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Criminal Law Keyed to Osler
United States v. Thomas
Citation:664 F. 3d 217 (8th Cir. 2011)
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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 went his girlfriends house where he realized her home apartment vandalized. They both suspected it was the defendant’s ex-girlfriend, Dawn Starlin, who lived behind the new girlfriend’s residence. After seeing the vandalism, defendant went to his sister’s home to get a gun and hide it at his girlfriend’s home. Testimony confirms that the defendant obtained this gun that evening. Defendant and his girlfriend then went out to a bar and returned to find Ms. Starlin taunting them from a chair in her backyard. Defendant got his gun, walked towards Ms. Starlin and shot her multiple times. Ms. Starlin was found dead outside her home early the next morning.
That next day, the defendant contacted the police who entered his home at his consented to talk. The defendant’s mother was crying and the defendant told the officers “let’s go” and walked towards the door to leave together. They asked why he did “it” and the defendant responded that he was drinking and that he had gotten rid of the gun already. He was then arrested, read his rights, and made a confession. A second time he was read his rights and confessed again. Testimony of friends confirmed that the defendant confessed to shooting Ms. Starlin. Defendant was convicted of first degree murder.
- 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.