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Criminal Law Keyed to Osler
State v. Maestas
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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:
Clyde Maestas (defendant) robbed a bank and fled in a van. Sergeant Throckmorton shot at the van in an attempt to disable it, Maestas leaned out of the window and shot back at Sergeant Throckmorton. Maestas was apprehended a few blocks away after crashing the van, and was charged with attempted first-degree murder for firing at Sergeant Throckmorton. At trial, the jury used the culpability standard specified in the elements of first-degree murder to find that Maestas had intentionally or knowingly acted when firing at Sergeant Throckmorton. The jury applied this standard to render a guilty verdict against Maestas for attempted first-degree murder. At sentencing, Maestas filed a motion to dismiss the verdict, claiming that under the common law, an attempted first-degree murder conviction required specific intent, which was a level of culpability higher than the intentional-or-knowing standard required for first-degree murder. The trial court agreed with Maestas and granted his motion to dismiss the charge, finding that there was insufficient evidence of specific intent to kill under the common law. The state appealed the trial court’s dismissal of the charge.
- 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.