Case Law and the Canadian Abridgement – What is Jurisprudence?

Jurisprudence is the body of case law on a particular topic.
A case is a decision rendered by a judge or justice of the peace after hearing all of the sides to a dispute.
The structure of modern judicial decisions follows a standard format:

NOTE: While very useful summaries, headnotes are not written by the judges themselves but by the editors of law reporters. Therefore never quote them directly! For more information on headnotes, read: The Anatomy of a Headnote.

NOTE: Judicial opinions handed down by a panel of judges (i.e. more than one judge) used to be organized according to seniority; that is, the opinion of the judge with the most experience on the bench would appear first, followed by the opinions of the other judges according to the amount of experience they had. Today, opinions tend to list the majority first, with any dissents second. Be sure to always properly identify which opinion is the majority opinion!

NOTE: Judicial decisions often include a lot of factual details about the case but do not generally include a transcript of the actual testimony given at trial.