The facts – or the fact pattern of the case -- will help you understand the case. The facts are the elements of the dispute that each case needs to address and then solve when it decides the legal question the facts support.

For example, in each of the cases combined under the heading Brown v. Board of Education, the plaintiffs, minors of the Negro race, sought admission to the public schools of their community on a nonsegregated basis. "In each instance, they had been denied admission to schools attended by white children under laws requiring or permitting segregation according to race." The Court based its decision on findings such as the "Negro and white schools involved have been equalized, or are being equalized, with respect to buildings, curricula, qualifications and salaries of teachers, and other "tangible" factors." Facts are tangible. Of course, facts are only a part of the building blocks courts use to answer the legal issues posed to them. For example, in Brown v. Board of Education, the Court also looked at the effect of segregation on public education, within the context of the American society at that moement.