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Description:The purpose of this Problem Assignment is for you to become familiar with how to use the LexisNexis legal research database, read common law, and prepare a Case Brief. Case Briefs help students expand their knowledge of common law.

http://nec.gmilcs.org/login?url=http://www.lexisne… go to the lexis nexis link the id is ua006293

Once you are on the Lexis-Nexis database page scroll down and click on “Look up a
Legal Case”
c. Add your search terms into the topic box. You will be looking for a case that
concerns a business ethics issue. “Business ethics” may be an appropriate search
term, but you may need to try other terms
d. Look to the list to the left and click under one of the states that you want to work
with. One or more cases should pop up. Try to use a more recent case to complete
the assignment.
3. How to read the case you have found
a. Reading a court case may seem to be daunting, but it is not.
b. Court decisions usually follow a specific format as follows:
i. At the top, you will see the name of the parties, which is known as the case
name.
ii. Next, you should see the court in which the case was decided.
Page 2 of 3
iii. The citation, which includes the volume, page, and name of the reporter in
which the case can be found, follows.
iv. Finally, you will see the date the decision was reached. When you cite a case,
you start with the name of the case and underline it, e.g., Smith v. Jones. You
add a comma after the case name and then include the citation, starting with
volume, then reporter, and ending with the page on which the case is found.
Lastly, you add the state and court where the decision was decided and the
year in which the decision was made and include this information in
parentheses. A proper citation might look like the following: Smith v. Jones,
746 N.W.2d 220 (N.H. Sup. Ct. 2010).
c. The next item you will find is a Case Summary or Overview. This will explain how the
case happened to end up in the court, a summary of the issues, and the court’s
decision or holding
d. Next, you should find the “Head Notes.” These lead you to specific areas within the
case where a particular topic is discussed. You can skim these, but you don’t need to
worry about reading all of the “Head Notes.”
e. The name of the judge should appear next, right before the decision. What you will
be reading and outlining for your Case Brief is the decision, which will appear after
the name of the judge.
4. How to prepare your Case Brief
a. Treat your Case Brief as an outline of the court’s decision.
b. Your Case Brief should contain the following sections:
i. Parties and citation – complete this section as specified under 3b above.
ii. Facts – summarize the important facts in the case. The facts are usually right
near the beginning of the decision. Your summary can be in the form of
bullets.
iii. Issue(s) – you should be able to ascertain the issue or issues in the case from
the Case Summary or within the decision. The issues are usually the first
thing discussed in the decision. For your Case Brief, concentrate on what you
believe is the central issue in the case. Here is where the Head Notes may
help you.
iv. Holding – explain how the court decided the central issue. You will find this
under the Case Summary and usually at the end of the decision.
Page 3 of 3
v. Reasoning – how did the court support its decision? List important rules from
other common law cases or statutes/codes the court relied on in making its
decision. The reasoning will usually be found after the facts in the decision.
5. You are not expected to understand all of the legal terminology in the decision, but you
should be able to read and understand the essence of the court’s decision and the holding
that the court made and demonstrate this understanding in your Case Brief

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