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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Dressler
People v. Newton
Citation:Case No. 41266.
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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 was the co-founder and Minister of Defense of the Black Panther Party. He was charged for the 1967 shooting of a white police officer. Extensive pre-trial publicity supposedly linked the defendant to the murder. The defendant’s attorney was concerned whether it could secure an impartial jury and the trial judge permitted the attorney to participate significantly in the voir dire.
The casebook provided an excerpt from the transcript of the voir dire to demonstrate what a voir dire may look like in a highly charged criminal prosecution. The defendant’s attorney asked a juror whether he already had an opinion about the case before he came to court. The attorney and the judge told the juror that he must start with a presumption of innocence. The juror claimed that he would start with that presumption, but also stated that he does not believe the defendant is absolutely innocent. The prosecutor attempted to rehabilitate the juror, and there was back and forth until the judge accepted the defense attorney’s challenge for cause.
- 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.