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Constitutional Law Keyed to Chemerinsky
Richard Nixon v. A. Ernest Fitzgerald
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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 Plaintiff, Ernest Fitzgerald (Plaintiff), was fired from his job with the Air Force as cost-management analyst because he embarrassed his superiors by testifying about certain cost-overruns. The Air Force said he was fired because of reorganization and a reduction in force. An internal memo was passed through White House staff saying the Plaintiff was a “top notch cost expert” but with “very low marks of loyalty” and recommended that they “let him bleed.” At a press conference, the Defendant said he personally made the decision to fire the Plaintiff. The White House later retracted the statement saying that the Defendant had confused the Plaintiff with another employee. The Plaintiff brought suit and the Defendant moved for summary judgment on the ground of absolute immunity from suit.
- 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.
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