Brief Evaluation Criteria


1. Facts: Summary of the facts of the case and date(s) of the original issue(s) or event(s).

2. The Law: Correct citation and clear statement of law or laws under which dispute arose, including provisions that apply from federal or state constitutions, federal or state statutes and regulations, federal or state court opinions, and city ordinances. Do not touch upon the outcome in this section.

3. Litigation History: Summary of significant, substantive legal action up to this stage of case. Exclude procedural issues.

4. Question: Clear statement of the basic question(s) that focus on First Amendment issues in the case.

5. Outcome: What was the outcome, including the vote of the court? Include last names of majority justices and dissenting justices. What was the meaning of the outcome to the plaintiffs and respondents in this one case? If the case included a dissent, omission of a clear summary of the minority viewpoint(s) will cost five points.

6. Rationale/Rule: Clear paraphrase or direct quote that provides the word test, principle, formula or precedent that the court developed or used that should be applied in future, similar cases.

7. Dissents: Clear statement of the minority opinion, if one was filed.

8. Mechanics: Grammar, punctuation, spelling, typing, name in all caps at end of brief. Grading standards will be the AP Stylebook and Webster’s New World Dictionary. Each spelling error will cost five points; all other errors will cost one point each. A brief longer than an 11-inch page or with type smaller than 12-point will cost five points.

9. Recitation: Did the student evidence a mastery of the case during oral recitation? Was student able to clearly and concisely articulate the case’s core holdings and import beyond that articulated in the textbook?