The case analysis will include the following: Full Case Citation – Name of the case and identifying number [XX US XX], Fact Pattern – the history of the case , Summary of Oral Arguments to include amicus parties – if available, Court’s Decision, Summary of Majority and Concurring Opinions , Summary of Dissenting Opinions, and Your assessment of the case. Summarize and paraphrase: Do not use long quotations from opinions. Demonstrate your command of the material by putting the key concepts in your own words.
BASIC METHODOLGY: Once you have selected your case for study and have it approved [use the Multi-Part Assignment of the Module requiring it], then research it on the Internet using one or more of the search vehicles in the chart from Module #1, Mini-Lecture #3. From this, you should obtain the following:
Full Case Citation: This is the full identifier of the case, such as Miranda v. Arizona [384 U.S. 436]. Usually this will be at the top of your report from the Internet.
Fact Pattern: What was the action or activity which was first brought to the trial court of first instance? Then what did the trial court conclude which led to the appeal. Generally, this is briefly summarized at the start of the Supreme Court’s decision. For more information, use the Internet to check for the records of the lower appellate courts which handled the case. Then summarize this in one page.
Summary of Oral Arguments: These are the arguments which were made to the Supreme Court by the appellant, the respondent, and interested others [amicus briefs]. Many are available in whole and part on the Internet for landmark cases and those argued in the last ten years. Argument points can also be gleaned from the opinions. Summarize these in up to three pages.
Court’s decision: This is always in the first section of the opinions. It may be right at the beginning or follow the court’s reasoning. It normally is preceded by the words “the opinion of the court”. In this you summarize both what the court did, and why it said it did it in up to three pages.
Majority/Concurring Opinions: Normally the court’s decision is within the Majority Opinion. Those who agreed with the majority, but have other reasons, may file Concurring Opinions. If these are present, they will follow the Majority Opinion. I would like you to summarize the majority’s logic and those of the concurring in up to three pages.
Dissenting Opinions: Those who disagreed with the majority and voted against the action may file dissenting opinions. These follow that Majority and Concurring Opinions [if any]. I would like you to summarize these, if there are any, in up to three pages.
Your Assessment: What is your view of the case? Did it answer the constitutional questions? Are there issues remaining or new issues arising. Share your view in up to two pages.
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