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Citizens to Preserve Overton Park, Inc. v. Volpe
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
I-40, the proposed six-lane highway, was to cut through Overton Park, a 342-acre city park located near Memphis, Tennessee. The path of the road would sever the zoo from the rest of the park. Petitioners contended that the Secretary’s announced approval of the road was invalid because he did not indicate why he believed there were no feasible and prudent alternative routes. In District Court, the Respondents argued that the Secretary did not have to make formal findings, and introduced affidavits specifically prepared for litigation to support the Secretary’s decision. The District Court and the Court of Appeals held that formal findings by the Secretary were not necessary, and refused to probe the mental processes of an administrative decisionmaker. Believing the Secretary’s authority wide and the reviewing courts’ narrow, they held that the affidavits contained no basis for a determination that the Secretary exceeded his authority.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.