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Business Associations Keyed to Hamilton
Zapata Corp. v. Maldonado
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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:
At the time Maldonado (Plaintiff) began a derivative suit against Zapata (Defendant), he was excused from making a prior demand on the board of directors because they were all defendants (Maldonado [Plaintiff] asserting a breach of fiduciary duty on the part of officers and directors of Zapata [Defendant]). The board had changed membership when, four years later, it appointed an “Independent Investigation Committee,” consisting of two new directors, to investigate the litigation. The committee recommended dismissing the action, calling its continued maintenance “inimical to the Company’s best interests. . . .” In an interlocutory appeal before the Supreme Court of Delaware, the primary focus was on whether or not the aforementioned Committee had the power to dismiss the action.
- 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.