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Evidence keyed to Fisher
U.S. v. Houlihan
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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:
Defendants Fitzgerald and Houlihan were accused of supplying cocaine from a flower shop in Massachusetts to street-buyers and, along with ten others, were indicted on numerous charges, including racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. George Sargent (Sargent) was a former distributor in the alleged cocaine ring allegedly run by Defendants, and prior to the trial, was arrested and made voluntary statements to the police that implicated Defendants as members of the alleged drug ring. Sargent was found murdered, and the prosecution alleged that Defendants were responsible for his killing, and either killed Sargent or had him killed in order to prevent him from testifying against them at trial. Prior to the trial, the prosecution filed a pretrial motion, asking the lower court to allow Mark Lemieux (Lemieux), a state trooper, to testify concerning the statements made by Sargent, and also requesting that the court allow a taped interview between police and Sargent. The prosecution asserted that the murder of Sargent, which Defendants had been shown by clear and convincing evidence to conspire to commit, should result in Defendants’ rights under the Confrontation Clause being waived. At trial, the lower court allowed Sargent’s statements into evidence, agreeing with the prosecution that although the statements were hearsay, the murder of Sargent had constituted a waiver of Defendants’ rights under the Confrontation Clause. Following a jury trial, each defendant was sentenced by the lower court to multiple life-imprisonment terms.
- 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.