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Contracts Keyed to Ayres
Cohen v. Cowles Media Co
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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:
Plaintiff provided information to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, published by Cowles Media Co. (Defendant) and the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch with derogatory information concerning a candidate running for public office. The reporters for both newspapers promised Plaintiff that his identity would be protected. Later, editors at both newspapers decided that his identity should be revealed because he was known to have ties to an opposing candidate. When the stories were published, Plaintiff was fired from his job. Plaintiff sued the publishers of both newspapers for breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation. The jury found for Plaintiff, awarding him $200,000 in compensatory damages and $250,000 in punitive damages. The appellate court set aside the finding of fraudulent misrepresentation and the punitive damages, but affirmed the compensatory damages for breach of contract. The Minnesota Supreme Court found that promissory estoppel could be a basis for recovery, but that the First Amendment concerns prevented the recovery of damages in this case. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari and reversed, finding that the First Amendment was not implicated. The case was remanded to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
- 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.