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Briefing a case is the activity of summarizing a court opinion. A paralegal’s job revolves around writing. A paralegal will draft numerous documents including: correspondence with clients and other attorneys, memoranda, discovery requests, and legal pleadings. Most of the paralegal’s written documents will incorporate the law. A paralegal must have the ability to read the law, and apply the law to the facts of the present case. A paralegal must have the ability to analyze the law.
In this assignment you will read a US Supreme Court case and write an essay about it. This will help you do the analysis you may later need to write a case brief but gets you used to understanding a case without worrying about the specific case brief format.
One case you can read and brief is Caetano v. Massachusetts. The PDF of the decision is attached to this assignment. You can also look up the case on LEXIS, www.oyez.org, and any number of other places. You may also choose another US Supreme Court case that interests you.
Your paper should be 1-2 pages long. Points will be deducted for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. Please proofread your work – most errors are easily corrected by proofreading. When citing legal cases the case names should be done in standard “Blue Book” format. Example:
York v. Smith, 65 U.S. 294 (1995). For further information see Basic Legal Citation and look under the “How to Cite” section.
Also, remember that Bluebook requires footnotes – it does not use in-text citations. I have attached a sheet about footnotes to help you. You can choose to write about the case provided or a case that you prefer.