Quick Guide to Reading Case Decisions | MassCops

Quick Guide to Reading Case Decisions

Discussion in 'Court Decisions' started by Crvtte65, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Crvtte65

    Crvtte65 Moderator

    Here is a general guide to reading full text cases and explanation of headings

    • ARGUED-DATE: This is the date the case was ARGUED before the court and/or the date the briefs were SUBMITTED to the court.
    • CITE: The citation of the case location (think of it like a book's ISBN number, it is unique to that case). For a more thorough explanation(Case citation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) Example: (12 Mass. App. Ct. 184, 1981) The case is located on page 184 of Volume 12 in the MA Appeals Court reports and it was decided in 1981
    • CONCURBY: The last name(s) of the judge(s) writing the Concur, Concur in part or Concur in part and Dissent in part opinion.
    • COUNSEL: The name of any person or entity representing a party or interest in the case.
    • COURT: The name of the court in which the case was heard.
    • DATE: Provides capability to search the DECIDED, FILED and RELEASED dates at the same time.
    • DECIDED-DATE: The date the case was DECIDED or oral decision or bench decision was rendered.
    • DISPOSITION: The final decision of the court.
    • DISSENTBY: The last name(s) of the judge(s) writing the Dissent, Dissent in part or Concurring in part and Dissenting in part opinion.
    • FILED-DATE: The date on which the case was filed, docketed, entered, lodged or issued.
    • HEADNOTES: Legal issues that are pertinent to the case, as provided by the court, similar to key words.
    • HISTORY: Contains the prior and subsequent history of the case.
    • JUDGES: Information about the judges of the court hearing the case.
    • NAME: The names of all parties involved in a case as provided by the court. Example: Town of Burlington v. Labor Relations Commission
    • NUMBER: Contains the docket number(s) assigned to the case by the court. Example: (SJC-09784)
    • OPINIONBY: The last name(s) of the judge(s) writing the majority opinion.
    • SYLLABUS: A summary of the facts, history of the case and points of law of the case, as provided by the court.

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