FORMAT FOR CASE BRIEF
Virtually all of the cases in this text (and all legal texts for that matter) are at an Appellate/Supreme Court level (not a trial court), where Issues of Law are resolved, as opposed to issues of fact which are resolved at the trial court level. This suggested format is a slight modification of an outline for Case Briefs used in the legal profession. (Example - Text Pg 8 – Case 1.1)
Style of Case and Citation:
U.S. v Sun-Diamond Growers of California
Court Rendering Final Decision:
U.S. Supreme Court
Identification of Parties and Procedural Details: Who is the Plaintiff? Who is the Defendant? What is the cause of action? Who prevailed in ...view middle of the document...
Universal/Disney is seeking money damages for past infringement, and a court injunction prohibiting the manufacture of the tap recorders
Statement and Discussion of the Legal Issues in Dispute: What decision of the lower court is being challenged? What specific legal questions is the subject court being asked to address? Is the question about Common-Law? A Statute?
Example – Sony is challenging the Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that orders Sony to either pay estimated royalties, or cease manufacture and distribution of the tape recorders. This is a question of the application of the Federal Copyright Act and Patent Act which seeks to hold liable anyone who “actively induces infringement of a Patent (or Copyright)” as a “contributory infringer”.
Subject Court Final Decision: For Plaintiff? For Defendant? What happens next?
Example – For Sony, Lower Court is Reversed
Summary of This Final Court’s Reasoning: What is the legal basis for the court’s decision? Be sure to include relevant Dissenting Opinions.
Example – The court found that the primary purpose of...