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Civil Procedure Keyed to Marcus
Shepard Claims Service, Inc. v. William Darrah & Associates
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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:
Plaintiff filed a contract action against Defendant for failure to pay Plaintiff for services rendered. On February 22, 1985, Defendant’s attorney’s secretary secured by telephone an extension of 45 days for filing an answer. By April 10, 1985, Defendant had not filed an answer, so Plaintiff requested that the clerk enter the Defendant’s Judgment of Default. On April 19, 1985, Defendant filed a “Notice of Retention” with an answer on April 26, 1985, and on April 29, 1985, with a notice of affirmative defenses, a counterclaim, interrogatories and a request for production of documents. On May 1, 1985, Defendant filed a response to Plaintiff’s Motion for Default Judgment and Motion to Set Aside Entry of Default. Plaintiff filed its Motion for Default Judgment on May 8, 1985, and Response to Defendant’s Motion to Set Aside Entry of Default. Defendant also filed two affidavits from his counsel and counsel’s secretary, which stated the agreement that there was to be a 45 day extension from the normal time period of 30 days to file an answer. Under this interpretation, the answer would have been due on April 23, 1985. Defense counsel insists that he did not learn of the April 10, 1985 Entry of Default until April 29, 1985. The district court denied Defendant’s Motion to Set Aside Entry of Default and found that Defendant’s attorney engaged in culpable conduct when he permitted his secretary to make arrangements for the extension, and then failed to review her work.
- 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.