How To Brief A Case? A standard procedure is followed in reciting on a law case. The procedure consists of using a brief of the case in the book. Before class, the student reads the case very carefully. When the student feels that he or she understands the case, the student prepares a brief of the case.
The format of the brief follows (made for the first case in the book).
RICHARDSON v. J. C. FLOOD COMPANY A2d 259 iD.CApp1963i
ACTION: Suit for labor and material furnished for a new water line.
FACTS: Defendant (the appellant) requested the plaintiff plumbing company to Correct a stoppage in the sewer line of her house. During the cleaning of the line, plaintiff discovered that a water pipe running parallel with the sewer line was defective. Defendant was informed of the defective water line and told that it had to be replaced then or at a later date when the yard would have to be redug for that purpose. Plaintiff replaced the defective water line. Defendant. through daily inspections of the repairs, knew of the magnitude of the work required and made no objection to the replacement of the water line until after the entire job was finished, at which time defendant refused to pay any part of the total bill submitted. She defends on the ground that she did not authorize the replacement of the water line.
QUESTION: Did the failure of the defendant to object to plaintiffs conduct create an implied agreement to pay for the replacement Of the water line? DECISION: Yes. Judgment for plaintiff. RULE: A contract for work to be done is implied when arising from a mutual agreement and promise not set forth in words. A contract may be presumed from the acts and conduct of the parties. In preparing the brief, be certain that you incorporate all important facts; however, remember that the brief is supposed to be brief. If you under• stand all important facts, you will find that the rule usually follows quite logically. If you change one important fact, you can change the result of the The question or issue in the case is extremely important. Ask yourself, “What is this fight all about? Why are they in court?” If you do not know, you do not have the case.
Finally, be able to state the court’s reason for the decision and be ready to defend or challenge it. What do the numbers and abbreviations called a “citation” under the title Of the case mean? The first number means the volume in the reporter where the case can be found- The last number means the page. The letters indicate the name of the state appellate court. In our example, the citation would mean “District of Columbia Court of Appeals, Volume 190, Atlantic Reporter Second Series, page 259.” Thus, the entire decision in the Richard- son v. Flood Company case can be found in Volume 190, Page 259, of the Second Series of the Atlantic Reporter. For purposes of classroom study, the complete decision has been edited, as indicated by the asterisks in the case.
Trial court decisions are generally not published as reported decisions, although there are a few exceptions (e.g., federal Court decisions, New York decisions). Trial court decisions are filed only in the office of the clerk of the court where the trial took place. The decisions of the appellate courts are found both in state reports of that particular State and in a series Of reporters embracing the whole United States comprising the National Reporter System, published by West Publishing Company. The National Reporter System divides the states into seven regional reporter groups: Atlantic Atl. or X), North Eastern (N.E.), North Western (N.W.’, Pacific (Pac. or Southern (Sow), South Eastern (S.E.), and South Western (S.W.’. Consolidating reported cases by area makes it much simpler to research cases.