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Criminal Law Keyed to Johnson
United States v. Licavoli
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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:
Under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C § 1962, a defendant must have committed more than one act of racketeering activity chargeable under state law in order for a state crime to be considered a predicate act under RICO. Racketeering activity includes any act or threat involving murder. James Licavoli (Defendant) was an organized-crime leader. Anthony Libertore, John Calandra, Ronald Carabbia, Pasquale Cisternino, and Kenneth Ciarcia (Defendants) were all members of the organization. In 1976, all six defendants killed Danny Greene with a car bomb and were tried for the murder in state court. Cisternino, Carabbia, and Ciarcia were convicted, while Licavoli and Calandra were acquitted. In a separate chain of events, Ciarcia asked a federal employee to gather information about investigations into Ciarcia, Libertore, and Licavoli, in exchange for payment. All six defendants were charged with bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery and were tried in federal court. Ciarcia pleaded guilty, while Libertore was convicted. All six defendants were then tried in federal court for conspiring to participate in an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activities in violation of RICO. All six defendants were found guilty of violating RICO and appealed, arguing that murder and conspiracy to murder were not both chargeable under state law and therefore could not serve as predicate offenses under RICO. Licavoli and Calandra argued that conspiring to murder Greene and murdering Greene could not both serve as predicate acts, because Licavoli and Calandra had been acquitted in state court. Libertore and Ciarcia argued that bribery could not serve as a predicate offense, because Libertore and Ciarcia had already been convicted of the offense.
- 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.