Synthesis legal readers
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Synthesis legal readers Synthesis legal readers Presentation Transcript

  • Analysis of Multiple Cases Through Synthesis: LRW I © Professor Rutledge
  • Earlier—Analogies & Distinctions
    • Case comparison is based on the premise that like cases should be decided in like manner 1
    • Making valid predictions involves drawing analogies from similar cases
      • Similar issues, possibly fact patterns
      • Applicable reasoning & policy statements
    See Professor Gregory Berry, Synthesizing Rules http://www.law.howard.edu/faculty/pages/berry/advice/synthesispart2.htm (accessed July 14, 2004).
  • When Writing
    • Demonstrate that the case is binding legal authority
    • Assure the reader that the facts you’re comparing were key facts in the decided case
    • Give reader enough information to make independent comparison
  • Analyzing Multiple Cases
    • Multiple cases address issue
    • Precedent has different fact patterns to client’s case and one another with different results
    • Goal: Reconcile diverse results and advise client
  • Synthesis
    • Purpose – to find collective meaning in cases
    • Rules of law are clarified through multiple cases
    • Involves more than listing cases
  • When to Synthesize
    • No express definition of an element
    • Rule not expressly stated
    • Definition is vague
    • Cases analogized don’t address all the determinative facts
    • Several cases are all relevant in some way
    • Cannot fully understand a rule of law from just one case
    • After reviewing several cases, communicate the standards the court will apply
    • Collective legal proposition more important than a list of case briefs
    Why Synthesize
  • Synthesis is a Common Process
    • We synthesize information daily
    • Creating a chart may help, especially if it is a complex issue
    • Synthesis can be a difficult skill that requires practice
  • Example of Synthesis- Trespass ²
    • Professor Berry ignores a sign warning trespassers to keep out and enters Mr. Jones' land to smell his award winning roses. Held: Professor Berry liable for trespass
    ² Id.
  • B. Professor Berry ignores a sign warning trespassers to keep out and enters Mr. Jones' land seeking to escape a mob of angry law students bent on attacking him for giving them low grades. Held: Professor Berry not liable for trespass.
  • C. Professor Berry ignores a sign warning trespassers to keep out and enters Mr. Jones' land seeking to escape a mob of angry law students bent on attacking him for giving them low grades. While evading his pursuers, Professor Berry accidentally tramples on Mr. Jones' award winning roses. Held: Professor Berry liable for damages to roses.
  • What do the Three Cases Stand for Collectively? A. Professor Berry ignores a sign warning trespassers to keep out and enters Mr. Jones' land to smell his award winning roses. Held: Professor Berry liable for trespass. B. Professor Berry ignores a sign warning trespassers to keep out and enters Mr. Jones' land seeking to escape a mob of angry law students bent on attacking him for giving them low grades. Held: Professor Berry not liable for trespass. C. Professor Berry ignores a sign warning trespassers to keep out and enters Mr. Jones' land seeking to escape a mob of angry law students bent on attacking him for giving them low grades. While evading his pursuers, Professor Berry accidentally tramples on Mr. Jones' award winning roses. Held: Professor Berry liable for damages to roses.
  • Look for the Common Threads
    • In each case, Professor Berry was trespassing on someone’s land without permission, but the results were different
    • The decision maker considered different factors to modify the rule
    • A. Professor Berry ignores a sign warning trespassers to keep out and enters Mr. Jones' land to smell his award winning roses. Held: Professor Berry liable for trespass
    • The proposition in the first case is that a person is liable for trespass if they enter someone’s land without permission
    • Professor Berry ignores a sign warning trespassers to keep out and enters Mr. Jones' land seeking to escape a mob of angry law students bent on attacking him for giving them low grades. Held: Professor Berry not liable for trespass.
    • This case modifies the rule established in the first case. A person is relieved of liability from trespass when it is necessary to protect oneself from physical danger.
    • C. Professor Berry ignores a sign warning trespassers to keep out and enters Mr. Jones' land seeking to escape a mob of angry law students bent on attacking him for giving them low grades. While evading his pursuers, Professor Berry accidentally tramples on Mr. Jones' award winning roses.
