Reading the case and judicial opinions

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Dixie
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Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:52 pm

Reading the case and judicial opinions

Postby Dixie » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:17 am

A pre-law book (I think Bramble Bush) suggested reading the actual case before reading the assigned judicial opinion in order to get a better understanding (facts, lawyer's intent, what is appealed etc).

From my understanding all judicial opinions start with a summary, the relevant facts, and why it has been appealed; therefore, is this suggestion feasible/helpful or is it a waste of time?

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zozin
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Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:13 pm

Re: Reading the case and judicial opinions

Postby zozin » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:21 am

Dixie wrote:A pre-law book (I think Bramble Bush) suggested reading the actual case before reading the assigned judicial opinion in order to get a better understanding (facts, lawyer's intent, what is appealed etc).

From my understanding all judicial opinions start with a summary, the relevant facts, and why it has been appealed; therefore, is this suggestion feasible/helpful or is it a waste of time?

Casebook excerpts include sufficient background to understand what the opinion addresses. You shouldn't have to read anything besides the assigned reading. If you do, it's a huge timesink.

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Opinions_R_Us
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Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:57 pm

Re: Reading the case and judicial opinions

Postby Opinions_R_Us » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:33 am

Dixie wrote:A pre-law book (I think Bramble Bush) suggested reading the actual case before reading the assigned judicial opinion in order to get a better understanding (facts, lawyer's intent, what is appealed etc).

From my understanding all judicial opinions start with a summary, the relevant facts, and why it has been appealed; therefore, is this suggestion feasible/helpful or is it a waste of time?



Not sure we have enough information. When you say "read the actual case" do you mean the briefs and joint appendix submitted to the court? I also don't know in what context you are asking this question.

That said, let me take a crack at it. Assuming the context is for a law school course, the unabridged judicial opinion (found online in not in a casebook) should give you all the facts that are relevant to deciding the issue and, most importantly, do so through the standard of appellate review or in layman's terms, the lens through which the law requires the court look at the facts to decide the issue, e.g. abuse of discretion, de novo, light most favorable to the party prevailing below, etc.

Unless the idea is to demonstrate the difference between the way an advocate presents a case and the way a court analyzes it, it can't hurt but I really don't see it as an efficient use of time to read all the briefs and transcripts of a case if you are only trying to learn the law in a particular area.

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ggocat
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Re: Reading the case and judicial opinions

Postby ggocat » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:06 am

Complete waste of time. Do not do it.




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