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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
Commonwealth v. Cruz
Citation:61 Mass.App.Ct. 1110, 809 N.E.2d 1100.
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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:
The defendant stole a $68 pair of jeans from a store. He was approached by security guards in the parking lot, who were dressed in casual clothing. Believing that they were trying to rob him, he told them that he had a gun which he did not have and used force to escape.
The defendant was indicted for robbery and assault. He had a jury trial and the court did not instruct the jury on self-defense. He was found guilty. He then filed a post-verdict motion to dismiss the indictment. The trial court granted it with regards to the robbery charge only and convicted the defendant of assault. The trial court reasoned that there was “nothing about the facts of this case that fit even the generous contours of robbery” as no violence or threats occurred within the mall itself. The state appealed the dismissal of the robbery charge and the defendant appealed his assault conviction.
- 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.