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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
Commonwealth ex. rel. Smith v. Myers
Citation:438 Pa. 218, 261 A.2d 550.
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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:
On January 30, 1947, the defendant, along with Edward Hough and David Almeida, engaged in an armed robbery of a supermarket. An off-duty policeman, who happened to be in the area, was shot and killed while attempting to stop them from escaping. Although the evidence as to who fired the fatal shot was conflicting, the court instructed the jury that it was irrelevant who fired the fatal bullet, even if it was a police officer who fired the bullet.
The jury convicted the defendant of first degree murder, under the theory of felony murder. He petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus. The Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County denied it. He appealed, and is now in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
- 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.