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Writing a Case Brief
Adapted from:
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

Appellate Court

District Court

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