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Criminal Law Keyed to Johnson
Portuondo v. Agard
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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:
Agard (Defendant) was tried in federal court for multiple criminal charges. Defendant was the last witness to testify at trial. During closing arguments, the prosecution remarked to the jury that Defendant had benefited from his choice to testify last. The prosecution suggested to the jury that Defendant had used the testimony of prior witnesses to his advantage. Defendant objected to the prosecutor’s remarks on grounds that it deprived him of the right to be present at trial. The trial court overruled Defendant’s objection and stated that it was fair for the prosecution to comment about the fact that he gained an advantage from testifying last. Defendant was convicted and appealed. The court of appeals concluded that the prosecutor’s comments violated Defendant’s Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment rights and reversed his conviction. The prosecution petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review.
- 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.