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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Allen
Cuyler v. Sullivan
Citation:446 U.S. 335 (1990).
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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 Respondent, John Sullivan was indicted with two other men for the murder of two individuals. Two lawyers represented all three defendants in state proceedings following the indictment. At no point did the Respondent or the two attorneys object to the multiple representation. The Respondent was the first defendant to be tried. The evidence against him was entirely circumstantial and at the close of the prosecution’s case, the defense rested without presenting any evidence. The Respondent was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. The other two defendants were acquitted at separate trials. The Respondent then petitioned for collateral relief, arguing that he had ineffective assistance of counsel as his attorneys represented conflicting interests. At hearings, the two attorneys gave conflicting accounts of the decision to rest the Respondent’s defense. The Respondent testified that he deferred to his attorneys’ decision not to present evidence for the defense although there was other testimony suggesting he did not take the stand in order to avoid exposing an affair. The Court of Common Pleas did not make a decision on the claim that the Respondent’s attorney had a conflict of interest. However, they did find that the Respondent was fully informed on the decision not to testify.
- 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.