How to B rief a C ase Prepared for the L egal Studies Program A merican Public U niversity System December 2013 Introduction

Read and brief the case United States v. Abel, 469 US 45 (1984), which can be found here


and on LEXIS in the school library.  This is a criminal case but it focuses on WHY evidence is relevant.  Focus on the discussion of Federal Rule of Evidence 401 which defines “relevant.”


Please take a look at the three handouts that I have attached here.  The first handout outlines how to brief a case with a detailed explanation of each part of the case brief.  The second handout outlines how I will be grading these case briefs.  The third handout provides an example of a properly done case brief.  If you would like to read the case briefed in the model case, please find the case on Lexis at Delanhanty v. Hickley, 564 A.2d 758 (D.C. 1989).   While carefully considering these materials, please remember that you need to brief the Abel case for submission.


Case briefs are used to highlight the key information contained within a case for use within the legal community as court cases can be quite lengthy.When writing case briefs, all information must be properly cited.  Make sure you are not copying and pasting from your source. Most of the material should be paraphrased; quotations should make up no more than 10%  of the brief. Note: since the purpose to is highlight and summarize key information, merely copying and pasting from the case does not accomplish this goal. You must summarize the facts in your own words, using quotations sparingly.