Civil Procedure Keyed to Yeazell
Caperton v. A.T.Massey Coal Co., Inc
Hugh Caperton (P) brought a case against A.T.Massey Coal Co., Inc.(Massey) (D) on the grounds that Massey (D) had illegally cancelled a contract. The cancellation bankrupted Caperton. The West Virginia court jury brought a verdict of guilty against Massey (D) and its affiliates, finding them punishable on charges of fraud in representation, concealment and intentional interference with the existing obligations of the company’s contract. The jury awarded compensation and damages against the company to the sum of $50 million. Before the next step of appealing the verdict was taken, judicial elections (2004) in West Virginia came up. One of the candidates was Brent Benjamin, and his biggest backer was Massey’s (D) chairman, CEO and president, Don Blankenship. He gave $1,000 to Benjamin’s campaign committee, which was the maximum allowed under the law, donated approximately $ 2.5 million to a political party that supported Benjamin and spent another $ 500,000 on other costs in the campaign. The total expenditure of Blankenship on Benjamin’s election surpassed the sum total contributed by everyone else, and was three times as much as Benjamin’s own committee spent on their candidate. Benjamin won the election. Caperton (P) moved court to disqualify the new judge citing the Due Process Clause which guarantees a fair trial to all citizens, and the West Virginia Code of Judicial Conduct, giving as grounds the conflict of interest caused by Blankenship’s massive involvement in the election campaign. Justice Benjamin refused to grant the motion. Massey (D) now filed its appeal petition, and the decision was reversed. Justice Benjamin joined the majority opinion. Caperton (P) requested a rehearing, and both parties moved court to obtain disqualification of three out of the five judges who heard the appeal. Judge Benjamin repeated his denial of Caperton’s (P) motion to have him recused. After the rehearing motion was granted, Caperton (P) moved a third time to have the judge disqualified from the hearing. It was again refused, and the rehearing ended in a divided court reversing the jury verdict again.
Only StudyBuddy Pro offers the complete Case Brief Anatomy*
Access the most important case brief elements for optimal case understanding.
*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.
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.