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Criminal Law Keyed to Kennedy
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Robert A. Berkowitz
Citation:415 Pa.Super. 505 (1992)
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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:
Defendant and the victim were both college sophomores at East Stroudsburg State University. On April 19, 1988, the victim planned to meet her boyfriend at the dormitory which Defendant also lived in. She drank a martini to “loosen up a bit.” When her boyfriend didn’t come, the victim went to a dorm that Defendant and Hassel shared. Hassel was not there, but Defendant was. The victim wrote a note for him that said she was drunk. She testified that although she had not felt any intoxicating effects, she wrote the note “for a laugh.”
Before the victim could leave defendant’s room, defendant asked her to stay and “hang out for a while.” She complied because she “had time to kill” and because she didn’t really know defendant and wanted to give him “a fair chance.” The victim sat on the floor, and according to the victim, defendant joined her and began kissing her. The victim said no, but defendant ignored her and started to fondle her. He then attempted to have her perform oral sex on him. The victim said no many times, but did not physically resist. Defendant got up to lock the door, and then put her down on the bed. They had sexual intercourse. She did not scream at any time because “it felt like a dream was happening or something.” The victim did softly say no to him.
Immediately after, defendant said, “Wow, I guess we just got carried away.” The victim responded, “no, we didn’t get carried away, you got carried away.” She quickly got dressed and left. Once downstairs, she started crying and contacted the police.
At trial, defendant testified that while the victim said no, he believed it to be passionate moaning. He was convicted of rape.
- 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.