Law Case Brief Guide

case summary notepad guide

Section breakdown

1) Title: write case name

2) Judicial history: where was this case heard and was it heard multiple times? This can be summarised nicely in a flowchart.

3) Facts: the who, when, what, where, why of the case. Describe the history of the dispute, including the events that led to the lawsuit. Not every detail is important so only include the relevant facts. To decide which facts are relevant, ask yourself whether a particular fact was important to the court’s decision.

4) Issues: a statement of the question of law that the court must answer in order to decide which party should win. Write these are questions to keep the points clear and so you can easily summarise the decisions later on.

5) Plaintiff's and defendant's arguments: outline each party's main arguments.

6) Court's reasoning: This is the rationale or chain of argument which led the judges to rule as they did. This should be outlined point by point in numbered sentences.

7) Decisions: answer the questions raised by the issues with a simple yes or no. Then write how the case was concluded: was it dismissed, held etc?

8) Notes: Any extra details can be written here. There's space to write details about any rulings that may have arisen form the case, any significant dissenting arguments. Other information relevant to the particular case can be written here including: its place in history, and what is shows about the Court, its members, its decision-making processes.


law case summary