are required to read a number of legal decisions for this class.
those students who are not familiar with reading case law, the
following is a list of items that they should look for when briefing
(or summarizing) a case.
-who commenced the action? (known as the plaintiff)
-who defended the action? (known as the defendant)
-who appealed the earlier decision? (known as the
-who responded to the appeal? (known as the respondent)
-are there any interveners? (also known as the friends
of the court)
-in a criminal matter, who is the accused?
-what events occurred before this matter became a
history of the case
- how did the case proceed through the courts?
-how did the case proceed through the courts?
-what did the trial court decide?
-who appealed the decision?
-what did the appellate court decide?
-what are the legal issues the court was asked to deal
-what do each of the parties want?
-how was each of the legal issues decided?
-how many judges supported the decision (majority
-how many judges dissented (minority opinion)?
reasons for the decision
-what was the reasoning of the court to support its
for the judgment?
-what was the reasoning adopted by the dissenting
-did the plaintiff get the remedy he or she sought?
-what was the precedent established by the decision?
-what are the legal principles established by the
court which ought to bind a future court?
-what comments were made that were not part of the
ratio of the case, but may have important implications for future courts
-what are the implications of the decision for the
-what are the implications of the decision for society