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Property Keyed to Merrill
Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Mahon
Citation:260 U.S. 393 (1922)
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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 plaintiff-homeowner had a deed to the surface land of his property, but the deed reserves the right to remove all the coal under the property to the Pennsylvania Coal Co. The plaintiff sued to prevent the Coal Company from mining a certain way pursuant to the Kohler Act, enacted by Pennsylvania’s legislature, which prevented mining of coal in such a way that could cause subsidence of structures used as human habitations. The act essentially eliminated the Coal Company’s interest in the coal under the plaintiff’s land since it would be financially impracticable for the company to mine the coal by alternative methods. The State of Pennsylvania did not provide any compensation to the Coal Company after essentially eliminating its rights to the coal under the plaintiff’s land.
- 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.