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Civil Procedure Keyed to Marcus
United States v. Board of Harbor Commissioners
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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:
The Complaint filed by the United States Government (Plaintiff) alleged that Defendants owned and operated facilities near the Wilmington Marine Terminal from which oil was discharged into the Delaware River. The discharge of oil into navigable rivers is prohibited by the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. The owner of the facility responsible for the discharge of oil can be held liable to Plaintiff in the amount of actual costs incurred for the removal of such oil. Defendants contend that the Complaint is deceptively vague because it fails to state which Defendants are responsible for the discharge of oil, the amount of oil discharged, and the removal costs incurred, and the actions which are alleged to have caused the discharge. The Defendants moved for a more definite statement under Rule 12 (e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which is typically restricted to situations when pleadings are unintelligible rather than lacking detail.
- 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.