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Criminal Law Keyed to Johnson
State v. Brown
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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:
Minnie Montgomery, an employee of Nicholson Cleaners, was unloading clothes from a company van. A man, Brown (Defendant), walked up and offered assistance, but Montgomery declined and kept working. Shortly thereafter, Montgomery looked up and saw the van moving toward the parking lot’s exit. While a co-worker called the police, Montgomery attempted to run after the van. Before the vehicle disappeared, Montgomery was able to see and recognize the driver as Defendant. A description of the van was broadcast to the police, and Officer Michael Moss immediately went to an alley where thieves were known to often deposit stolen vehicles. Moss found the van in the alley with the suspect still inside. Defendant tried to escape, but the doors of the van were blocked. Approximately 15 minutes after the van was taken, Defendant was arrested with the keys to the van in his possession. After an inspection, it was determined that nothing was missing from the van. At trial, the owner of Nicholson Cleaners testified that the van was worth $2,000. Defendant was convicted of theft, which required intent to deprive an owner of property worth between $1,000 and $10,000 while knowingly obtaining or exercising control over the property without the owner’s effective consent. The deprivation requirement was defined as the withholding of property from the owner either permanently or for such a period of time as to substantially diminish the value or enjoyment of the property to the owner. Defendant appealed, arguing that he did not withhold the vehicle for long enough to have the requisite intent to deprive.
- 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.