    • Held: Professor Berry liable for damages to roses.
    • This case refines the rule further. When someone trespasses out of necessity, they are still liable for any actual damage to the property.
  • Sample Chart No, but liable for property damage Yes Yes C. Yes No No Yes B. Yes Yes No No A. Yes Liable for Trespass Property Damage Necessity Trespass
  • What’s the collective meaning?
    • "A person who enters the land of another without permission is liable for trespass except where entry is necessary to avoid physical danger, in which case a person is liable only for actual damage to the property."
  • Fruit Hypo
  • Fruit Hypo Instructions
    • Take 5-7 minutes with the document on then next sheet and follow the instructions
    • This should be done independently
  •  
  • Using the Factors
    • Identifying the factors
      • Factors – categories of facts the court considers to decide an issue
      • Elements are conditions that must be present, but factors are guidelines the court will consider
  • First, Find the Common Threads
    • Identify the common threads in the cases
    • Look for patterns that explain the holding
      • A particular fact
      • Combination of factors
      • Policy considerations
      • Once locate pattern, easier to locate the factors
  • After Locating Common Threads
    • Tie the common threads together
      • The synthesized rule should reflect the different cases, definitions, limitations and exceptions, in a coherent statement
      • When writing start with the synthesized rule, then go to supporting cases
    • Organize your analysis around the common threads, not the individual cases
    • Apply synthesized rule to client’s problem
  • Group Synthesis Exercise
    • Groups of 4
  • Synthesized Rule?
    • Exercise can be found on the next sheet. Determine a rule under each “case”
    • Next, determine a combined synthesized rule that incorporates all of the cases
    • You will have 15-20 minutes to complete this exercise
  • Fruit Hypo Answer Synthesized Rule: A fruit of vibrant color belongs in a window display as long as it does not perish within a week and does not require preparation before it can be eaten. All other produce must go into the bin. New synthesized rule: A fruit or vegetable of vibrant color may be in a window display as long as it needs no preparation prior to eating.
  • Recap of Past Lessons
    • Mandatory/Binding & Persuasive/Non-Binding Precedent
    • Sources of Law
    • Determinative Facts
    • Holding versus Dicta
    • Reading Statutes & Cases
    • Breaking legal rules into elements
    • Defining Legal Issues
    • Selling Analogies & Distinctions
  • The Current Pieces: What We Know
    • Issue - Defining involves looking at the elements systematically
    • Rule – looking for binding precedent – the holding, not dicta
    • Facts - finding the essential
    • Analysis – applying the law to your case
    • Synthesis – finding collective meaning in multiple cases
  • Putting the Pieces Together
    • Goal: communicate your legal analysis in writing, apply your analysis to the client’s facts, and make a prediction.
    • Case comparisons allow us to predict whether precedent controls our client’s situation.
  • Now that you know the issues and essential facts . . .
    • Look for binding primary authority
    • Usually authority won’t have identical facts, so
      • Look for cases that have addressed the issue, and look for similar facts. Determine if
        • The court’s reasoning
        • Underlying policy arguments
      • apply to the client’s case
  • Remember
    • Binding Precedent:
      • Same jurisdiction
      • Higher court
      • SIMILAR
    • Remember the general principle of stare decisis & binding precedent
      • Like cases should be decided in like manner
  • Where We’re Headed . . .
    • Learning to draft legal analysis
    • Learning to organize legal analysis
    • Learning about legal proofs
  • Legal Writing
    • Different
    • Based on deductive reasoning
      • Start with the conclusion and justify it
    • Must be reader-focused
    • Legal readers need context
      • Easier to understand information when you know the relevance
  • Legal Readers
  • Burden of Legal Writing
    • Writing for a hostile audience
      • Lawyers are skeptical
      • organization of your analysis matters
    • Writing for busy audience
      • Lawyers are busy. Want the bottom line first
    • IRAC – legal proof for proving your conclusion to the reader
  • Your Audience
    • In all writing, especially legal writing you must consider the audience
    • Having all the pieces is important, but the correct order matters too
    • Expectations of Legal Readers – format, legal proof
  • Next Week
    • IRAC, legal proofs and deductive reasoning