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Torts Keyed to Underwood
United States v. Lawter
Citation:219 F.2d 559
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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:
The plaintiff and his wife and some relatives were in a boat in Biscayne Bay. Later on, a wave cast the plaintiff’s party into the water approximately 500 yards from the nearest shore. The water at this point was approximately 4 feet deep. At this time, the U.S. Coast Guard was making a routine helicopter flight. The crew spotted the plaintiff’s party in the water and proceeded to undertake the rescue. The helicopter was equipped with a cable used to raise someone from the sea. The cable was supposed to be secured to any person prior to being lifted into the helicopter. However, when the cable was lowered to the plaintiff’s wife, it was not secured. Instead, the wife merely grabbed the cable with her hands. Before any crewmember could secure her, an inexperienced crewmember hoisted her into the air toward the helicopter. The wife eventually lost her grip and plunged to her death.
- 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.