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Criminal Law Keyed to Johnson
People v. Valdez
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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:
Kenneth McKinley, an employee at a gas station in California, was at the cashier’s window of the gas station when Rogelio Valdez (Defendant) paid $4 for gas. After Defendant pumped $4 of gasoline, Defendant returned to the window and began to argue with McKinley, stating that Defendant had paid $5, not $4. During the course of the argument, Defendant lifted his jacket, and McKinley saw that there was a gun in Defendant’s belt. McKinley moved away from the window. Defendant pointed the gun at McKinley, and McKinley called the police. While McKinley was on the phone, Defendant fired the gun three times at the bulletproof glass behind which McKinley was sitting. Defendant was unaware that the glass was bulletproof. McKinley then saw Defendant drive away. Defendant was later arrested with a loaded gun in his possession. At trial, Defendant was found guilty of assault with a firearm, which was defined as an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury upon a victim’s person. Defendant appealed, arguing that there was insufficient evidence that Defendant had the present ability to injure McKinley due to the bulletproof glass.
- 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.