Understanding case law is essential to success in any law related class. Consequently, students will provide analyses of assigned cases to help their development and understanding of the legal issues presented. These case analyses, better known as “case briefs,” will help students develop legal issues spotting techniques and provide an overview of how law applies to specific fact patterns. The case briefs should be written in the following I-R-A-C format:
1. Facts: The facts section should briefly indicate:
a. the reasons for the lawsuit; b. the identity of the parties and their respective arguments; c. the lower court’s decision, if applicable; and d. the procedural posture of the case, including what court procedure was used that
led to the appeal. (Examples of court procedures are a motion for summary judgment or a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict.)
2. Issue: The issue section should set forth the question(s) before the court. The issue must
be phrased as a question. Cases often have more than one issue, meaning that the court will often answer more than one question. For purposes of this class; however, cases will generally have only one key issue that you will need to address.
3. Rule: The rule section should set forth the law the court uses to answer the question
presented in the issue section.
4. Application/Analysis: This application/analysis section should briefly discuss how the court applies the rule to the facts to answer the question presented in the issue section. The application/analysis section provides the reason(s) for the court’s decision, usually in the form of a syllogism (e.g., all dogs are animals. All animals have 4 legs; therefore, all dogs have 4 legs).
5. Conclusion: The conclusion section should state the court’s decision, including how the
case is resolved and in whose favor the case is decided. Case briefs must be original. Any identical or duplicate briefs will not receive credit.