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Criminal Law Keyed to Johnson
People v. Samuels
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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:
Marvin Samuels (Defendant) made several sadomasochistic films depicting individuals being whipped. Defendant sent one of his films to the Eastman Kodak Company (Kodak) for processing, and Kodak turned the film over to the police. Pursuant to the California Penal Code § 245, Defendant was charged with assault by means of force likely to cause bodily injury, among other crimes. One of the films was admitted into evidence and depicted a naked man who was strung up and whipped by Defendant. Defendant testified that the man had responded by telephone to Defendant’s request for volunteers for sadomasochistic films. Defendant also testified that the force of the whippings was faked and that cosmetics were used to simulate the lash marks. However, three qualified film experts testified that an examination of the film indicated that the man’s injuries progressively developed, that there were no splices in the film, and therefore, that the camera was never stopped to apply cosmetics. In addition, the film experts concluded that no retouching was done and that the film was an accurate depiction of what was actually happening. Defendant was found guilty by jury of aggravated and simple assault. Defendant appealed, arguing that the prosecution had failed to prove the crime of aggravated assault and that the man’s consent was an absolute defense to the charge, such that the trial court’s instruction that consent was not a defense was in error.
- 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.
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- 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.