probation and parole 9

Each student will be responsible for researching case law that directly pertains to either probation and/or parole. Specifically, each student will identify an appellate or Supreme Court Case that addresses an issue directly related to probation and/or parole. The student will complete a legal brief of their chosen case including the case details, a delineation of the legal issue reviewed, the court’s ruling on the issue, and a comprehensive discussion of how the case impacts the administration of probation and/or parole. The student will be required to orally present their findings to the class. Be sure to follow the outline provided below in briefing your cases.

The legal power point & presentation will be graded on accuracy; comprehensiveness, logical coherency, and professionalism (free from spelling, typing, and grammar errors). The power point will account for 55 semester points while the presentation will account for 15 semester points. The power points are due at the beginning of class on March 16, 2020.Students should be ready to begin presenting that day as well.

Students must submit the Supreme Court Case they intend to brief prior to starting work on the brief. Your case will be approved on a first-come, first-serve basis. This is to try and avoid redundancy in presentations.

Steps in Briefing Court Cases: (Make sure to include a printed copy of the case that you briefed with your power point presentation)

1. Read the case.

• Read the opinion all the way through before beginning your brief to get a basic understanding of what happened, how the case got to the particular Court, and what the Court ruled.

• Make note of the plaintiffs and defendants, as well as whether it was a criminal or a civil suit. If one citizen has taken another to court, then it is a civil suit. If the government is seeking prosecution, it is a criminal case.

2. Title the brief (5 points). The name of the case (e.g., Roe v. Wade) and the full citation should be first in any case brief. The citation includes the date, and information about the court(s) that the case passed through:

Franks v. Delaware, Supreme Court of the United States, 1978, 438 U.S. 154, 98 S. Ct. 2674, 57 L. ed. 667 is an example of a title and citation. Be sure that your citation includes the year of the decision and the Court that rendered it.

3. Determine whether the brief is for an appeal or a petition for certiorari (5 points).

• When a case is decided in trial court, the loser often has the right to appeal the decision to a higher court, called the appellate court. If this is the case, the loser from the original trial who is filing an appeal will be known as the Appellant in your brief and the winner from the trial will be known as appellee.

• If the loser does not have this right, because the appeal fails in the appellate court, and a request for appeal is denied by the Supreme Court, then a writ of certiorari is filed. This requests a hearing so that the lawyers can state their case as to why it should be reopened. In this case, the filer of the writ is known as the petitioner and the person who must respond to that petition is the respondent.

4. Learn the procedural history of the case (5 points).

• Which Court decided what? Determine which party appealed the ruling. Say the Minnesota Superior Court upheld the search of a Defendants car and then the defendant appealed to the Appellate Court, which upheld the trial Court’s ruling. The defendant then appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court, where the case stands partially on the argument presented in your brief.

5. Summarize the facts (5 points). The first section is generally called “Facts of the Case.” Briefly describe what happened that led to the parties being in Court. In order to be brief, you will need to decide which facts are legally relevant and which are not.[1]

• Think about who, what, and how. Who did something, what did he or she do, and how did he or she end up in Court over it? These questions should all be answered in your summary of facts. “The Defendant walked into the 29th Street Liquor Store, pointed a gun at the cashier, and demanded money. He was arrested 3 blocks from the store, with the cash in his pocket.”

• Re-read the case, this time looking for any facts the Court specifically mentions or refers to in any way. If the Court mentions it, it is important and should be included in your summary of the facts.

• Leave out unimportant dates and disputed evidence. For example, the fact that the Defendant robbed the liquor store on July 16 is irrelevant to the case. You can leave that date out of your summary of the facts.

6. Identify the issue or issues (5 points). What is the question before the Court? You should state the issue(s) as a question in your brief. For our case, the question might be “Did the police have a right to search the Defendant’s trunk?”

• Your issue statement should also include the specific facts relevant to that issue, for example, “Did the police have a right to search the Defendant’s trunk when he was not under arrest and did not give consent?” When there is more than one issue, each issue should be stated separately in your brief.

• Also include the applicable rule of law. What rule, statute, or ordinance must the court interpret to make this decision? For example, in the case of a search of the Defendant’s trunk, which may or may not be legal, the applicable law would be the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. If more than one rule of law was used, state each of them separately.

7. State the decision (5 points). Also called the holding, this is the Court’s answer to the issue question. The holding should be stated as a yes or no answer, with an additional sentence or two to explain the legal principle upon which the Court relied when reaching that decision.

• For example, if the issue is “Did the police have a right to search the Defendant’s trunk when he was not under arrest and did not give consent?” the holding might be, “Yes. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution does not provide the same protection to a vehicle that it does to a home, and a warrantless search was justified.”

8. Describe how the Court arrived at its decision (5 points). What facts did it consider and how did it apply the law to those facts? Walk the reader through the Court’s reasoning, one-step at a time.

• Organize your brief. Present a systematic play of the Court’s logic. Your analysis should be organized so that the reader can follow the Court’s reasoning from beginning to end. Why the Court ruled the way it did is the most important part of the case, and the reader must be able to understand it by reading your brief instead of the case, especially in the case of an appeal.

9. Describe any dissenting or concurring opinions (5 points).

• Oftentimes a Justice who is not in agreement with the majority will write a dissenting opinion or case analysis. Sometimes a Justice who is in agreement with the majority will write his or her own case analysis. If there is a dissenting or concurring opinion, a summary should be included in your case brief.[2]

10. Use your own words.

• Your analysis should avoid simply repeating the Court’s words, except in cases where the exact language is important. In those cases, use quotation marks, and make it clear that you are quoting the Court.

• Use citations. Your analysis should include all relevant citations to other cases, statutes, and rules the Court considered when arriving at its decision. More often than not, all of the citations contained in the opinion are relevant and should be used in your brief. If you are unsure, include it.

11. Describe what impact the ruling has/has had on probation/parole policy, procedure, and/or practice (15 points).

• In essence, in what ways did the appellate court ruling change the way in which probation or parole is carried out?

• In your view, is this ruling a positive development for the profession of probation and parole or is it detrimental? Explain.

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