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Contracts Keyed to Fuller
Hancock v. American Telephone & Telegraph, Inc.
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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:
American Telephone & Telegraph, Inc. (AT&T), Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, and BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc. (Defendants) all provide a television (TV), voice-over Internet protocol (Voice), and high speed Internet (Internet) service called U-verse. The terms of service for the TV and Voice U-verse services contain a forum selection clause requiring litigation to take place in the county of Bexar County, Texas. The terms of service for the Internet service require that disputes be resolved in arbitration. A customer who orders U-verse TV and Voice services is given a printed copy of the terms of service by the U-verse technician. After providing the customer an opportunity to review the terms, the technician displays a Terms of Service acceptance form on a laptop and requires the customer to check a box indicating acceptance before beginning installation. Below the box is language informing the customer that he or she is agreeing to the contents of the Terms of Service. For U-verse Internet services, a new customer must complete an online registration, during which the customer is shown a screen that displays the Internet terms of service. The customer cannot access the Internet without acknowledging his or her agreement with the terms of service. Some customers subscribed to the Internet service before the arbitration clause was added in October 2008. AT&T emailed its U-verse Internet subscribers informing them of the addition of the Arbitration Clause. The email stated that the customer’s continued use of the Internet service constituted acceptance of the new terms of service. One of the Plaintiffs, Mutzig (Plaintiff), was one such subscriber. Generally, the Plaintiffs are individuals who subscribed to U-verse services. Plaintiffs sued Defendants in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma based in part upon the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. The Defendants moved to dismiss, claiming improper venue based upon the Plaintiffs’ acceptance of the forum selection clause and/or arbitration clause. The Western District dismissed the Plaintiffs’ claims based upon improper venue.
- 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.