here some materiel for the note
Structure of exam:
20 true of false + 10 multiple choices + short answers about 2 cases (choose 2 out of 4, 4 cases are: social host liability P16-21, standard of care P219 P223, drug test P91-99, Good Samaritan P225 P75)
Public law: Public law involves the rights of society, and those rights are usually represented by a governmental agency.
- Example: the crime of murder. This criminal offense affects the right of all members of society to be safe and secure, and the crime is prosecuted by the District Attorney or Federal Prosecutor. The primary categories of public law are criminal law, constitutional law and administrative law.
Private law: involves matters between individuals, such as the leasing of an apartment, a claim against a doctor for making a mistake during surgery, or purchasing a new car. These matters are personal between the parties to the transaction or incident.
- The major classifications of private law are contract law, tort law, property law, and family law and the remedy is usually money.
Criminal law: Deals with the behavior that is or can be constructed as an offense against the public, society or the state eg. Murder or assault.
- A crime is a violation of the rights of society and not the individual victim of the crime
- The federal or state government may initiate the case
- Cases are decided by the jury
- Charges consist of imprisonment due to a fine paid
- The prosecution must establish the guilt of the defendant
- “Beyond reasonable pay”
Civil Law: Deals with the behavior that constitutes an injury to an individual or another private party such as a corporation.
- Cases are initiated- suites are filed by private parties
- Decided by the judge
- Punishment is usually monetary
- Consists of imprisonment to prevail
- “Preponderance of evidence”
Common Law: judge made law founded on the doctrine of precedent, “an action or decision previously made by a court should be followed again by judges in the same or similar circumstances”
- Common law is made by the court
- United States is a common law country, its law originated by legislative enactment or by judicial decree.
- recognizes the role of judges in making the law based upon the customs and traditions of the people
- Judge decides what is good for the people
- This is also known as case law or opinions
- Created by the legislature for specific case
- Law-making function in Article One
- Organized into “Codes”
The US Constitution
- The Supreme law of the United States
- 7 articles
- Legal documents which establish the fundamental rights of US citizens and protects them from unlawful government interference
- More open to amendments
- Much longer and more detailed than the federal constitution
Ethics- Can deal with a person’s moral compass about what is right and wrong
- Utilitarian theory: looks at the consequences of outcome (short & long term)/ greatest benefit of harm; Benefits and harms are balanced determine which action produces the most happiness for the greatest number of people
- Rights theory: looks at the reason for the action/people have certain basic rights; Whatever we do must be behaviors we would be willing to have done to everyone, including ourselves – a version of Golden Rules
Jurisdiction: refers to the power of a court to determine the merits of a dispute and to grant an aggrieved party relief.
Types of jurisdiction:
- Exclusive jurisdiction – Only federal courts have authority to hear , state courts cannot.
- Concurrent jurisdiction – Federal or state courts could hear
- Original jurisdiction – Court is the first one to hear case.
- Appellate jurisdiction – Court can only hear a case on appeal
– Missing elements- requires one party to perform an act that is impossible or illegal
– A void contract and can be enforced capacity (Eg: child is voidable at the minor’s election)
– Until the right to withdraw is exercised, the contract remains valid and enforceable.
Fundamental elements of a contract
3 kinds of contract
- Uniform Commercial Code
Tort: A private civil wrong against an individual or business for which the courts will award money damages; torts are classified as negligence.
- Matters involving torts are generally known as personal injury cases(example: automobile accident or malpractice claim)
- A person who commits a civil wrong is labeled a tortfeasor
4 elements of a tort: Duty, breach of duty, causation, and injury.
3 main types of torts: negligence, strict liability, and intentional tort
Elements of negligence:
- A duty must be owed
- There must be a breach of that duty
- The negligence must be proximate cause of the harm
- The aggrieved party must sustain damages
Breach of duty: A breach of duty occurs when one person or company has a duty of care toward another person or company, but fails to live up to that standard. A person may be liable for negligence in a personal injury case if his breach of duty caused another person’s injuries.
Causation: Causation is a term used to refer to the relationship between a person’s actions and the result of those actions. In a legal sense, causation is used to connect the dots between a person’s actions, such as driving under the influence, and the result, such as an accident causing serious injuries.
Defenses to negligence: When the plaintiff’s negligence contributed to his or her injuries, comparative negligence calculates the percentage of the defendant’s and the plaintiff’s negligence and adjusts the plaintiff’s damages according to the numbers.
- The concept of contributory negligence is used to characterize conduct that created an unreasonable risk to one’s self.
- The idea that someone has a duty to act as a reasonable person
- When a person does not act reasonable and an injury occurs, that person may be held entirely or partially responsible for the resulting injury.
