Four Case Studies


Four Case Studies

  CASE NAME: ____________________________

A.  Legal Cognizance

1.  Facts:

a.  Briefly describe the facts.

b.  Which facts were key to the outcome?

2.  Legal issue:

a. What legal issue(s) does this case illustrate (i.e. why is this case in the chapter)?

b. What are all of the elements of the main legal rule that this case illustrates?  For instance, if the case is about undue influence, list ALL of the elements that the court in this case said had to be proven by the plaintiff.

Repeat 2. for each issue raised.  (For example, a case may discuss 1. Whether there is an implied-in-fact contract, and II.  Whether the UCC or common law applied.  If so, you will repeat 2. for each of these two issues.)

B.  Expand Perspective, Gain Interpersonal Understanding, and Critically Assess Implications

3. Prevailing party’s point of view:

a.     What legal arguments were made by the prevailing party?


b.     What facts, legal reasoning, social policy, and ethical principles would support a ruling for the prevailing party?


c.     What were the probable motivations behind the prevailing party’s actions leading up to the dispute?  After the dispute?

Repeat 3. for each and every issue in the case.

4.  Losing party’s point of view:

a.   What legal arguments were made by the losing party?

b.   What facts, legal reasoning, social policy, and ethical principles would support a ruling for the losing party?

c.   What were the probable motivations behind the losing party’s actions leading up to the dispute?  After the                  dispute?

Repeat 4. for each and every issue in the case.

5.  Judge’s point of view:

a.  How did the court rule on each argument?

b.  What facts, legal reasoning, social policy, and ethical principles did the court use to support its ruling?

c.  What were the probable motivations behind the judge’s decision?

Repeat 5. for each ruling made by the judge.

C.  Find Recent Developments and Diverse Theories, Synthesize, and Compare

6.  Different Rules:  Pose the question “What if the court adopted a different legal rule?”  

a.     Search the web for other articles to refer to in your article or call an attorney or business professional who may have experience with this type of issue.  Write a brief one-paragraph summary of this case or article:

b.     Ponder and reflect to compare this case to recent news and cases.  This is the really cool part.  You will be thinking like a legally astute manager, owner, or professional as you read, analyze and compare cases to draw your conclusions.  Some neat ideas to help with your analysis:  If the outcomes of the recent cases you found are different, can you make sense of the different outcomes?  Are there different legal standards that make for different outcomes?  Is there a trend leaning more in favor of a plaintiff or defendant’s position?  Are the outcomes the same or different simply because the facts are similar or dissimilar?  What accounts for the same or different results?  Write your thoughts here:


D.  Creative, Application and Critical Thinking Questions

7.  Your point of view of the case in the book:

a. Do you agree or disagree with the actual outcome? Why or why not?

b. Change it up:  Pose the question “What if the facts were different?”  Create changes to the facts that would probably result in a different outcome of the case and, using critical thinking and legal reasoning, tell why your change in facts would make a difference.

c.   Relate the case to your own experience, if applicable, or to the experience someone else has shared with you.

d.      How will you apply the lessons from this case to your future career?


e.     Write recommendations to avoid future legal problems and that best suit the objectives of a firm or company in your chosen career field.

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