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Torts keyed to Best
Russo v. Griffin
Citation:510 A.2d 436 (Vt. 1986)
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- 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.
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- 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:
Joseph Russo, owner of J.A. Russo Paving, Inc., wished to transfer his business to his sons, Anthony and Frank. To help with the transfer, the brothers hired law firm Griffin & Griffin. The firm drafted and submitted forms to complete the transfer from Joseph to the brothers.
Years later, Frank decided to leave the paving business to potentially purchase a laundromat. The brothers agreed to sell Frank’s shares in the business to Anthony, but Joseph wanted the brothers to meet with Griffin & Griffin to discuss the transfer. At the meeting, the brothers discussed the practical matters of transferring shares in the business from one brother to another. However, at no time in the meeting did the law firm suggest that the brothers sign a covenant not to compete, a practice often employed by law firms in similar circumstances. Months after the transfer, Frank opened another paving business in direct competition with J.A. Russo Paving.
J.A. Russo Paving sued Griffin & Griffin for malpractice in neglecting to suggest a covenant not to compete. At trial, the plaintiffs provided two lawyers as witnesses that stated covenants not to compete were commonplace in Vermont. On the other hand, the defendants provided two local lawyers that stated covenants not to compete were not commonplace in Rutledge, the town in which Griffin & Griffin was located. The court ruled for the defendants, and Russo Paving 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.
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- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.