Logourl black
From our private database of 13,800+ case briefs...

United States v. James

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
169 F.3d 1210 (1999)


Facts

Ernestine James’s (defendant) boyfriend, David Ogden, was a violent drunk. Ogden physically and sexually abused James, and James witnessed Ogden threaten and fight others. Ogden boasted of assaults and even killing a man. James’s daughter, Jaylene, fought with Ogden a few times, but Ogden did not fight back. Ogden despised Jaylene’s boyfriend, Michas Tiatano. At a party, Ogden knocked Tiatano out. Jaylene became angry and chased Ogden. Jaylene testified that, without her asking, James gave her a gun and told her how to take off the safety. Jaylene shot and killed Ogden. Jaylene also testified that she was not afraid of Ogden at the time. James was charged with aiding and abetting manslaughter. James testified that Jaylene asked her for the gun repeatedly and that she believed that Jaylene would use it to “fend [Ogden] off.” James argued that she knew Ogden was drunk, prone to violence, and likely armed. Thus, James claimed she acted in self-defense. The trial judge allowed James and Jaylene to testify about Ogden’s history of violence, but would not admit corroborating police reports and court documents because James had not seen them at the time of the crime. During deliberations, the jury sent out various questions to the judge asking whether Ogden had actually committed various violent acts or was merely bragging. The judge declined to answer. James was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison. James appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which affirmed. The circuit judges agreed to rehear the case en banc.

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 (Noonan, 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.

Dissent (Kleinfeld, 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 170,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 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.