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Torts Keyed to Duncan
Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc.
Citation:418 U.S. 323 (1974)
ProfessorMelissa A. Hale
CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
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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:
Elmer Gertz (plaintiff), a well respected attorney, represented the family of a deceased man in a lawsuit against the police officer that had shot him. The publisher of a magazine (defendant), American Opinion, falsely accused the plaintiff of being part of a conspiracy against law enforcement and masterminding the prosecution of the police officer. The plaintiff sued the defendant for defamation in federal district court for damage to his reputation as a lawyer and citizen. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that they were constitutional protected from liability under the actual malice standard of New York Times v. Sullivan.
- 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.