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Evidence keyed to Waltz
United States v. Dockins
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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:
The defendant was convicted of illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section:922(g)(1). Also, of making knowingly false statements during the purchase of a firearm pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section:922(a)(6). In order to prove that the defendant was a convicted felon, the government sought to admit as Exhibit 5, a judgment of conviction of Carl Tyron Smith on robbery charges in Colorado. Further, the government sought to link the defendant to the conviction through a fingerprint card and police record sheet, Exhibit 5a, reflecting the arrest and conviction of Carl Smith. Testimony showed that the signature of Carl Smith on the fingerprint card was actually signed by the defendant. Additionally, another individual testified that the fingerprints on the fingerprint card were those of the defendant. The court admitted the evidence over the defendant’s objection on the grounds of authentication. After trial, the defendant moved for a Judgment of Acquittal Notwithstanding the Verdict or in the Alternative for a New Trial claiming that the evidence was not properly authenticated. The trial court held a hearing and found certain of the evidence was admissible while other portions were not because neither the fingerprint card nor the police record sheet was a self-authenticating document under Federal Rules of Evidence (“F.R.E.”) Rule 902. Specifically, “neither the fingerprint card nor the police record is under seal and no public officer of the Denver Police Department certified under seal that the signature is genuine; the certification on the fingerprint card is only a rubber stamp.” Nonetheless, the court found the exhibit admissible under F.R.E. Rule 901.
- 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.