Business Law Writing Assignment 1
(SCOTUS case from October 2018 – June 2019 term)
Use this webpage to select your case from SCOTUS’s (Supreme Court of the United States) October 2018 to June 2019 term:
This blog provides helpful links to the parties’ written arguments (briefing). You may find it very helpful in understanding what is going on.
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Email with questions, but you will need to be able to tell me what you have done to try to figure it out for yourself. Reach out to your classmates for help as well.
*Important Note: SCOTUS opinions have a Syllabus at the beginning of the written opinion. It’s a very helpful summary that can help you understand what is going on. Keep in mind, that the Syllabus is NOT a part of the official opinion of the court. It is never acceptable to copy from the Syllabus.
[Include your name and course section and date at the top, MLA format]
Answer the following questions about the case you selected. This writing assignment is worth 50 points. Use correct grammar and proofread your work before submitting it. INCLUDE THE QUESTIONS IN YOUR WRITTEN WORK.
1. Case name and citation:
2. Who authored (and who joined) the majority opinion?
3. Was there a concurring opinion? Yes or no (use complete sentences). If so, who authored (and who joined) the concurrence?
(Note: there can be more than one concurrence.)
4. Was there a dissenting opinion? Yes or no (use complete sentences). If so, who authored (and who joined) the dissent?
(Note: there can be more than one dissent.)
5. What are the facts of this case?
(Provide a one paragraph summary in your own words using complete sentences. Be sure to tell us who the parties to the lawsuit are. Tell the story of what happened that caused someone to sue someone else.)
6. What issues are before the court?
(Using complete sentences and in your own words. There may be only one question before the court. What is the question (or questions) that the court has to answer? List these in sentence format, usually posed as a question.
1. Does the XYZ Act of 1975 violate the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution?
2. Does the XYZ Act of 1975 violate the Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution?
7. Summarize the court’s analysis of the legal issues (1-2 paragraphs)
(This section should be 2-3 paragraphs long and explain the legal reasoning that the court used to reach its conclusion. It is best to organize this section using the issues because that is typically the way the opinion is organized.)
The Court first examined whether the XYZ Act of 1975 Act violates the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution. The Court discussed the legislative history of the XYZ Act and concluded that . . . . The Court next looked at the evidence presented by the petitioner and agreed that the evidence conclusively proved . . . .
The Court next examined whether the XYZ Act of 1975 violates the Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution. The Court examined its previous holding in Jones v. Smith and concluded that . . . .
Finally, the Court addressed the petitioner’s argument that the prior opinion of Hernandez v. Peckham should be overturned. The Court disagreed with Smith and declined to overturn Hernandez because . . .
8. What was the holding of the court?
(Did it reverse the lower court, or did it affirm the lower court? This should be one sentence)
The United States Supreme Court reversed and remanded the opinion of the [Second Circuit Court of Appeals]. OR
The United States Supreme Court affirmed the opinion of the [Second Circuit Court of Appeals]. OR
The United States Supreme Court reversed and remanded the opinion of the Nevada Supreme Court.
9. Oral argument.
Listen to the oral argument recording and write 1 paragraph discussing what you noticed.
This is the kind of information you should provide in your paragraph:
In your opinion, which party’s attorney made the most persuasive argument? Who got the most questions from the court? Did the justices seem more receptive to one party or the other? How did the attorneys handle the questions? Did anyone seem nervous? What else do you want to tell me?
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