Dr. Patrick Ryan

Paper Instructions


CASE ANALYSIS PAPER (1,500 words) - Due by Midnight February 28, 2021 - Submit to OWL - 35%

Based in the case report and lectures, write a five-page paper on Gordon v. Goertz [1996] SCC.

*CHANGE - you may choose the Gordon case (above) or any of the first four cases we mooted: E v. Eve; Canadian Foundation; Van de Perre; or Ellis.

i. name the appellant and the respondent (the parties), the court, and the year

ii. describe the legally relevant facts of the case

iii. outline the procedural history of the case

iv. state the legal question(s) in an interrogative form

v. summarize the holding or the court's (majority) answer(s) to the legal question(s)

vi. explain the reasoning of the majority and identify the key points of dissent or concurring differences

vii. note the judgment

viii. provide an assessment of what the holding and reasoning of this case reveals about childhood and the law in Canada

Note: In Gordon court was unanimous in ruling mostly in favour of the custodial parent, but in doing so they were split into three groups and offered two very different opinions: McLachlin for the majority, para. 1-50; L'Heureux-Dube for the minority, para. 55-153). The contrast between the two views can create difficulties of interpretation, but the split also exposed important tensions within the best interest of the child test (and therefore parens patriea power in Canada) as it relates to parental rights, childhood, and the meaning of divorce. 


Format and Style: All papers must be typed, double-spaced.  Please utilize footnotes using the Chicago/Turabian style.

You can access guidelines for Chicago/Turabian footnotes here.

Consult this online, free version of Strunk & White, The Elements of Style for advice on the effective use of English.

How to cite a law case.

How to read a case

What should be part of a case brief

You are certainly allowed to consult other sources, but the expectation is upon your ability to read and use the case report itself.

Essay Comment Abbreviations:


Composition:

SP = spelling error

WC = a questionable word choice; meaning obscure

WW = wrong word

GR = major grammatical problems with the sentences

RD = Redundancy needs to be removed

AWK = awkward sentence structure or phrase

Organization:

LFW = Logic Flow Weak - links between sentences are unclear or weak - point obscured

TR = transitional sentences needed to link paragraphs or sentences

= new paragraph, or better paragraph organization, needed

No Block = shorten quotation or remove block quotation

Space = what are these extra spaces or margins doing here?

Arrows indicate the position or area of the text where the comment applies

Persuasiveness:

Q or QU = the question you are supposed to be answering; usually refers to a departure from it

EV = evidence needed to support point

CITE = citation needed for evidence

NO = you have made a significant factual error

? or Huh = what do you mean?; don't get what you're saying

EXG = you have exaggerated the facts or you need to qualify this point

|| = good point

 = excellent point


Evaluation Chart

 

Thesis

Handling the Question

Evidence

Meaning & Analysis

Errors of fact or grammar

A

insightful and penetrating

nuanced and delicate

fulsome & convincing throughout

brilliant, creative, or ingenious

free of errors; gracefully written

B

clear and concise, well developed

complete command of the issue or assignment

relevant throughout

excellent logical flow, completely persuasive 

crisply written

C

clear and complete 

basic understanding of the issue or assignment

all major points supported

only minor weaknesses in logical flow or interpretation

clearly written with no major blunders

D & F

not entirely comprehensible, or failing to deal with issue

lacks basic understanding of the issue or assignment

lacks evidence for major parts of the thesis

major misinterpretations, shallow or illogical claims

blunders or incoherence