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Author Topic: Briefing Cases (but cases in the case books are incomplete) Help!  (Read 1963 times)

Poetgrl21

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Ok so most if not all of the cases in my casebooks aren't the full cases...parts of the reasoning are excluded....none of the procedural history, or even the judgement...so how do I brief them?  My first day assignments are due Monday and I have cases in my reading that I know I should brief.

Should I just get them all off Lexis?  Is it assumed by our professors that we are doing that to brief our cases?  Help!

JD07

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Re: Briefing Cases (but cases in the case books are incomplete) Help!
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2006, 11:24:43 PM »
Well, casebooks have the edited version of the cases.  Get the facts, issue, rule and reasoning from the case.  If you give a case name I might be able to help more....

Poetgrl21

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Re: Briefing Cases (but cases in the case books are incomplete) Help!
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2006, 11:28:18 PM »
Its Waters v. Blackshear 591 N.E.2d 184 (Mass 1992).  The thing is, the issue is totally unclear from the amount they include in the text book.  The case only made sense once I got everything from Lexis.  So is this what professors assume we will do with all edited cases?

JD07

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Re: Briefing Cases (but cases in the case books are incomplete) Help!
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2006, 11:31:16 PM »
What casebook is it?

Poetgrl21

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Re: Briefing Cases (but cases in the case books are incomplete) Help!
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2006, 11:35:14 PM »
Its Best & Barnes Basic Tort Law CAses, Statutes, and Problems.  Once I read the case on Lexis I realized it had everything to do with whether the court was correct in granting a motion for judgement notwithstanding the verdict.  The question was whether or not there was sufficient legal evidence, etc.  But from what was provided in the case book, I would have never known about any of that...

J D

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Re: Briefing Cases (but cases in the case books are incomplete) Help!
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2006, 11:43:15 PM »
Its Waters v. Blackshear 591 N.E.2d 184 (Mass 1992).  The thing is, the issue is totally unclear from the amount they include in the text book.  The case only made sense once I got everything from Lexis.  So is this what professors assume we will do with all edited cases?

Wait, is that the one where the little kid lit a firecracker in the other kid's shoe?  A lot of times, the editors may exclude certain parts of the reasoning often because the case presents more than one legal issue (say, a case which presents an issue dealing with the award of attorney's fees as well as an issue of negligence or property law), and they only want you to focus on one of those issues for the purposes of that lesson; the others may be irrelevant to the point the editors are trying to illustrate.
"I never think of the future.  It comes soon enough."--Albert Einstein

JD07

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Re: Briefing Cases (but cases in the case books are incomplete) Help!
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2006, 11:48:35 PM »
Nice point JD.

Your profs aren't going to expect you to Lexis every case in order to get the big picture.  If the info isn't in the case, just focus on what's in the text. 

Poetgrl21

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Re: Briefing Cases (but cases in the case books are incomplete) Help!
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2006, 11:52:30 PM »
Yes that's the right case. Good memory. :)  Hmm well maybe there is more than one issue, but I can't seem to find one.  Other issues were dealt with in previous courts (the trial court, etc.)  The paragraph before the case mentions things I should take note of while reading the case, but that's about it  But it still doesn't include the decision of the case, procedural history or anything...so should I just get all that from Lexis?  Do my brief according to Lexis, and then answer the questions the casebook metions and include them in my casebrief in case that's all the professor wants?  I suppose once Monday comes I can approach him and ask him how I should deal with this...

jimmyjohn

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Re: Briefing Cases (but cases in the case books are incomplete) Help!
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2006, 11:53:57 PM »
Its Best & Barnes Basic Tort Law CAses, Statutes, and Problems.  Once I read the case on Lexis I realized it had everything to do with whether the court was correct in granting a motion for judgement notwithstanding the verdict.  The question was whether or not there was sufficient legal evidence, etc.  But from what was provided in the case book, I would have never known about any of that...

That's because you don't need to know any of that stuff for torts.  You'll learn about JNOV's in civ pro. Editors of a torts casebook might leave out the procedural history altogether because it's simply not relevant to learning tort law in many instances. 

The issue in torts, at this point in the semester, is likely whether the actions of the defendant amounted to a battery.    I know it's overwhelming at first, but you need to relax.  There is no need for you to go to lexis and look up the procedural history.  If it's not in the casebook the prof. isn't going to grill you about it. 

Poetgrl21

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Re: Briefing Cases (but cases in the case books are incomplete) Help!
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2006, 11:59:55 PM »

Thanks everyone.  You all were a great help.  All of just starting out I think have been thrown off with regard to the whole "case brief" thing.  Prep books, etc. make it sounds like briefs all look the same with identical parts, but what you guys are saying makes sense...why would civ pro stuff be needed in a torts case?  Don't know what I'd do without this discussion board.  I will definitely forward this info along....Thanks guys. :)