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Just Briefly …

Just Briefly …

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Just Briefly …

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  1. Just Briefly …

  2. Nature of the Enterprise

  3. Nature of the Enterprise Make Legal Arguments & Advise Clients in a Rapidly Changing World

  4. READING CASES • CASE = Resolution of a Particular Dispute

  5. READING CASES • Resolution of a Particular Dispute • + Guide to Resolution of Possible Future Disputes

  6. READING CASES • Resolution of a Particular Dispute • Guide to Resolution of Possible Future Disputes • Initial Difficulty Finding Key Points: “The Real World”

  7. READING CASES • Resolution of a Particular Dispute • Guide to Resolution of Possible Future Disputes • Initial Difficulty Finding Key Points • Briefs = Tools to Help Identify Key Info

  8. Case Brief as Resumé • Relatively Standardized Information

  9. Case Brief as Resumé • Relatively Standardized Information • Often Incomplete Picture of Case

  10. Case Brief as Resumé • Relatively Standardized Information • Often Incomplete Picture of Case • Vary Form & Content for Different Purposes (my resumes)

  11. Case Brief as Resumé • Relatively Standardized Information • Often Incomplete Picture of Case • Vary Form & Content for Different Purposes • Follow Instructor’s Directions!!!

  12. ARE THERE ALTERNATIVES TO BRIEFS?

  13. ARE THERE ALTERNATIVES TO BRIEFS?NO!

  14. Working Together

  15. Parts of the Brief • Citation

  16. CITATION • Provides information on how to locate the case. • Provides information on the significance of the case as precedent.

  17. CITATION In re Zbiegien, 433 N.W. 2d 871 (Minn. 1988)

  18. CITATION: PARTIES • Just Use Last Names • Just Use First Party Named on Each Side • Use Standard Shortened Forms & Abbreviations (you’ll learn soon)

  19. Commonwealth of Virginia v. Mary and Frieda Smith Commonwealth v. Smith

  20. In the Matter of John A. Zbiegien In re Zbiegien

  21. 433 N.W. 2d 871 (Minn. 1988) • 433 = Volume 433 • N.W.2d = Second Series of the Northwestern Reporter • 871 = Starting at page 871

  22. 433 N.W. 2d 871 (Minn. 1988) • Minn. = Supreme Court of Minnesota • Minn. App. = Minnesota Court of Appeals • D. Minn. = Federal District Court for the District of Minnesota

  23. PER CURIAM. Petitioner, John A. Zbiegien, appeals from a recommendation of the State Board of Law Examiners that he not be admitted to the Bar of Minnesota because he had failed to prove that he possesses the requisite character and fitness to be so admitted. Our review of the record before us does not persuade us that petitioner must be barred from the practice of law for lack of character. We direct the Board to recommend his admission.

  24. Parts of the Brief • Citation • Statement of the Case

  25. Summary of the legal action that initiated the case Also useful for concisely describing cases in legal arguments Need enough detail to get a sense of what was at stake Statement of the Case

  26. Plaintiffs sued Defendant for libel seeking damages and an injunction

  27. Lachey and Simpson sued The National Enquirer, Inc. for libel seeking damages and an injunction.

  28. Lachey and Simpson, entertainers, sued The National Enquirer, Inc., a tabloid newspaper, for libel seeking damages and an injunction.

  29. Lachey and Simpson, married entertainers, sued The National Enquirer, Inc., a tabloid newspaper that had published articles describing problems in their marriage, for libel seeking damages and an injunction.

  30. Lachey and Simpson, conventionally attractive and moderately talented singers whose 15 minutes of fame would have expired years ago but for their willingness to allow MTV to broadcast all but the most intimate parts of their married life together…

  31. Statement of the Case • Jones and others, homeowners living within a mile of a tannery that produced unpleasant odors, sued Suedeco, owner of the tannery, for Nuisance, seeking to have operation of the tannery enjoined. • Smith and Wesson, who were found inside a house owned by a third party, were charged with Second Degree Burglary

  32. Statement of the Case • The Minnesota State Board of Law Examiners conducted an investigation of Zbiegien, a law school graduate who had been disciplined for plagiarism while in law school. • Zbiegien, a law school graduate who had been disciplined for plagiarism while in law school, applied for admission to the Minnesota State Bar

  33. Parts of the Brief • Citation • Statement of the Case • Procedural Posture

  34. Procedural Posture • Procedural steps between the initiation of the legal proceeding and the opinion that you are briefing. • Try to limit to steps important to understanding the case. • Can be useful in determining the legal issue.

  35. Procedural Posture • After a trial, a jury convicted Rove of perjury. The Court of Appeals affirmed the verdict. The Supreme Court granted Rove’s petition for review. • The trial court granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. The plaintiffs appealed.

  36. Procedural Posture • After a hearing, the Board recommended that Zbiegien not be admitted to the Bar. Zbiegien appealed.

  37. Parts of the Brief • Citation • Statement of the Case • Procedural Posture • Facts

  38. FACTS • Events that took place prior to filing of lawsuit outside of court.

  39. FACTS • Events that took place prior to filing of lawsuit • Include facts relevant to outcome & to reasoning (judgment call)

  40. FACTS • Events that took place prior to filing of lawsuit • Include facts relevant to outcome & to reasoning • Names, places, dates rarely important

  41. FACTS • Events that took place prior to filing of lawsuit • Include facts relevant to outcome & to reasoning • Names, places, dates rarely important • Important facts not necessarily in “fact section” at beginning

  42. Zbiegien FACTS (Specific) • Dec. 23, 1988  17 months • Computer problems involved indenting and footnoting • 1st Draft • 4th Year of Law School • Child was 16 years old in Nov. 1986

  43. Zbiegien FACTS (Overview) • Circumstances surrounding submission of paper • Sanction by school & letter from Dean • Bar application language • Prior good record • Evidence of remorse • Passed bar exam; 17 months elapsed

  44. AVOIDINGPLAGIARISM • For each fact or idea that is not yours, cite to the authority where you found it.

  45. AVOIDINGPLAGIARISM • For each fact or idea that is not yours, cite to the authority where you found it. • If a string of connected ideas or an extended argument are derived from a single source, say so explicitly.

  46. AVOIDINGPLAGIARISM • For each fact or idea that is not yours, cite to the authority where you found it. • If a string of connected ideas or an extended argument are derived from a single source, say so explicitly. • Indicate language taken directly from a source with quote marks or indentation.

  47. Proper Use of Authority Makes Legal Arguments Stronger