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Constitutional Law Keyed to Rotunda
Silkwood v. Kerr-McGee Corp.
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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:
Karen Silkwood was contaminated at the Oklahoma Kerr-McGee Corp. (Defendant) plutonium plant where she worked. The plant was regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act. The contamination level was so high that Silkwood’s personal belongings in her home had to be destroyed. Shortly thereafter, Silkwood was killed in an unrelated car accident. Silkwood’s father (Plaintiff), sued under tort law for injuries. The jury found for Plaintiff, granting an award of $500,000 for personal injuries, $5,000 for property damage, and $10,000,000 for punitive damages. The Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reversed all but the $5,000 award for damages, citing workers’ compensation laws limits on personal injuries and federal regulatory law preemptions on punitive damages. Plaintiff appealed to this Court, seeking review of the ruling on punitive damages.
- 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.