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Criminal Law Keyed to Johnson
Commonwealth v. Ryan
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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:
Ryan (Defendant) was an employee at Sullivan’s liquor store. Sullivan hired two detectives to go to the store to buy something with marked money. When the detective paid for the purchase, Defendant put the money in the cash register, but did not register the sale. Minutes later, Defendant took the money. Defendant was charged with embezzlement. The judge instructed the jury that, if Defendant had the intention to steal the money before he put it in the drawer and only put it there for safekeeping for himself, his taking of it afterward was not larceny. Defendant presented exceptions to the instructions, asking for a ruling that he was not guilty of embezzlement, but rather, if anything, of only larceny. Defendant’s argument was based on the premise that after he put the money into the drawer, it was in Sullivan’s possession, and Defendant’s removal of it was a trespass and, therefore, larceny.
- 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.