Logourl black
From our private database of 12,700+ case briefs...

Marek v. Chesny

United States Supreme Court
473 U.S. 1 (1985)


Facts

Three police officers, including Chesny (defendant), shot and killed Marek while responding to a domestic disturbance. Marek’s father (plaintiff) filed suit against the officers, alleging a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state tort law. Before trial, the officers put forward a settlement offer for $100,000, including costs and attorneys fees. Mr. Marek rejected the offer and proceeded to trial, where he was awarded $60,000 total in damages. Post-trial, Mr. Marek filed a request for $171,692.47 in costs and attorneys fees. The officers opposed the request, arguing that the pretrial offer of $100,000 exceeded the trial award of $60,000 and therefore under F.R.Civ.Pro. 68, Mr. Marek was not entitled to attorneys fees. The trial court agreed with the officers, and Mr. Marek appealed. The court of appeals reversed, finding that imposing Rule 68 in instances where attorneys fees might normally be awarded pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988 would be contrary to the civil rights spirit of § 1983 and § 1988. The officers appealed, and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Burger, C.J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Concurrence (Rehnquist, J.)

The concurrence section is for members only and includes a summary of the concurring judge or justice’s opinion. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Concurrence (Powell, J.)

The concurrence section is for members only and includes a summary of the concurring judge or justice’s opinion. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Dissent (Brennan, J.)

The dissent section is for members only and includes a summary of the dissenting judge or justice’s opinion. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 121,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 12,700 briefs, keyed to 172 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.