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How to brief case law

Integral to this course will be the ability to read, understand, brief, and discuss the cases of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). The following information, “How to Brief Case Law,” discusses how to master these tasks. This information will be referenced and used throughout the course.

The official site of the SCOTUS is a useful and beneficial tool. Some cases even provide the ability to listen to the oral arguments. This site could be used to supplement any additional information the student might need.

Note: There are numerous sites on the internet that provide case briefs. If any student case briefs are copied, there will be an automatic score of zero for the respective unit.

How to Brief Case Law

A court uses the following components in case law. You should use these components when you brief, or summarize, case law. Each component listed below is detailed in the  Case Brief Instructions document first presented in Unit I.

  1. Proper and full legal citation
  2. Procedural history
  3. Facts
  4. Issue(s)
  5. Holding, including vote
  6. Rule(s) of law, Legal principle that was used/created
  7. Rationale reasoning/analysis use by court
  8. Significance-What do we have now, that we did not have before this case?

Part 1: Using the Case Brief Instructions document , prepare a brief on each of the following cases:

  • Chicago Burlington and Quincy R.R. v. City of Chicago, 166 U.S. 226 (1897)
  • United States v. Carolene Products Co., 304 U.S. 144 (1938)
  • Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, 505 U.S. 1003 (1992)
  • Kelo v. City of New London, 125 S. Ct. 2655 (2005)

Each brief should be approximately one page, 12-point Times New Roman font. After each brief, concisely discuss the importance of each case and the evolution of the case law over the 90-year span of these decisions. Within the discussion, include all dissenting and concurring opinions.

Part 2: Using only the case law for your analysis, select two of the cases above and provide a detailed and thorough discussion of the evolution of the Takings Clause. You will want to review the cases at relevant sites, such as Oyez (http://www.oyez.org) and Cornell Law Institute (https://www.law.cornell.edu/). Do not use Wikipedia, or any unverifiable or unreliable sources.

Part 2 should be at least three pages in length.

You must submit Parts 1 and 2 of this assignment as one document. Adhere to APA Style when constructing this assignment, including in-text citations and references for all sources that are used. Please note that no abstract is needed.

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