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Professional Responsibility Keyed to Hazard
United States v. Chen
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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:
Chen (Defendant) owns Sunrider Corporation and operates TF Chen Products, Inc., a Sunrider subsidiary. Sunrider imported goods from Asia and paid tariffs on the actual cost of the goods. Sunrider’s comptroller, Jau Hwa (Chen’s sister), then prepared false invoices on a Hong Kong affiliate’s letterhead showing the goods costing considerably more than they actually did. Sunrider paid income tax on the profit, which was the difference between the sale price of the goods and the fake costs. Defendant became concerned that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and U.S. Customs would communicate and learn about the difference in the cost of the goods shown on the tariff invoices versus the fake invoices. Customs allows importers to disclose underpaid tariffs without penalty or interest before Custom learns independently of the underpayments. Chen (Defendant) consulted his attorneys who advised him to file a Customs disclosure. This disclosure was actually fraudulent because Sunrider was not underpaying the tariffs, but instead, was not paying appropriate income tax. The attorneys were unaware of the alleged income tax evasion scheme. Jau Hwa left Sunrider and provided the Government (Plaintiff) with various incriminating documents. She also informed the authorities about the alleged tax evasion scheme. The Plaintiff indicted Defendant for conspiracy, tax evasion, and other crimes. The Plaintiff subpoenaed Defendant’s attorneys to testify about the disclosure statement and their knowledge of the fraudulent scheme, but the attorneys moved to quash based on attorney-client privilege. The trial judge denied the motion based on the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege, even though the judge found no evidence the attorneys were aware of the alleged scheme, as long as the testimony was limited. The attorneys 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.