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15 Cards in this Set

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court opinion
the court's explanatory comments, which can include the holding, the rationale for the holding, and dicta
Name the five types of court's opinion
majority opinion; concurring opinion; dissenting opinion; per curiam opinion; en banc; and memorandum opinion
majority opinion
opinion issued by the majority of judges of the appellate court; the holding of this opinion may be cited as precedent if all other criteria are met. There is only ONE in a case.
concurring opinion
opinion issued by one or more judges of the appellate court which agrees with the result reached by the majority but disagrees with the reasoning of the majority opinion. There can be more than one in a case.
dissenting opinion
opinion issued by one or more judges of the appellate court which disagrees with both the result and the reasoning of the majority opinion. There can be more than one in a case.
per curiam opinion
opinion of the entire court (all judges who heard the case), as opposed to an opinion written by a specific judge.
en banc
the entire court participates rather than the permissible quorum. This does not mean that the entire court agrees on the outcome, however.
memorandum opinion
a very brief opinion; a cursory opinion; an opinion so abbreviated that it is hardly an opinion at all.
de novo
anew, from the beginning; the case is tried in the appellate court as if it had not been tried previously, and witnesses are allowed to testify.
de novo on the record
anew on the record; the appellate court must base its decision on the record (no new testimony) but may reach an independent factual finding if the facts from the trial court are "clearly erroneous" based on the record as a whole. Appellate courts NEVER defer to trial courts concerning issues of law.
on the record
the appellate court reviews the record for prejudicial legal errors committed in the trial court but gives great deference to the findings of fact; factual findings generally are reversed only when they are "arbitrary or capricious" (little or no factual basis).
The record consists of what?
the pleadings from the court file of the trial court (together with any motions or orders that may be part of the errors claimed on appeal) and the recorded transcript of the trial proceedings, including exhibits offered at trial.
What are the elements of a reported case?
Caption, Date of Decision, Parallel Citations, Headnote or Syllabus, Statement of Facts, Opinion, Holding, Rationale, Dicta, and Decision.
Slip opinion
When federal court first decides a case
Advance sheets
When the slip opinions are collected and published in a softbound or looseleaf format.