Case Briefs Analysis & Synthesis



Case Briefs Analysis & Synthesis


Case law is one of the foremost sources of precedent law. Often when writing briefs you substantiate a legal principle and your own opinion by citing case law. Sometimes case law will set down an important principle which will endure in future cases. These are the considerations that you must use to write your analysis and the main criteria for your assigned case:


1. The facts of the case. The facts do not have to be regurgitated in in any details but a brief summary of pertinent facts should be given. The summary should comprise the nature of the litigation, the opposing parties and if it is an appeal, what occurred in the lower court.

2. Issues. The issues are the questions of law which arise to be determined by the court.

3. Decisions. The decision is usually given in the “held” part of the judgment. This sets out the judgment of the court.

4. Reasoning. This is the rationale for the judges reaching their decision. The judges will set out the chain of reasoning which led to their judgment.

5. Separate opinions. Sometimes all judges agree and their decision is said to be unanimous. However in some instances dissenting judgments are made and you should briefly explore these.

6. Conclusion. This is the critical part of the analysis and you should set out how the decision may have affected both parties involved in what are the repercussions of the judgment? Discuss future implications and your thoughts and feelings about the case you are investigating.


Students will use the LexisNexis database, or other online source, to locate three unabridged court cases involving K – 12 education. This activity provides an opportunity to become familiar with how to read a legal opinion, legal case analysis, and enhance research skills. Case suggestions will be available from the instructor by request. A case brief template will be made available for this two part task. You should then write an opinion about the court's ruling. Do you think it was correct or incorrect? You may rely on other cases to support your opinion, journal articles, knowledge of curriculum and instruction, student development, and/or the day-to-day operations of a school. This is not intended to be a detailed research paper, rather an opportunity to practice reasoning skills.

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