BRIEFING A CASE:
The following instructions must be followed when briefing a case. Although there are many ways to brief a case, the format to follow for this course is F.I.R.A.C., Facts, Issue, Rules of Law Applied, Analysis and Conclusion. It is the most basic format and many examples and illustrations can be found on the internet by searching “How to Brief a Case”. When writing you must list all the sections (F.I.R.A.C.) of the brief. It is not necessary for this assignment to discuss the dissenting or concurring opinions if any-only the majority opinion.
The brief should begin at the top of the page with the proper case citation. Use the examples that are set forth in the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure 9.800, to properly cite the case. Hint: the proper citation for the case can also be found as it is cited in your Syllabus.
You should identify all the salient facts described in the case that bear on the issue being decided. A paragraph of procedural or introductory facts is acceptable. In most cases the facts will only involve a couple of paragraphs.
This is one sentence, in question format, where you describe what the legal issue that is being decided in the case. For example: “Whether it is lawful under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution for the government to withhold inculpatory evidence from the accused in a criminal case?”
Your briefs in this class will only call for one issue to be addressed.
Rules of Law Applied:
In this section, you are to identify all the law that is considered in deciding the Issue in this case,
regardless of whether it is followed or rejected. You should identify each rule and whatever authority supports the point of law whether it is a case decision, statute, constitution, etc.
For example: The greater weight of legal authority stands for the position that post-hypnotic refreshed testimony goes to credibility of the witness not admissibility of the evidence. Bundy v. State, 471 So. 2d 9 (Fla. 1985).
In this section, you are to describe, step by step, from the beginning how the court evaluated the facts and the law to reach the conclusion in the case. In most of your briefs this will take a couple of paragraphs to show the process the court took to reach the final result.
This will describe the answer to the Issue which will generally be one paragraph consisting of a few sentences.