2007 CCRI Critical Thinking C onference. Coming to Terms With Critical Thinking Presented By: Daniel J. Donovan, J.D. Professor Legal Studies. Coming to Terms with Critical Thinking. History of Idea of Critical Thinking Bloom’s Taxonomy Revised Critical Thinking Definitions
Coming to Terms
Daniel J. Donovan, J.D.
See The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking for template
1. Citation - start with the proper citation to the case - include parallel citations if there are any.
2. Parties - list all parties to an action - the name of the case might not include all the persons involved - “et al.” in the name of a case indicates “and others”.
3. Issues - set forth the legal questions (issues) that the court was addressing in the case.
4. Facts - set out the relevant facts that were needed by the court to come to its opinion. The facts are the events that occurred prior to any court proceeding that led to the prosecution or civil lawsuit involved.
5. Prior Proceedings - set out how this case got to this point - prior proceedings refers to prior court action so essentially the question is what happened in the lower court.
6. Holding - this is the answer or answers the court gave to the issue or issues raised in the case - often the court will use the words “we hold....” but not always. If there is more than one issue in the case then there will be more than one holding.
7. Reasoning - this section will set out the reasons the court gave for reaching its holding or holdings in the case. The holding tells us what legal rules was applied while the reasoning answers the question why this legal rule was applied in this case. If there are two issues, there will be two parts of the reasoning - one for each issue
8. Disposition - what happened to this case on appeal - did the court affirm the lower court decision or did the court reverse the lower court and remand it (send it back) to the lower court for a new trial or entry of judgment?