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Criminal Law Keyed to Johnson
People v. Barraza
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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:
Barraza (Defendant) was charged with two counts of selling heroin. At trial, a female narcotics agent testified that she called Defendant at the Golden State Mental Health Detoxification Center, where he worked as a patient care technician, and asked him if he had “anything.” The agent testified that Defendant instructed her to come to the Center. After she arrived, the two spoke briefly and then the agent testified that Defendant was hesitant to deal because “he had done a lot of time in jail and he couldn't afford to go back to jail…” The agent convinced Defendant that she “wasn’t a cop” and he proceeded to give the agent a note which read: “Saw Cheryl [the agent]. Give her a pair of pants [code word for heroin].” The agent then testified that she obtained the heroin from the dealer Stella, who was Defendant’s wife. Defendant’s version of the events varied greatly. He testified that the agent had been calling him constantly and only agreed to meet with her because he was “fed up with her” and wanted her to stop calling him. Defendant testified that when the two eventually met he insisted to the agent that he did not have any drugs to sell and did not want to jeopardize his good job. Defendant demanded that the agent stop “bugging” him. However, after about an hour of conversation and the agent persisting, Defendant testified that he gave her the note to get her off his back. Defendant was convicted on two counts of selling heroin and he appealed.
- 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.