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Torts Keyed to Duncan
State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. v. Campbell
Citation:538 U.S. 408 (2003)
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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:
Curtis Campbell (plaintiff) was driving on the wrong side of a two-lane highway in order to pass six vans. Todd Ospital swerved to avoid a head-on collision with the plaintiff, lost control, and collided with a car driven by Robert Slusher. Ospital was killed in the accident, Slusher was permanently disabled, and the plaintiff was not hurt. Slusher and Ospital sued the plaintiff. The plaintiff’s insurance company, State Farm Mutual Insurance Co. (defendant), refused to settle the case despite evidence that the plaintiff was at fault for the accident. A jury found the plaintiff liable and awarded Slusher and Ospital $185,849. The defendant refused to cover the amount in excess of the plaintiff’s policy limit or help the plaintiff appeal. The plaintiff found new counsel, appealed, and reached a settlement with Ospital and Slusher whereby the plaintiff agreed to sue the defendant and give ninety percent of the verdict to Ospital and Slusher. While the plaintiff’s appeal against Slusher and Ospital was denied by the Utah Supreme Court, the defendant ended up paying the entire amount in excess of the policy limit. The plaintiff nevertheless sued Defendant for bad faith, fraud, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
- 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.