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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
People v. Goetz
Citation:68 N.Y.2d 96, 506 N.Y.S.2d 18, 497 N.E.2d 41.
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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 (Troy Canty, Darryl Cabey, James Ramseur, and Barry Allen) boarded an express subway train in the Bronx. They sat together in the rear portion of the train. The defendant sat on a bench near them.
Canty allegedly approached the defendant, and stated “give me five dollars.” He did not display a weapon. The defendant responded by standing up, pulling out his handgun, and firing four shots. The first shot hit Canty in the chest, the second hit Allen in the back, the third went through Ramseur’s arm and into his left side, and the forth was aimed at Cabey, but missed. After the defendant briefly surveyed the scene, he fired another shot at Cabey. The defendant then left the train.
On December 31, he surrendered to the police. He stated that he had a fear, based on prior experiences, of being maimed. He admitted that if he had more bullets, he would have shot them more times. He was indicted for attempted murder. The prosecutor had told the jury that indicted him that they were to consider the circumstances of the incident and determine “whether the defendant’s conduct was that of a reasonable man in the defendant’s situation.” The lower court dismissed the indictment on the basis that the defense of justification should permit the jury to consider the situation from the defendant’s perspective.
- 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.