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Torts Keyed to Epstein
United States v. Olsen
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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:
Two injured mine workers and a spouse (P) sued the U.S. under the Federal Torts Claims Act, on the ground that the mine accident was due to the negligence of the mine inspectors. The Act permits private tort actions to be filed against the federal government, if the circumstances are such as to render the U.S. liable for tort against the claimant, under local law, if the U.S. were a private person (28 USC Section 1346 (b)(1)). The action was partly dismissed by the district court on the basis that the allegations did not prove that local law would have imposed liability on a private person in similar circumstances. The court of appeal reversed the decision on two grounds: (1) Where functions unique to a government are at stake, the Act would waive sovereign immunity on the part of the federal government if a state or municipal body would have incurred liability under the law of the place where the act or breach of duty occurred. (2) Federal mine inspections are a unique governmental function such that there is no similar liability in the private sector. From these arguments, the Ninth Circuit determined that the U.S. waived its sovereign immunity in this case. The U.S. 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.