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Torts Keyed to Goldberg
United States v. Reliable Transfer 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:
Reliable Transfer Co., Plaintiff, owned a tank that became stranded on a sandbar. Plaintiff brought suit against the United States on the basis that the United States Coast Guard negligently failed to maintain a flashing light because the flashing light would have allowed the tanker’s captain to circumvent the sandbar. A federal district court held that Plaintiff was 75 percent at fault and the Coast Guard was 25 percent at fault. Also, the court noted that the tanker’s captain had multiple other devices for navigating past the sandbar, but chose to use none. Pursuant to the divided-damages rule in admiralty law, the court held that each party was liable for half of the damages to the tanker. Thereafter, the United States petitioned the Supreme Court for certiorari.
- 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.