Legal Case Briefing Outline

1.    Facts:        This section of your brief contains a statement of the relevant facts of the case, in your own words.  Include the parties involved. 
2.    Issues:        The issue is the legal question the court is trying to answer in the case.  Quite often the court will not state the issue explicitly.  Phrase the issue as a question, as narrowly and accurately as possible.  It is not sufficient, for example, to ask whether the defendant is liable or whether the judgment of the lower court should be reversed. 
3.    Judgment:    This is the court's holding, i.e., what the court ultimately decided or for which party it ruled.  The judgment should answer the question posed as the issue. 
4.    Reasons:      This is your synopsis of why the court decided the case as it did.  Describe in your own words. 
5.    Critique:       Provide your opinion of the case and outcome.