- Most states have now adopted a comparative negligence approach.
- Each party’s negligence for a given injury is weighed when determining damages.
Assumption of Risk:
- If the plaintiff knows of the danger but voluntarily exposes himself to the harm, the plaintiff will be barred from the recovery.
- A sum of money will return the aggrieved party to a position as though nothing bad had ever happened.
- Place the injured party in as a substantially good a position as that occupied before the injuries.
- Cannot be speculative
- Punish the party by awarding an additional sum of money to prevent the conduct from ever occurring again.
- Exceeding simple compensation
- For example: the accident was caused by driver’s intoxication
Duty of landowners:
Similarity (Licensee and Business visitor)
- Owner of land is liable to licensee and business visitor for a defect that he knew or should have known of, the guest or visitor is not liable to discover.
- Business establishment owes a duty to make a reasonable inspection of the premises to make sure it is safe for the business visitor.
Duty of privacy:
- individuals have the right to be left alone.
- The right of privacy is protected by the Constitution—the right to be let alone and free from unwarranted governmental intrusion.
- The Fourth amendment prohibits unreasonable searches of citizens homes and papers.
- It is also protected by Tort Law—the right to be free from unwarranted publicity.
4 torts of privacy:
- The Publication of Private Facts
- Intrusion: the technological invasion of a person’s privacy
- False Light: the public portrayal of someone in a distorted or fictionalized way
- Appropriation/Commercialization: The unauthorized commercial exploitation of someone’s identity
Liquidated damages: a sum of money that parties to a contract agree in advance will serve as compensation in the event of a contract breach
Social host liability
Klein vs Raysinger
- Klein and his family were driving on the Pennsylvania Turnpike
- They were struck by a vehicle driven by Mark Raysinger
- Prior to the car accident, raysinger had been drinking alcohol at Gilligans home
- The appellant claim that the Gilligans are liable for the injuries they sustained in the accident
- They served him alcohol even though he was intoxicated and unable to drive.
- No social host who furnishes alcoholic beverages to any person shall be held accountable for damages suffered by that person.
- It is reasonable to serve liquor to someone who is intoxicated
- Also, raysinger was of age and could consumer alcohol at his own risk
Cogini v Potersville
- Cogini attended a work party
- Alcohol was served at the Pottersville party and he became intoxicated
- Cogini drove into the rear of a car
- This person was personally disabled
- The company (Pottersville) is liable because they gave a minor alcohol
- Social host liability
Currie v Phillips
- Skaf died after attending a party where he consumer alcohol
- He was only 20 and fell whilst attempting to walk up the stairs that did not have handrails.
- His estate sued the apartment owner
- The owner then turned and sued the fraternity claiming that the fraternity served alcohol to a minor and the kid was drunk
- One minor owes no duty to another minor under social host liability. All minors are considered incompetent to handle alcohol
- What have we learned: if they are both children, they are both equally incompetent to handle liquor so neither are liable
Standard of care
Case: Demeri V. Morris
- Issue: what standard a jury should evaluate the conduct of 12-year old child who operates a dirt bike on a public roadway where he is injured in a collision with an automobile?
- The exception to the standard of care of a child of similar age, intelligence, and experience is “when child engages in adult activities”.
- Once an infant chooses to operate any motor vehicle over a public road, the standard of reasonable care applies. Children who drive negligently over a public road cannot benefit from their age.
Case: Ford V. Applegate
- Ford injured her knee and was seen by Dr. Mckeever for evaluation.
- Dr. Mckeever asked Dr. Applegate to look at Ford’s film and included Dr. Applegate’s finding “anterior cruciate fully intact”
- However, in fact, Ford had a partial tear. Then, Dr. Applegate’ false interpretation led to a delayed diagnosis of the tear.
- Ford filed suit against Dr. Applegate.
- There was no physician-patient relationship between Ford and Dr. Applegate giving rise to a duty of care.
– Dr. Applegate did not bill Ford or her insurance company for any care or treatment.
– Dr. Applegate did not prepare any medical reports, records or billings in reference to her, and he had no medical chart to her.
- In the medical malpractice context, liability arises where there is relationship of physician-patient between the plaintiff and the defendant doctor; the relationship gives to the duty of care.
- Dr. Applegate had no duty to the patient.
Case: Duffy V. Kinnamon
- Plaintiff must prove the 4 elements of defendant’s negligence. (Duty, Breach of duty, proximate cause of plaintiff’s harm, damages)
- A landowner owes a licensee a duty only to warn any hidden dangers the owner knows or has reasons to know of, if the licensee does not know or has reason to know of the dangers involved.
- A landowner has no duty of inspection and to warn or protect a licensee from “open and obvious conditions”.
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