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Business Associations Keyed to Hamilton
Smith v. Kelley
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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:
Smith (P) worked for an accounting firm as a salaried employee. Kelley (D) and Galloway (D) were partners in the firm. Smith put not assets into the firm, held no authority to make purchases, nor hire or fire personnel, nor execute promissory notes for the firm, nor hold managerial authority, and was not liable to bear losses of the firm. According to Kelley (D), another employee, and Galloway (D), there was no agreement that Smith (P) would be a partner and/or share in the firm’s profits. Smith (P) however was introduced to members of the public, listed on the firm’s tax returns, and mentioned in a statement to a state agency as a partner in the firm. He was also listed as a partner in a contract the firm entered, and a lawsuit the firm filed. At the end of a three year tenure with the firm, Smith (P) claimed to have been a partner of the firm and entitled to 20% of its profits. Kelley (D) and Galloway (D) disputed his entitlement, so Smith (P) sued for an accounting. The Chancellor dismissed the action, concluding that no partnership had existed. Smith (P) filed an appeal.
- 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.