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Criminal Law keyed to Dripps
Brown v. United States
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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:
Brown (Defendant) was at work supervising earth removal in Texas when Hermes came toward him with a knife. Defendant retreated about twenty-five feet to retrieve a pistol he had placed in his coat. As Hermes was striking at him, Defendant fired four shots killing Hermes. There had been a long history of trouble between both men including routine threats of violence made from Hermes to Defendant. Further, Hermes had previously assaulted Defendant with a knife on two different occasions. Defendant was charged with second-degree murder. At trial, the court instructed the jury that “it is necessary to remember, in considering the question of self-defense, that the party assaulted is always under the obligation to retreat, so long as retreat is open to him, provided he can do so without subjecting himself to danger of death or great bodily harm.” Additionally, the trial court told the jury that Defendant was not allowed to stand his ground if a reasonable person, in Defendant’s position, would have had the ability to retreat. Defendant was convicted and he appealed. The court of appeals affirmed the conviction. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.
- 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.