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Criminal Law Keyed to Johnson
United States v. Everett
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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.
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- 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:
An undercover agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration purchased methamphetamine and phenyl-2-propanone (P-2-P) from Ralph Horan. Horan was arrested after the methamphetamine sale but before the P-2-P sale was completed. Horan told officers that George Everett (Defendant) was the source of the substances and agreed to cooperate with the government in closing the P-2-P deal with Defendant. Horan and Defendant planned to meet so Horan could buy six pints of P-2-P from Defendant. Horan told Defendant the client wanted a sample of the P-2-P before payment, which Defendant agreed to provide. Undercover agents were posed as the client outside Defendant’s house when Horan went to get the sample. Horan gave the sample to agents, who tested the liquid. The test indicated that the substance was P-2-P. The agents arrested Defendant, who stated that he had obtained the substance from another person. Defendant was indicted for the distribution and possession of P-2-P. However, later tests of the substance showed that the original result was inaccurate and that the sample was not actually P-2-P or any other controlled substance. Defendant was subsequently indicted for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine (count I) and for knowingly and intentionally attempting to distribute P-2-P in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846, which punishes anyone who attempts or conspires to commit any offense involving a controlled substance (count II). The jury acquitted Defendant on count I but convicted Defendant on count II. Defendant moved for acquittal, arguing that the fact that the sample was not P-2-P made Defendant’s attempt to distribute impossible. The trial judge held that, while there was sufficient evidence to support the jury’s conclusion that Defendant believed the liquid was P-2-P, there nonetheless could not be an attempt, because the substance distributed by Defendant was not P-2-P or any other controlled substance. The government appealed the judgment of acquittal.
- 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.