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Criminal Law Keyed to Osler
United States v. Ramos
Citation:814 F. 3d 910 (8th Cir. 2016)
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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:
Defendant managed an iWireless store. On May 28, two Drug Enforcement Agents posed as customers and asked for potpourri, a codename for synthetic drugs. She provided the agents with two kinds of packets, one named Mr. Happy and the other Mr. Nice Guy. The agents selected Mr. Nice Guy in the flavor cotton-candy. While walking to the register, she asked the agents if they needed rolling papers. They declined and finished the purchase. The packet said “100% Cannabinoid Free/DEA Compliant” but testing showed that inside the packet was a Schedule I controlled substance. Several weeks later a confidential informant set up a meeting with the defendant to get Mr. Nice Guy. Defendant said she did not have that, but instead she had Blue, Mr. Happy, and Insane. Defendant met the informant at a gas station and sold the informant one packet of Mr. Happy and one jar of Blue. She did not charge tax. Blue was a Schedule I analogue controlled substance.
Not long after, officers executed a search warrant at the store. There Blue was found in a drawer near the register, packets of cannabinoids were found around the store including under the counter, in the back storage room, and the back office. They were not advertised anywhere. There was also smoking paraphernalia found in the store.
Officers then executed a search of the defendant’s home and car. There an unloaded handgun, four boxes of ammunition, and several containers of Blue were found along with more synthetic cannabinoids and Blue were found. Defendant was charged and convicted with distributing and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and controlled substance analogues. She was also tried and convicted of possessing a firearm for fathering her drug trafficking. At her sentencing, the trial judge needed to determine what best category this drug and drug analogue fit into to determine what sentencing schedule to use. Expert testimony was presented and the trial judge determine to sentence the defendant under the marijuana schedule, which made her sentence 60 months instead of 90-121 if it had been found to match the other schedule.
- 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.