John Doe v. Jane Roe, 200 Va. 200, 300 S.E.2d 300 (1977)
1. First, you need to choose a case to outline. Choose one of the chapters we are studying. At the end of each chapter, there are sections labeled “Case Problems” and “End-of Chapter Questions”, which contains a paragraph sketch of the content of some cases.
2. At the end of each paragraph, there is the case “citation”, which tells you the “books” or “reporters” in which the actual case opinion appears. For example: John Doe v. Jane Roe, 200 Va. 200, 300 S.E.2d 300 (1977). (This is not a real case….do not try to look it up or outline it), is a case “citation” that tells you that the written opinion is found in volume 200 of the Virginia Reporter at page 200; and is also found in volume 300 of the South Eastern Second Reporter at page 300.
3. Pick a case that sounds interesting to you. Then you will need to take a portion of the case citation and enter it into Lexis through the VCU library. Most cases have two or three citations to different “books” or “reporters” (except federal cases, which only have one). In the above example, there is a citation to the Virginia Reporter (Va.), and a citation to the South Eastern Second (S.E.2d) reporter. Take one of the citations (in the above example, either 200 Va. 200 or 300 S.E.2d 300) and use the Lexis instruction sheet posted on blackboard. Paste the citation into the appropriate search box in Lexis, and it should pull up the whole case opinion.
4. Then read the opinion and do a case outline using the guidance sheet posted on blackboard. Basically, it is the name of the case; followed by the facts; the issue presented; the holding; and the court’s reasoning.
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