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Contracts Keyed to Fuller
Aetna Casualty and Surety Co. v. Murphy
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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:
George A. Murphy III (Plaintiff), a dentist, terminated a lease in a building insured by Aetna Casualty and Surety Co. (Aetna). In dismantling his office, Plaintiff caused damage to the building. Plaintiff personally possessed comprehensive liability insurance provided by Federal Insurance Company, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies (Defendant). Plaintiff’s contract with Defendant required him to give notice to the company of insured incidents “as soon as practicable,” and notice of any claims or suits brought against him “immediately.” Aetna suedPlaintiff for the building damages in 1983, but Plaintiff did not forward this information to Defendant until 1986. At this time, Plaintiff successfully impleaded Defendant as a third party defendant in his suit with Aetna. Defendant moved for summary judgment on the ground that it was not liable to provide coverage for Plaintiff because Plaintiff violated the notice provisions of his insurance contract by unreasonably delaying to inform Defendant of the insured incident. The trial court granted Defendant’s motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff appealed on the ground that despite his inexcusable and unreasonable delay in giving notice, he is still entitled to insurance coverage because Defendant failed to allege or show prejudice due to the late notice.
- 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.