Could anyone could direct me to a good website explaining how to write a case note?
When you say a case note can you give a little bit more direction as to what exactly it is you're looking to do ?
Is this an academic assignment where you want to write a summary of a reasoned judgment or something like that ?
Yes, its an assignment for first year law in UCD.
Just a 1500 word case note!
Fair enough - I can't think of a website which will be much use to you to be honest.
What you're trying to do is set out the relevant facts and the rulings/holdings in respect of each one, leading to the conclusion of what the case outcome was.
If I was doing that as an academic exercise, I would also add some explanation on any aspect of the law which the case changed/interpreted in an interesting way.
Look at how the headnotes in the IR and ILRM's and other reports are presented for some idea of what to include, but you don't want to present yours quite in this stacatto fashion, think more discursive.
Are you limited in your choice of subject area ? If you are not I would suggest you look at criminal law and in that regard decisions of the Court of Criminal Appeal. These tend to be shorter and punchier and therefore easier to distill than a given Civil Case in the High Court or on Appeal to the Supreme.
I'm presuming your case note is to be drawn from a written judgment. If you need to go watch a live trial and write on that, get yourself to either Court 28 (in the Four Courts) for the Dublin Circuit Civil trial list or Court 24 for the Circuit Criminal trial list, listen for a case that will finish within the day and follow that whereever it is sent.
Sorry can't be more help & good luck with it.
I think Coler's advice is good but not really that applicable as you are generally assigned a case to write on; at least that was the way when I was in 1st year UCD!
Basically all you need to do is summarise the case - start, middle and conclusion - just like a normal essay. As Coler said, look at some other judgments online and see what is written in the headnotes (which are basically just a small summary of the full case)
Generally you outline the facts (briefly),
Outline the legal point to be considered
Outline how the point was dealt with by the judge(s)
Refer to any academic commentary on the matter
I agree with all of the above. Toiled with this myself over the years. I think it really does boil down to personal style. I think a case note can resemble a case report, but the only original thought in a case report - whether Irish Reports or ILRM is the headnote.
I'd use the IRAC or ILAC headings:
I - Introduction;
R/L - Relevant Facts/Law;
A - Analysis; and
C - Conclusion.
The trick is to try and have a beginning, middle and end. Cover the ratio etc.
If you want to see a judge of the High Court do this, look at The Honourable Mr Justice Frank Clarke SC decisions in Connaughton Road Construction v Laing O'Rourke:
This decision concerns Security for Costs.
Clarke J. is one of the clearest judges of the High Court, as I am sure you'll see from the link I provided.
If you want another one look at www.courts.ie