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Criminal Law Keyed to Osler
United States v. Garcia
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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:
An officer responded to call that there was a man threatening others with a gun. The officer was pointed to the defendant, drove next to him in a marked police car, and asked him what was going on. Defendant pulled out a gun and pointed it at the officer. The officer fired a shot at the defendant and hit him in the stomach.
The call was placed by the defendant’s sister, after he threatened to shoot her son (his nephew) and his friend at their home. The reason for shooting them was because the nephew’s roommate told the dogs to shut up when they were barking. Defendant had a long history of drug and alcohol use, had smoked 9-10 vials of crack cocaine that day, and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the past. There were two conflicting expert reports- one from the government that the defendant was not insane or influenced by anything besides substance dependence, while the defendant’s report stated he had severe bipolar disorder and was in a manic state of mind during the incident.
The jury instructions included the insanity defense, and stated however that voluntary use of drugs or alcohol do not give rise to mental disease or defect nor can they be used to determine if the defendant understood the acts he was committing at the time of the incident. The defendant wanted to include jury instructions that if substance abuse caused another mental illness, the effects of the substance abuse when assessing sanity, but those instructions were rejected.
- 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.