Writing a Case Brief
Adapted from: http://www.cjed.com/brief.htm
A case brief is a study aid that summarizes the key elements of a legal case. At minimum, a case
brief outlines the facts of the case, legal issues raised, and the rationale for the court’s decision.
1. Case Name/Key Parties
2. Date of decision (in highest court)
3. Procedural Background (How the Case Moved Through the Court System)
How did this case get to this particular court?
What was the decision(s) of the previous lower court(s)?
Use the chart below to help you. Include dates and case names, as necessary.
Supreme Court of the United States
4. Facts of the case
What was the incident that brought the case before the court?
Who are the people involved?
What laws/regulations were broken?
5. Legal Issue
In the form of a question (e.g. “Do students have the right to….?”)
Concise and in your own simplified words!
6. Decision (a.k.a. Rul