Briefing a case is the activity of summarizing a court opinion. A paralegal’s job revolves around writing. A paralegal will draft numerous documents including: correspondence with clients and other attorneys, memoranda, discovery requests, and legal pleadings. Most of the paralegal’s written documents will incorporate the law. A paralegal must have the ability to read the law, and apply the law to the facts of the present case. A paralegal must have the ability to analyze the law.
In this assignment you will read a US Supreme Court case and write an essay about it. This will help you do the analysis you may later need to write a case brief but gets you used to understanding a case without worrying about the specific case brief format.
You should find a Supreme Court case related to the subject matter of this class. Use Nexis Uni via the APUS Library or look up cases on http://www.oyez.org. If you need help picking a case, let me know.
Your essay should include the following information: Who were the parties? What happened that led to this case? What lower courts heard the case and what did they decide? What did the Supreme Court decide and what was their reasoning? What cases did the Supreme Court use to help them with their decision? Did any Supreme Court Justices dissent? If so, what did they have to say? What was the end result of the case? Has the case had impact on society or do you think it will in the future?
Your paper should be 1-2 pages long. Points will be deducted for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. Please proofread your work – most errors are easily corrected by proofreading. When citing legal cases the case names should be done in standard “Blue Book” format. Example:
York v. Smith, 65 U.S. 294 (1995). For further information see http://www.law.cornell.edu/citation and look under the “How to Cite” section.
Also, remember that Bluebook requires footnotes – it does not use in-text citations. I have attached a sheet about footnotes to help you but please ask if you don’t understand!