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Criminal Law keyed to Dripps
State v. Davis
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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:
One afternoon, Mack Davis (Defendant) and Norman Gordon, Jr., had an argument at a tobacco barn which resulted in Gordon hitting Defendant and knocking him to the ground. Early that evening, Defendant was at a store in a rural section of the county when Gordon came in and asked the store’s owner to lend him a gun, stating, “I believe Mack is going to shoot me.” The store owner refused and Gordon responded by saying he would retrieve one from the tobacco barn he had been at earlier that day. Around the same time, Defendant left the store and went across the road in the direction of his home. Shortly thereafter, the store owner heard the sound of a shotgun discharging and found Gordon lying in a nearby cornfield. Gordon later died. Defendant was charged with murder. At trial, Defendant testified that he had retrieved the shotgun from his home and concealed himself in the cornfield for the purpose of shooting Gordon as he returned to the store. The trial court refused Defendant’ request to instruct the jury that Defendant was not required to retreat. Instead, the trial court instructed the jury “that if a person is threatened with a gun…within shooting range…there is no duty to retreat; and it is only in cases where a person can with safety avoid a difficulty that he is required to retreat under the law to avoid committing murder.” Defendant was found guilty and he appealed.
- 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.