How to Write a Brief
1. Statement of the Facts:
Retell the pertinent details of the case:
i) Who was involved in the case?
ii) What happened?
iii) Where did the incident occur?
iv) When did it occur?
Remember these are facts, not opinions. You should not be offering any arguments in this section.
2. Question(s) of the Case:
Boil the case down to one or two questions that the court should consider and which you will provide answer in your argument section.
In this section, you are offering both sides of the argument.
Your main point for each side should be elaborated using evidence from the facts section as well as precedents from other legal cases. When quoting precedent, be sure to name the case, give a brief synopsis of the opinion delivered in that case, and explain how it relates to the current case you are arguing.
When presenting other supporting points, be sure each one is elaborated with facts, has accompanying evidence that supports it, and helps prove your main point correct.
4. Concluding remarks:
In this section you are choosing one of the two sides of the argument you put forth in the last section and explaining why you chose that side based on the evidence of the case. You will also be disproving the other side of the case you did not choose.
Also include what the writer believes the court should do regarding the case.
On the back of this sheet is an example of what a brief would look like:
Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association
Statement of Facts
The California law prohibits the sale or rental of a violent video game to minors under 18 if:
1) a reasonable person, considering the game as a whole, would find that it appeals to a deviant or morbid interest of minors;
2) it is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the community as to what is suitable for minors; and
3) it causes the game, as a whole, to lack serious literary, artistic, political,...