to do thorough search and identify only those facts which are relevant and meaningful for this particular court decision. It is not right to include the facts that are irrelevant, as they will only distract the readers. You should be careful while reading through the facts as it will facilitate elimination of the irrelevant aspects. Specify those facts which got established during the trial.
Respond to the following questions before you start working on the procedural section:
- Which way did the case appear in the court?
- Which court was responsible for issuance of the analyzed opinion?
Get to know which court the case came from. Was it an appellate court or a trial court on appeal?
Writing law briefs, you should focus on the main issue, as it is the key problem that the court deals with. This is a legal question that should be spotted clearly. It is easy for a student to specify this as the cases typically have this information right at the beginning of the text. For instance, “today we face a business problem related to ..” It is normal for the court to have a legal issue statement. The trial deals with a certain personal issue presented there to determine the winner of the case. It might be necessary to put the holding in certain briefs. It means that a brief section should be included to have several words devoted to the most important question.
The rule is a certain law set for the judges to make a decision regarding a specific case. There can be several rules used as the issue can be complicated and more than one problem can be involved. In the majority of cases, the judges might use several different law rules after considering all the circumstances and facts. Having discussed the rules, the judges present them and you should mention all the essential points if your ambition is to demonstrate that you know how to write a case brief.
- Application / reasoning / analysis
This section includes the explanations of the decision made by the judges. You should take into account all the facts and apply them in the context of a particular law. The court states the contended issues of the parties. You should learn all the information to identify particular application of the law to your specific issue analyzed.
Working on a concluding part, you should produce a brief statement that makes it clear whether the case was reversed or affirmed by the court. You should designate the parties and name the winner and loser.
Tips for Writing a Superb Legal Case Brief
Your approach to case briefing should be based on expertise and profound knowledge of the subject; otherwise, your document will not look convincing or useful.
The best approach to starting to work on a case brief is to read the case several times with highlighting all the important facts and annotating the key sections. The casebook has margins suitable for making important notes.
The following step is choosing the facts relevant to your particular case, especially those that impacted the decision or should have impacted it, in your personal view. You may not mention the intermediate issues if they are discussed by the court.
Start writing only after you have outlined your case brief. This skeleton will be useful for further reading as you will simply add the flesh there but keep the same structure.
Monitor all the litigants, in particular provided that a higher court sent certiorari to the case. Keep in mind that:
- A petitioner is a person, who needs a certiorari writ from a higher court with a respondent as the other party.
- An appellant is the party that requires appellate review, filing appeals with demands, with an appellee as the other party.
- In the context of civil cases, a plaintiff is a person who starts the proceedings. The case title always mentions his name first.
You should be careful and attentive as in some cases judges pursue the facts selectively, so you should also choose only those facts that are directly related to the analyzed case.
Learning how to write a law brief, you should keep in mind that it is beneficial for you to work on this task. Your main goal is to gain an insight into the case and be able to use your own words to restate the main facts.
If you have read all the tips and will try to apply them in your writing, you will definitely succeed. However, if you are eager to follow the advice, but you have no time for writing, you can contact our proficient team of law writers. We will guide you into the world of case brief writing and any other assignments, if you need them done. Email us, send us a message on live chat, or make a call and let us start working together.