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The Supreme Court Case: United States v. Paradise

Resources: Appendix B, Appendix C (I have provided below), and http://websites.swlearning.com/cgi-wadsworth/course products wp.pl?fid=M20b&discipline number=404&product isbn issn=032420485X

Use the publisher's Web resource to examine recent cases and briefs. Use this site to view examples of case briefs and to help you guide through this exercise.

Choose any business-related Supreme Court case that happened during your lifetime from the following Web sites:

http://findlaw.com/casecode
http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct
http://www.landmarkcases.org

Appendix B

Briefing Cases

Reading court cases can be challenging because of the language and extensive amount of written information. A brief is a short summary of a case, a simplified version, often only about one page in length. Briefing a case is a great way to study cases and helps one "digest" its contents. There are a few styles to briefing. Below is the basic model we suggest one follows. A standard brief highlights the basic issue, the essential facts, the decision of the court or ruling, and the analysis of the decision. In our class we will also add our own comments to the end brief. This skill gets better with practice and feedback.

Facts

This section includes four or five sentences providing the key facts for the legal issue in the case. Discuss the name of case, the name of the court hearing the case, and the parties involved (plaintiff and defendant). The case brief should include just enough facts to recall the case and explain why the rule was applied.

Issue

This section includes one sentence that very precisely sets out the legal issue before the court. It is the question placed before the court that must be answered. It is the fact or facts of law that are in dispute between two parties. We cannot understand the opinion fully if we do not know the issues.

Ruling

This section includes one sentence providing the ultimate decision by the court, applying a rule of law to the facts. The ruling may tell which party prevailed and why.

Analysis

This section includes a paragraph or two providing the court's reasoning for reaching the decision that it did. Every case requires some analysis.
Minority Rationale(s)
This section includes a sentence or two providing the basic objections of any minority (concurring, dissenting, or concurring in part/dissenting in part) opinions.

Comments

Every case is important to the parties; it tells what the decision of the court was and why. Cases also set precedents and explain the law. At the end of each brief, the writer should note the significance of the case.

Appendix C

Briefing Cases

Facts

Issue

Ruling

Analysis

Minority Rationale(s)

Comments

Follow-Up Questions (Please see Appendix A for follow up questions on your specific brief)
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Solution Preview

STEP 1
The Supreme Court Case: United States v. Paradise
480 U.S. 149 (1987)
Docket Number: 85-999
Employment is an important part of business and there should not be any violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

STEP 2

Facts: The Alabama Department of Public Safety was asked to make promotions of employees in which half of the promotions would go to blacks. There was a condition that blacks suitable for the position should be available. In other words, can there be a directive to the state department to make a 50% promotions reserved for blacks if suitable candidates were available. It had been found that for almost four decades blacks ...

Solution Summary

This posting gives an excellent brief of the case United States v. Paradise. Step wise it provides the facts, issue, ruling, analysis and the significance of the case.

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