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Civil Procedure Keyed to Yeazell
Burnham v. Superior Court of California
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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:
Dennis Burnham (P) and his wife, both residents of New Jersey, decided to separate. Mrs. Burnham moved to California with the children and there filed for divorce. While visiting his children in January 1988, he was served with a summons to a California court and a copy of the divorce petition filed by his wife. He moved the California Superior Court (D) to declare the service of the court summons and legal petition on him void. His ground was that the Court(D) did not have personal jurisdiction over him as he had no systematic contact with the state, save brief visits to his children or for business purposes. This was rejected by the court(D), and he failed to obtain mandamus relief from the California Court of Appeals, which held the physical presence of Mr. Burnham (P) in the state and his being physically served with the summons as sufficient ground for personal jurisdiction. The U.S. Supreme Court granted an order for judicial review or certiorari.
- 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.