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Mercury Investment Co. v. F.W. Woolworth Co.
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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:
Mercury Investment Co. (Plaintiff) leased space in its multi-tenant shopping center to F.W. Woolworth Co. (Defendant) in 1959. Under Plaintiff’s merchandising plan, Defendant was intended to be an “anchor tenant” that would attract shoppers for the mutual benefit of all the shopping center’s tenants. Defendant’s lease was for fifteen years and provided for an annual minimum rent of $19,350 for the first fourteen years and $17,425 thereafter. It also provided for additional rent, calculated by taking a percentage of Defendant’s gross receipts in excess of a specified base amount. Defendant’s gross receipts never exceeded the specified base amount and therefore, Defendant never paid additional percentage rent. In 1981, Plaintiff sued to terminate the lease with Defendant, arguing that Defendant breached an implied covenant to diligently operate its business in order to generate percentage rent and to attract customers to the shopping center. The trial court granted summary judgment in Defendant’s favor. The court of appeals reversed.
- 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.