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Property Keyed to Merrill
Postema v. Postema
Citation:471 N.W.2d 912
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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:
Plaintiff and defendant were married on August 11, 1984. At the time of their marriage, defendant was employed as a cost accountant and plaintiff was working as a licensed practical nurse and attending school in pursuit of an associate’s degree in nursing so that she could become a registered nurse. The parties planned that when they married, defendant would enroll in law school and that plaintiff would postpone her schooling and work full-time to support them while defendant attended school. In furtherance of the parties’ plan, plaintiff obtained a full-time job at an area hospital, earning approximately $53,000 during the period defendant was in law school. Defendant proved to be a successful law student and accepted a position as an associate attorney with a law firm at a starting annual salary of $41,000. In November, 1987, however, the parties separated. Despite the separation, plaintiff continued her classes and eventually received her degree. The trial court determined that defendant’s law degree was a marital asset subject to distribution. The court valued the degree at $80,000, and awarded plaintiff, as her share of degree, $32,000.
- 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.