2.How To Read Case Report

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2.How To Read Case Report

  1. 1. How to read legal case reports (How to write case briefs)
  2. 2. <ul><li>Title of the case </li></ul><ul><li>e.g., Mary Cereghino, Appellant </li></ul><ul><li>v. </li></ul><ul><li>Mart J. Vershum, and </li></ul><ul><li>Janet Coffyn, Respondents </li></ul><ul><li>Supreme Court of Oregon, </li></ul><ul><li>In Banc </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>“ In Re Payne”---- </li></ul><ul><li>no adversary parties, only one party in the case </li></ul><ul><li>(2) “ Ex Parte Payne”---- </li></ul><ul><li>the court procedure with only one party’s participation </li></ul><ul><li>(3) “United States v. Stevens”---- </li></ul><ul><li>public prosecution (One party is State or Federal Government Agency.) </li></ul><ul><li>(4) “United States v. 45 Barrels of Whisky”---- </li></ul><ul><li>action based on in rem or quasi in rem jurisdiction </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>2. Facts </li></ul><ul><li>Parties </li></ul><ul><li>Prior proceedings </li></ul><ul><li>Theories of the parties </li></ul><ul><li>The objectives of parties </li></ul><ul><li>Legally significant facts and background facts </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Parties </li></ul><ul><li>“ Defendant-appellant-tortfeasor” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Plaintiff-respondent-victim” </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>(2) Prior proceedings </li></ul><ul><li>“ Trial court found against the defendant; </li></ul><ul><li>Defendant appealed; </li></ul><ul><li>Court of appeals reversed the trial court’s decision; </li></ul><ul><li>And now this appeal is before the supreme court.” </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>(3) Theories of the parties </li></ul><ul><li>“ Plaintiff’s claim: breach of contract; false imprisonment </li></ul><ul><li>Defendant’s defense (contention): lack of consideration; consent” </li></ul><ul><li>(4) The objectives of parties </li></ul><ul><li>“ getting specific performance; getting damages in the amount of $55,000; getting acquitted” </li></ul><ul><li>(5) Legally significant facts and background facts </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>3. Legal issues </li></ul><ul><li>more than one </li></ul><ul><li>legal issues ≠ disputes of parties </li></ul><ul><li>issues of facts / issues of law </li></ul><ul><li>relevant rules </li></ul><ul><li>4. Reasoning the application of those rules </li></ul><ul><li>the conclusion the court reached </li></ul><ul><li>Macro-analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Micro-analysis </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Macro-analysis </li></ul><ul><li>A Reasoning Method: Syllogism </li></ul><ul><li>--All void contracts have no legal force. </li></ul><ul><li>(major premise) </li></ul><ul><li>--All contracts against fairness doctrine are void contracts. </li></ul><ul><li>(minor premise) </li></ul><ul><li>∴ All contracts against fairness doctrine have no legal force. </li></ul><ul><li>(conclusion) </li></ul><ul><li>e.g., Tarbert Trading LTD v. Cometal, Inc </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Tarbert Trading LTD v. Cometal, Inc </li></ul><ul><li>major premise: </li></ul><ul><li>All illegal contracts are void and unenforceable. </li></ul><ul><li>minor premise: </li></ul><ul><li>The contract between Cometal and Tarbet for sale of red beans is illegal (because an illegal certificate of origin is involved). </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion: The contract between Cometal and Tarbet is illegal and void, and their disputes can’t be settled by the court. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Micro-analysis </li></ul><ul><li>parties’ different argumentations towards “legal issue” </li></ul><ul><li>judge’s attitudes / opinions towards their argumentations </li></ul><ul><li>A. argumentation of parties: “claim”, “allege”, “complaint”, “assert”, “contend”, “argue”, “urge”… </li></ul><ul><li>Opinions of judge: “I agree”, “I don’t </li></ul><ul><li>think.’ … </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>5. Holding: the last declaration </li></ul><ul><li>Memorandum opinion </li></ul><ul><li>concurring opinion </li></ul><ul><li>dissenting opinion </li></ul><ul><li>( affirmed, reversed, modified, vacated) </li></ul><ul><li>6. Comments (reaction) </li></ul>

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