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Criminal Law Keyed to Johnson
People v. Shirley
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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:
Tressie Shirley (Defendant) received welfare aid for herself and her children. Defendant was told repeatedly that she was obligated to keep the county’s welfare department updated on Defendant’s family status or income. Defendant told a social worker that her only income was her allotment from the welfare department, as well as earnings from two of her children, and that there were no other adults living in the home. Defendant was again told to keep the department informed about income and household members, and Defendant agreed to report any changes. The social worker visited Defendant’s home six months later and found Defendant’s husband there. Shortly thereafter, investigators from the district attorney’s office went to Defendant’s home and found her husband in bed. Defendant told the investigators that her husband had been living in her home for six months and that her husband had contributed about $800 during that time, though he was not the father of her children. Defendant admitted to knowing that she should have reported these changes to the welfare department. The department determined that Defendant had been overpaid $1,811 as a result of the unreported changes. Defendant was charged with grand theft by false pretenses. At trial, the jury was instructed that, under § 1508 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code, a stepfather’s income should be considered when computing the welfare amount to be dispersed to a mother and her needy children. The jury was also told by the trial court that a man living in a home and acting as a mother’s spouse had the same obligations as that of a stepfather to the mother and her children. Defendant was convicted. The trial court issued an order denying a new trial, and 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.