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Criminal Law Keyed to Johnson
Evans v. United States
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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:
Evans (Defendant) was an elected representative of the Board of Commissioners of DeKalb County, Georgia. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) launched an initiative to investigate public corruption involved in the rezoning of property in DeKalb County. An FBI agent acting as a real-estate developer spoke to Defendant numerous times. In their conversations, which were all initiated by the FBI agent, the agent asked Defendant to help with rezoning a piece of land. The agent gave Defendant $7,000 in cash, as well as a check for $1,000, payable to Defendant’s campaign. Defendant reported the check on his disclosure form for state-campaign financing, but Defendant did not report the cash. Defendant was charged with extortion in violation of the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1951, which forbids affecting commerce by robbery or extortion. Extortion is defined as obtaining property from another through inducement 1) by wrongful use of threatened force or fear or 2) under color of official right. The trial judge instructed the jury that the solicitation of campaign contributions by an elected official was a permissible activity, but that, if a public official demanded or accepted money in exchange for a requested exercise of his or her official power, that conduct violated the Hobbs Act regardless of whether the payment was made under the guise of a campaign contribution. Defendant was convicted. The court of appeals affirmed the conviction, stating that an official who accepted payment in exchange for a specific, requested exercise of his or her official power could be convicted without having taken any specific action to induce the offering of the payment. Defendant 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.