Writing a legal case summary

A well-constructed brief will save you lots of time by removing the need to return to the case to remember the important details and also by making it easier to put together the pieces of the common law puzzle. While a brief is an extremely helpful and important study aid, annotating and highlighting are other tools for breaking down the mass of material in your casebook.

This section will describe the parts of a brief in order to give you an idea about what a brief is, what is helpful to include in a brief, and what purpose it serves. Starting with the first issue, describe each link in the court's chain of reasoning. Case A general term for any action, Cause of Actionlawsuit, or controversy.

This will make it easy for you to organize and reference them. The relevant issue or issues, and corresponding conclusions, are the ones for which the court made a final decision and which are binding. Remember, the skills you develop in law school will follow you to practice.


You can direct your reading to the most important sections and will have an easier time identifying what is and is not important.

Want to thank TFD for its existence. This section of the case brief may be the most important, because you must understand the court's reasoning to analyze it and to apply it to other fact situations, such as those on the exam.

Any matter may, in general, be given in evidence, under the plea of not guilty, except the statute of limitations. Include in your brief only those facts that are legally relevant. To the extent that the procedural history either helps you to remember the case or plays an important role in the ultimate outcome, you should include these facts as well.

In consimili casu, consimile debet esse remedium. If you prefer a visual approach to learning, you may find highlighting to be a very effective tool. An annotation in the margin, however, will not only swiftly guide you to a pertinent section, but will also refresh the thoughts that you had while reading that section.

Pencil or pen — which is better to use when annotating. You may prefer to underline the relevant text with a pencil, but to use a highlighter to bracket off the different sections of a case.

Read the case carefully and thoroughly to describe the case accurately. Our recommendation is a mechanical pencil. For instance, you might combine the use of annotations in the margins with the visual benefit of highlighting the relevant text. Remember, the reason to make a brief is not to persuade the world that the ultimate decision in the case is a sound one, but rather to aid in refreshing your memory concerning the most important parts of the case.

Annotations will also remind you of forgotten thoughts and random ideas by providing a medium for personal comments. Aug 23,  · To brief a law case, follow the steps below.

Steps. Part 1. Prepping the Brief. 1. with an additional sentence or two to explain the legal principle upon which the Court relied when reaching that decision. a summary should be included in your case brief. 3. Use your own words%(). Legal Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Case Brief Mistakes are a lot more disastrous especially when they are made when writing legal documents.

So whether you’re writing a case brief or any other kind of legal document, it would be helpful for you to know these common mistakes to avoid.

Make your initial notes on a case, with some 'prompts' to move from the summary to the critique. This document is intended to help your reading, but you will need to be selective about what you include in.

Case briefs are a necessary study aid in law school that helps to encapsulate and analyze the mountainous mass of material that law students must digest. The case brief represents a final product after reading a case, rereading it, taking it apart, and putting it back together again.

Briefing cases is an important professional skill Briefing cases is not just for law school.

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As a lawyer, you will have to read and analyze cases with a careful eye to detail. You also will have to summarize cases when writing legal memoranda, briefs, and other documents and when making oral arguments to courts.

Definition of case summary in the Legal Dictionary - by Free online English dictionary and encyclopedia. What is case summary? Meaning of case summary as a legal term. An agreement in writing, between a plaintiff and defendant, that the facts in dispute between them are as there agreed upon and mentioned, 3 Whart.


The facts being.

Writing a legal case summary
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How to Brief a Law Case: 11 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow