BRIEFING A CASE
In each instance make sure to properly cite the cases. A proper citation should read “Windows, Inc. v. Jordan Panel Systems Corp. 177 F. 3d 114. Where the first name is the plaintiff and second name is the defendant. The first number is the volume in the Federal Reporter third series page 114. This citation follows suit at both the federal and state level.
To brief the cases properly, the student must use FILAC.
FILAC FACTS, ISSUE, LAW, ANALYSIS CONCLUSION
The facts describe the events that led to the controversy in question. All that is required is a brief statement of the acts, physical events, and other matters that caused the parties to seek relief from the judicial systems. Should be no more that six sentences..
This issue is the reason why the parties are in court. It is a one sentence statement followed by a question mark. The issue is what the court must answer in granting or denying relief.
In reaching a decision, the court must apply the law. In each case, the student must find the applicable law. In a full text case, the law will be explicitly stated. However, in the text, these are partially briefed cases and sometimes the authors omit the law. In this instance, please refer to the preceding section to find the law. Remember, when reading a case there will be references to other cases, principles. However, the cases and other references in the case assist the court in applying the law. Remember, write the applicable law (code, constitutional provision, treaty etc.
The analysis is the application of the facts to the law in deciding the case. The analysis will include the court’s rationale in deciding the case. The analysis will include a review of cases, distinguishing past cases from the current case, acknowledgement that a certain case is applicable and is the governing principle in applying the law. Think of an analysis as where the court combines the facts to the law to reach a conclusion. This section should be no more than five or six sentences.
The conclusion is only who won the case. In many instances the case has been appealed and the original plaintiff is now the defendant and the original defendant is the plaintiff. Remember, determine which court you are in (superior, appellate, supreme) and if it is the appellate court, determine who the original plaintiff was and whether the case has been appealed.