Legal Brief Discussion Review the sample of a legal brief.
For this discussion, we are going to examine the practical importance of a legal brief. It is important to do some research to determine what a legal brief covers and why you should build your background knowledge of legal briefs, especially in determining violations of the law.
Article: What Does the Fourth Amendment Mean?
This website provides detail of the Fourth Amendment and all of the items in the Fourth Amendment that pertain to unreasonable search and seizure. Since all operational field personnel should be seasoned veterans of law enforcement, it is necessary to review the Fourth Amendment in order to prepare a legal brief.
This resource supports the discussion and short paper.
Website: Bill of Rights of the United States of America (1791)
This website provides the history and an overview of the Bill of Rights and includes the full document.
This resource supports the discussion and short paper.
Website: U.S. Code: Title 18–Crimes and Criminal Procedure
This website provides an overview of criminal offenses and procedures for responding to criminal offenses.
This resource supports the discussion and short paper.
In responding to your peers: Do you feel that the legal brief that will accompany the finished package is an important feature of the finished package? Why or why not? Back up your discussion with supporting information and be sure to you cite your work. Scholarly writing tends to be supported by at least three sources that are cited correctly. Include in your post what you believe the purpose of the legal brief is and why it is important for legal counsel and the senior agency manager to sign off on it. When you are reading and commenting on your classmates posts, take into consideration the direction in which the writer chose to go and either dispute it with cited facts or agree with it by adding additional evidence.
Refer to the Discussion Rubric for directions on completing these discussions.
Peer post 1
This week’s discuss prompt is a very important one, understanding the importance of a legal brief. At first glance, one may think that a legal brief just covers general legal aspect that pertain to the case, but it goes beyond just that. The legal brief is a summary of all things pertaining to the specific case/operation that may either infringe on the suspect(s) civil liberties or that may cause a lawsuit against the agency/department (Lee, 2018). With those things in mind, it is important to be as detailed as possible. This is what a lawyer/judge will be reviewing when an agency is requesting warrants for surveillance or reconnaissance. “More than 93% of the responding practicing attorneys and judges believed that the briefs and memorandum they saw were marred by basic writing problems, including a lack of focus (76.1%), failure to develop an overall theme or theory of the case (71.4%), and failure to be persuasive (66.4%) (Lee, 2018). With the above in mind, it is vital to ensure that every avenue is covered when preparing a legal brief. If something is left out, thoughts are not organized, or there are too many gaps in the brief, then a judge may dismiss it. If a judge does, it could delay the operation from being executed. The details of a legal brief are simple, cover all details in which an agent may believe that could lead to a lawsuit or rights being infringed upon. This could include property damage on site, damage to the suspect(s) property, rights being violated, and so on. Along with the possibilities the agency may face for a lawsuit, the legal brief will also include what information is hoped to be obtained, and how they intend to obtain it (Lee, 2018).
Since judges and court clerks are reading many legal briefs everyday, it is important to construct a legal brief in a manner that reflects positively on the requests and the agency. There are things to consider when actually writing the brief: include only relevant facts, include accurate citations, use a storytelling method to boost the fact section (Solomon, 2017). By doing so, it provides clear and concise brief that provides the approving authority with all of the information needed in an organized manner. What all of this comes down to is understanding the terminology and the law. Prior to moving forward with any action in a surveillance/reconnaissance operation, it is important that the rights and laws that law enforcement holds true to civilians are the ones they are also keeping in mind. In the event that officers violate the law and it was not covered in the legal briefing, it could result in charges being pressed upon them. While it may seem like such a minor piece to the overall operation, it is the part that ensures all possible actions/inaction are covered.
Lee, K. (2018, August 20). How To Write a Legal Brief. Retrieved April 9, 2019, from https://associatesmind.com/2017/01/11/how-to-write-a-legal-brief/
Solomon, L. (2017, June 20). The Most Important Part of a Legal Brief – it’s Not What You Think. Retrieved April 9, 2019, from https://www.araglegal.com/attorneys/learning-center/topics/practice-management-technology/the-most-important-of-a-legal-brief
Peer post 2
What is the practical importance of a legal brief?
The importance of a legal brief is to explain to the court and superiors the plan for and method of collecting information on a particular target (Legal Information Institute, 2019). It is also utilized to ensure that any questionable issues in regard to the method of collecting information or possible violation of an individuals privacy is included in the legal brief (Legal Information Institute, 2019). This helps to ensure that the team conducting the surveillance has gotten their plan for emplacing various audio, video, or other devices in place and it has been approved by a judge and/or superiors.
What does the legal brief cover?
The legal brief will cover the method for conducting the surveillance on the targeted person or group and list any possible violations of law and privacy rights of the targeted entity(s) (Legal Information Institute, 2019). It will state the purpose of the operation and what information the surveillance team hopes to discover (Legal Information Institute, 2019). It will cover all legal considerations that need to be approved prior to its execution so that the courts and supervisors are aware of how the intelligence will be collected (Legal Information Institute, 2019). It may also request guidance or direction from a judge or supervisors on any questionable information gathering methods that are being used by the surveillance team when emplacing surveillance devices and/or the establishing of surveillance (Legal Information Institute, 2019).
Why is it necessary to be knowledgeable of legal briefs, especially in determining violations of the law?
Being knowledgeable about legal briefs will ensure that the officers conducting the surveillance are taking into consideration any possible legal issues or rights violations that may arise throughout the investigation (Legal Information Institute, 2019). Knowing the privacy rights guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment and how those rights will affect the ability of the investigators to collect evidence is required to ensure the evidence collected will be admissible in court (United States Courts, n.d.). Knowingly violating the rights of the suspect(s) or collecting information illegally could also result in investigators being held liable in civil proceedings (Module Overview, n.d.). Violating laws and an individuals privacy will make any evidence collected inadmissible in court (Legal Information Institute, 2019). It is imperative that any future charges brought against the suspect(s) will be allowed to be heard during the prosecution of the suspect(s) and not dismissed during the court proceedings.
Legal Information Institute. (2019). 18 U.S. Code PART I CRIMES. Cornell Law School. Retrieved from https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/part-I
Module Overview. (n.d.). What is a legal brief? CJ-468-J4251 Intelligence and Surveillance 19EW4. Retrieved from https://learn.snhu.edu/d2l/le/content/180004/viewC…
United States Courts. (n.d.). What does the fourth amendment mean? Retrieved from https://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/educ…
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