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Corporations Keyed to O’Kelley
Ernst & Ernst v. Hochfelder
Citation:425 U.S. 185 (1976)
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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 appellate court below has permitted continuation of a suit against Ernst & Ernst that had been based on the firm’s alleged negligence in aiding and abetting the fraud committed by the president of a small brokerage firm whose books were audited by Ernst & Ernst. The president has induced plaintiffs to invest in escrow accounts represented as yielding a high rate of return, but in fact the accounts were spurious. Soon, the fraud came to light; the plaintiff asserted that Ernst & Ernst had failed to discover the president’s rule that only he could open mail addressed to him even if it came in his absence. The plaintiffs argued that the mail rule, once discovered, would have been disclosed to the stock exchange and the SEC as an irregular procedure that prevented an effective audit of the brokerage firm; this in turn, would have led to an investigation that would have revealed the fraudulent scheme.
- 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.