Case Brief and questions


a. Answer the following two questions with at least 2 paragraphs or on great detailed paragraphs;

**What are the differences between the limitations on searches that may be conducted of passengers arriving by plane at an international airport and those that may be conducted of boarding passengers on a domestic flight? Explain and critique the rationale for the differences you identify.

**What are the major differences between an officer’s felony arrest powers and an officer’s misdemeanor arrest powers?

b. Read U.S. v. Hughes UNITED STATES v. HUGHES, No. 08-6008., May 27, 2010 – US 6th .. and write a one page case brief (case and example brief attached). If this is your first brief – follow three simple rules.

* Read the case once learning what happened (watch vocabulary-lookup words you do not understand)

* Read the case again, highlighting case brief information needed for your brief.

* Tell a short story about what happened (remember this is an appeal case) in a case brief format.

****CASE Link*****

********Case Brief Example*****

Writing a Case Brief

Case briefs are documents prepared by students as a study aid when trying to capture the essence and importance of appellate court decisions. A case brief summarizes a court decision by outlining, at a minimum, the facts of the case, the legal issues raised, and the rationale for the court’s decision. There are many ways to organize a case brief and each structure may include and exclude items different than those requested here.

 Citation – Case name, number, date

 Procedural Background – The case brief should identify the courts that have dealt with the case and indicate the decisions those courts have made.

 Facts – (general background information), in one or two paragraphs, provide a concise summary of the incident that brought the case before the court. This will include a description of the crime and the circumstances causing the earlier court’s decision to be appealed. This is actually one of the more difficult parts of the brief since requires you to clearly identify and concisely state ONLY that information needed to understand the case.

 Legal Issue(s) – (should always start with “Whether), phrase, in your own words, the legal question the court has tried to answer in this case. State the issue as a question.

 Decision/Holding of the Court – How has this court resolved the issue? What was the outcome? What action did the court take? Like the legal issue, the court’s decision or holding is probably clearly stated in the opinion (e.g., “We hold . . .”).

 Reasoning of the Court – (rationale), why did the court reach the decision it did? What arguments justify the holding? Because judges often write many pages when justifying and explaining their decisions, this can be a difficult section for student’s to write. The doctrine of stare decisis requires judges to align their decision with legal principles established in previously decided cases. As a result, court opinions take considerable space to show how the current decision is consistent with the established principles. Your job is to state, as succinctly as possible, the rationale provided by the court’s majority in support of their decision.

 Disposition – So, what happened as a result of the court’s decision?

Affirmed —the appellate court agree with the opinion of the lower court from which the appeal came.

Reversed —the appellate court disagrees with the opinion of the lower court from which the appeal came and sets aside or invalidates that opinion. Reversals are often accompanied by a remand.

Remanded —the case is sent back to the court from which it came for further action consistent with the appellate court opinion. Remand often accompanies a reversal.