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How to Write a Case Brief Properly

March 14th, 2016

writing on a paperBefore writing a case brief, make sure you know the actual definition of the matter. In simple language, a case brief is the legal decision summary created in a written form. The summary outlines the issues, facts, history, reasoning and outcome of this or that case.

Case briefs tend to be helpful in many ways. In particular, they help to point out the most crucial aspects of the case, which means the process of the information synthesizing is getting easier this way. Besides, it’s a great tool to outline basic legal principles that have been set in the case and to put cases in the context with any relevant materials learned in a course.


Ensure to provide the complete citation for the case, including the case name, the date it was decided, as well as the name of the court that decided it.


In this section the author is required to overview the key facts of the case. Make sure to name all related actions, individuals, objects and locations involved in the case. Mind that only the material facts should be mentioned. In other words, include the information that is REALLY important to the outcome. When outlining the case facts, ensure to exclude anything irrelevant.


The majority of cases you may stumble across in law school will tend to appellate court decisions. This section is provided for you to have a chance to mention all the aspects of what happened in the lower courts. But do not give too much information on it. Just two or three simple sentences will be enough for this part.


In this section one is required to outline the most crucial legal questions that the court has been approached to decide. Make sure to write the legal issues in the question form in order to sum up what legal questions are being addressed by a particular case. Experts recommend writing the questions in the format of yes and no.


What was the answer of the court on the issue? Was it yes or no?


If the question is about the most important part of the case brief, reasoning is the answer. Here is the part you should use to list the reasoning of the majority in making this or that decision. In this section of the project, you have an opportunity to be as detailed as you want to. Make sure to list what the law was like before a particular case was decided. Also, ensure to talk about how the law has changed once the decision was made. The point is that law excerpts are especially passionate about discussing the reasoning of this or that case in the hot class debates.

Concurring Opinions / Reasoning

Name the reasoning of every concurrence. Do they differ anyhow in their proposed rule?

A careful and detailed case brief is your tool to demonstrate your knowledge, as well as the ability to analyze the cases thoroughly and draw accurate conclusions.

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