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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
Whitaker v. People
Citation:48 P.3d 555.
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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:
On January 14, 1998, David Whitaker was a passenger on a Greyhound bus en route from Los Angeles, California to Denver, Colorado. Police Department officers entered the bus, identifying themselves as police officers. Two of the officers began talking to each of the bus passengers, including the defendant.
The officers testified that the defendant appeared nervous while talking to them. When asked about his luggage, the defendant told the police that he had none. The officers pointed to a black bag near the defendant and asked if it was his. The defendant responded that it was not his bag, but said he had placed his jacket and a few other items inside it because no one else appeared to be using it. The defendant then consented to a search of the bag. The officers discovered 8.8 pounds of uncut methamphetamine contained in several duct tape covered packages inside the bag.
At trial, Whitaker argued that he did not possess the drugs and did not know that the packages of drugs were in the bag. The defense did not dispute the facts that the bag contained 8.8 pounds of methamphetamine. He was convicted of multiple drug offenses including possession.
- 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.