STATING THE ISSUE:
Identify the specific question that controls the decision.
the court have to decide before ruling?
For example, "For the purposes of
diversity jurisdiction, does a citizen of State A become a citizen of State B
by temporarily relocating to State B for a one-year work assignment?"
Stating the generic question to be answered is of no use.
such as "Should the court grant the motion?" or "Is there subject matter
jurisdiction?" do not help the reader understand the importance of the case.
When briefing a case, your statement of the issue should identify the
reason you are reading the case. The court is announcing an important rule
on the topic you are studying.
What specific question does it answer?
When answering an essay in IRAC formula, your issue statement
should identify the precise question you are about to answer.
state the rules necessary to answer that question.
section applies those rules to the fact.
And the conclusion answers the
It's often hard work to state the precise question before the court.
your brief will be far better.
You will understand the facts and rules that are
important in answering the question, and you can omit the rest.
Formulating a good issue statement also refines your understanding of the
case, and how it fits into the evolving law on this legal subject.
For some examples, check out the California Supreme Court
web site, which lists all pending cases and the issue to be resolved in each.
Here are some issue statements from that site:
What is the appropriate test that minor plaintiffs must satisfy to
establish a duty by defendants to protect them from sexual abuse by third
Can private parties contractually agree to legal service of process by
methods not expressly authorized by the Hague Convention?