What case? WYMAN V. JAMES, 400 U.S 309 What is a Case Brief? A quick, no more than one page summary of a Supreme Court case. How do I brief a case? There are several ways, but here are the essential components I want to see: 1. Capsule summary 2. Facts 3. Issue 4. Decision 5. Reason 6. Significance What is a capsule summary? A one-sentence summary of the case, stated without reference to the parties to the case. In other words, this is the Supreme Court’s message to the criminal justice community. What are the facts? A brief description of what happened. Don’t worry about tracing the progression of the case through appellate courts. What is the issue? A one-sentence (possibly two) question that represents the question before the Supreme Court. In every Supreme Court case, the Court is answering one (or sometimes, but rarely, more than one question). What is the decision? There are two parts. First, there should be a “Yes” or “No” that answers the issue question. Next, include a short quote from the case that captures the decision. What is the reason? The logic the Court offered for its decision. Use a quote. What is the significance? I hate to answer a question with another question, but ask yourself this: Why does this case matter? Your answer to this question is the case’s significance. What is the appropriate format? I don’t care what spacing or font you use, I just want to be able to read it. Most importantly, YOUR BRIEF SHOULD NOT EXCEED ONE SIDE OF ONE PAGE. NO TITLE PAGES, PLEASE.