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Contracts Keyed to Dawson
Sovereign Bank v. BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc.
Citation:533 F.3d 162.
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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:
Sovereign and PSECU are members of the Visa network and have an agreement to issue Visa cards to their customers. BJ’s is a merchant that accepts Visa cards for payment. Fifth Third is also a member of the Visa network acting as an “Acquirer” that processes transactions for its customers, like BJ’s. Fifth Third and Visa had a Member Agreement that included by references its Operating Regulations. The Operating Regulations imposed extensive security and compliance requirements. As part of its Member Agreement, Fifth Third agreed that its merchants would abide by the Operating Regulations. In February 2004, electronically stored Cardholder Information was compromised after Visa cardholders used their cards at BJ’s stores.
Following Fifth Third’s motion for summary judgment, the parties performed discovery during which Visa’s representative, Alex Miller was deposed. Miller testified that the core purpose of the Operating Regulations was to benefit the Visa system and its members. Additionally, an August 1993 Visa memorandum entitled “Retention of Magnetic-Stripe Data Prohibited” was discovered that stated “[a]cquirers are obligated to ensure that their merchants do not store the magnetic-stripe information from Visa Cards . . .” A May 2003 online Visa article entitled “Issuers and Acquirers Are At Risk When Magnetic-Stripe Data Is Stored” was also found during discovery.
- 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.