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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
In re the Personal Restraint of John Tortorelli
Citation:149 Wash.2d 82, 66 P.3d. 606.
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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 had conducted salvage operations in Lake Washington to recover logs which had rested on the bottom of the lake for centuries, if not thousands of years. He used a crane to lift up trees that had been partially buried in the mud at the bottom of the submerged forest area.
The Department of Natural Resources began an investigation into the defendant’s acts and determined that he had illegally seized trees worth $165,000. At trial, the defendant did not contest nor concede the State’s ownership of all the trees. Instead, he claimed a good faith belief that he had permission to salvage logs under his license. He was convicted of theft. He filed a personal restraint petition, arguing for the first time that the State did not own the logs or, relatedly, that there is insufficient evidence of state ownership of the logs.
- 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.