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Criminal Law Keyed to Johnson
United States v. Yermian
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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:
Yermian (Defendant) was hired as an employee of Gulton Industries, a contractor of the Department of Defense (DoD). By virtue of his position with Gulton, Defendant would have access to classified information and was therefore required to gain security clearance from the DoD. As part of this process, Defendant was asked to fill out a questionnaire. Though the questionnaire asked whether he had been charged with any violations of law, Defendant did not disclose an earlier conviction for mail fraud. Defendant also falsely reported that he had been employed by two companies for which he had never worked. A Gulton Security Officer typed Defendant’s responses. Defendant reviewed the typed document and signed a form certifying that his answers were true and that he understood he would be subject to prosecution under § 1001 of the United States Criminal Code, which makes it a crime to make false statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of a federal agency, if it was later discovered he provided false statements. The form was mailed to the DoD’s security-clearance office, where investigators found that Defendant had submitted false statements. Defendant later admitted that he answered dishonestly and was subsequently charged with violation of § 1001. At trial, Defendant admitted to having actual knowledge that his statements were false, but said he had no actual knowledge that his false statements would be communicated to a federal agency. Defendant requested a jury instruction requiring the government to prove both that there was actual knowledge of the falsity of the statements and actual knowledge the statements were made in a matter within federal jurisdiction. The district court rejected the request and instead instructed the jury that the government had to prove Defendant knew or should have known that the information was to be submitted to a government agency. Defendant’s objection to the instruction was overruled, and the jury convicted him. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed.
- 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.