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Family Law Keyed to Weisberg
Trammel v. United States
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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.
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- 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:
Petitioner Otis Trammel was indicted for importing heroin into the United States from Thailand and the Philippine Islands and for conspiracy to import heroin. The indictment also named six unindicted co-conspirators, including petitioner’s wife. Petitioner’s wife agreed to cooperate with the Government, and prior to trial the petitioner advised the court that the Government intended to call his wife as an adverse witness and he asserted his claim to privilege to prevent her from testifying against him. At hearing on this motion, the Government called Mrs. Trammel and granted her use immunity. She testified that she was married to Trammel and that her cooperation was based on assurances that she would be given lenient treatment. The District Court ruled that Mrs. Trammel could testify to any act she observed during the marriage and to any communication made in the presence of a third person. Confidential communications between petitioner and his wife were held privileged and inadmissible. At trial, Mrs. Trammel’s testimony constituted virtually its entire case against petitioner. He was found guilty, and on appeal petitioner’s only claim of error was that the admission of the adverse testimony of his wife, over his objection, contravened prior precedent and therefore constituted reversible error. The Court of Appeals rejected this contention.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
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- 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.