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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
People v. Medina
Citation:46 Cal.4th 913, 209 P.3d 105.
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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 defendants, all a part of the same gang, were at a New Year’s celebration. When Ernie Barba arrived at the house, the defendants’ repeatedly asked him, “Where are you from?” The owner of the house, Manuel Ordenes, knew that when a gang member asks another gang member “where are you from?” he means “what gang are you from?” He also knew that, if the inquiring gang member was an enemy, the question could lead to a fight or even death. Wanting to avoid problems in his house, he told them to go outside.
The three defendants, Jose Medina, George Marron, and Raymond Vallejo, left the house and joined Barba on the front porch. Barba told them that he was in a different gang and a fistfight broke out. Ordenes attempted to break up the fight and eventually Ordenes was able to pull Barba away and escort him to his car. Medina walked into the middle of the street and shot repeatedly at Barba’s car as it drove away. Barba died of a gunshot wound to the head.
All three defendants were convicted of murder. Medina was guilty as the actual perpetrator, while the others were guilty as aiders and abettors. They appealed, and the Court of Appeals affirmed the gunman’s conviction (Medina), but reversed the participants’ convictions on the grounds that the death was not a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the fistfight. The State appealed.
- 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.