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Property Keyed to Merrill
Wilber v. Owen
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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:
William Brokaw Bamford made a manuscript that portrayed his philosophical and metaphysical views on particular issues. In Bamford’s will, Bamford created a trust to fund the completion and publication of the manuscript’s discoveries. Subsequently, Bamford’s wealth was inherited. In the introduction of the manuscript, there was a section that explained Bamford’s perspective that individuals who inherit wealth should use that wealth to benefit humanity. Further, in Bamford’s trust, Princeton University was a named beneficiary. Upon Bamford’s death, Princeton’s vice chancellor reviewed the manuscript and thought it to was irrational and lacking scientific value. At the same time, the vice chancellor decided that Bamford had a general charitable intent. Princeton University asserted the doctrine of cy pres to pay for the university’s scientific and philosophical research. Charles P. Wilber (“Plaintiff”), the will’s executor, brought suit against the trustees of Princeton University, which included John Owens (collectively known as “Defendants”). Plaintiff asserted that Bamford did not have charitable intent, but only had the intent for the manuscript to be completed and published. The lower court held that Bamford did have a charitable intent, and the trust did constitute a valid charitable trust. Thus, Plaintiff was required to give Princeton the trust funds for the advancement of its scientific and philosophical research.
- 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.