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Professional Responsibility Keyed to Hazard
Cuyler v. Sullivan
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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:
Sullivan (Defendant), as well as two accomplices, was accused of murder. Defendant was tried separately and his trial was first. Two attorneys, who also represented the accomplices, represented him. His attorneys rested without presenting evidence. Defendant was convicted. He appealed, arguing that because of his representation, a conflict of interest existed. The conviction was affirmed. He petitioned for habeas corpus. One attorney testified at a hearing that the decision not to present a case was because of a weak state case. The other attorney testified that he did not wish to reveal the testimony of certain witnesses, in view of the upcoming trial of the accomplices. The district court denied habeas corpus, but the court of appeals reversed, holding that since a possibility of conflict existed, Defendant had been denied effective counsel. The Supreme Court granted review.
- 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.