You are just about to start law school. You buy all of your required casebooks [they are about two feet thick-only "slightly" intimidating], and you receive your first assignment. You are simply told, "read the first 100 pages in each book and BRIEF all of the cases!"
O.K., you know how to read [hopefully], but what does it mean to "brief" a case? You have heard of "briefcases," but that is something that you carry around. The last time you sang at a karaoke bar someone may have asked you to be "brief," but instinctively you know that that is not the kind of brief that is being discussed here. And you may even be wearing "briefs."
But, what is a brief of a case? For that matter, what is a case?
The purpose of this article is to teach exactly what briefs are, why they are important, and how to draft them.
You will learn most of the various ways to brief a case, the basic elements of each brief, and how briefs are used in various contexts. Additionally, you will read sample cases and briefs of those cases in every format. By the time you finish reading this, you will be so sick of briefs, that you will wish this writing were much briefer! So, now let's get down to business.
What is a case? A "case" starts out as a lawsuit between two or more people. The parties to the lawsuit have a trial and one party wins while the other loses (or possibly there is no trial but one of the parties wins because of a decision based on legal procedure). Next, the party who lost the case gets angry and bitter. So, he or she decides to file an appeal. An appeal is a request...