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