Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Case Grid: A Tool for Analogical Reasoning

Charts and diagrams help students understand analysis and synthesis.  Here is a useful diagraming method.

The Case Grid: A Tool for Analogical Reasoning by John F. Murphy.


"This paper describes a graphical method for comparing the relevant facts and outcomes of several cases as they relate to a single legal test. I call this method the “case grid.”

The case grid allows a writer to easily identify similarities and differences between several precedent cases, and between the precedent cases and the facts of the “client” case (the case being analyzed, argued, or decided). These similarities and distinctions form the basis of analogical reasoning. Analogical reasoning — the process of predicting or arguing the outcome of a client case based on its factual similarities to and differences from precedent cases — is in turn a fundamental characteristic of brief-writing and opinion-writing. Because the case grid facilitates analogical reasoning, it deserves a place in every appellate advocate’s — and appellate judge’s — writing toolbox."

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