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Criminal Law Keyed to Dressler
General Electric Co. v. Joiner
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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 has worked as an electrician since 1973. This required Plaintiff to work around transformers, and the dielectric fluid used as a coolant got into his eyes and mouth, and stuck to his arms and hands. In 1983, the city discovered that the fluid in some of its transformers contained PCBs, which are hazardous to the health of humans. In 1991, Plaintiff was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. He sued Defendant because they manufactured transformer and dielectric fluid. Plaintiff had been a smoker for eight years and there was a history of lung cancer in his family. Plaintiff alleged that his exposure to PCBs “promoted” his cancer; had it not been for his exposure to these substances, his cancer would not have developed for many years, if at all. Defendant removed the case to federal court and then moved for summary judgment. Defendant claimed there was no evidence that Plaintiff suffered significant exposure to PCBs and that there was no admissible scientific evidence that PCBs promoted Plaintiff’s cancer. The district court ruled that there was a genuine issue of material fact, but there was no evidence that Plaintiff had been exposed to PCBs, and the testimony of Plaintiff’s experts failed to show that there was a link between exposure to PCB and small cell cancer. The case was dismissed. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari.
- 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.