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Criminal Law Keyed to Lee
People v. Goetz
Citation:68 N.Y.2d 96, 497 N.E.2d 41, 506 N.Y.S.2d 18 (1986)
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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:
On December 22, 1984, four youths boarded an express subway train in the Bronx. The defendant sat down on a bench towards the rear section of the same car occupied by the four youths. One approached the defendant, and stated “give me five dollars.” None of the youth displayed a weapon. The defendant responded by standing up, pulling out his handgun, and firing four shots. Three of the youths were hit. After the defendant briefly surveyed the scene around him, he fired another bullet at the youth who was missed.
The defendant surrendered to police. He said that the four youth tried to rob them and that is why he shot them all. At the grand jury hearing, the prosecutor instructed the jury that they should consider whether the defense of justification applies by determining “whether the defendant’s conduct was that of a reasonable man in the defendant’s situation.” The lower courts held that this was an error and dismissed the charges.
- 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.