Attacking long fact patterns in torts

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thwalls
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Attacking long fact patterns in torts

Postby thwalls » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:20 pm

Hey guys, I have my first final on Wednesday in Torts. My torts professor gives two questions usually and the first is predominantly a gigantic 2-3 page fact pattern that has a "domino effect" set of causes that injure one plaintiff and with about 6-7 possible defendants.

Case in point, A hits B's car (both were breaking a law; one for speeding one for an illegal turn), B hits a telephone pole which falls over (made by C and maintained by D), wires fall down and create a spark on a tank of chemicals stored by E, which explodes sending out a shockwave that causes a building maintained by F (who had been told about cracks in the building but did not repair them) to collapse on a person G who went into a room in the building marked do not enter when looking for the laundry room. G brings suit against all the above named defendants, what are the causes of action?

I don't know where to begin on this. I feel like I know th law, but I just don't know how to begin and I'm freaking out. I shouldn't be freaking out. But I am.

Can anybody just give me hint at how to begin something like this.

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kswiss
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Re: Attacking long fact patterns in torts

Postby kswiss » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:31 pm

Your prof is probably not going to care what order you go in, so just start somewhere.

Set up
G v F
- possible neg per se if building code violation
- or just negligence
- talk about duty of a landowner to a trespasser
- G's contributory negligence A/R
- Talk about superceding cause, other proximate cause stuff
- cause in fact (would the building have collapsed even if no cracks)

Then go to
G v E
- SL for Abnormally dangerous activities
- Negligence if the fact pattern suggests it.

Then
G v. D, etc.

thwalls
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Re: Attacking long fact patterns in torts

Postby thwalls » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:34 pm

You rule. I don't know why I was freaking out so much. But for some reason I was missing the obvious.

Thanks.

Melkaba
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Re: Attacking long fact patterns in torts

Postby Melkaba » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:43 pm

From someone who just did a quick issue spotter on the question and came up with a similar list, could G even get C or D on something? (the only thing I can come up with is if there was some apparent defect in the telephone pole that D might have known could open the door to a misfeasance negligence argument)

anonis
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Re: Attacking long fact patterns in torts

Postby anonis » Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:55 am

Fortunately, our torts professor lists out for us what parties we need to identify torts between, A and B, A and C, etc :)

thwalls
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Re: Attacking long fact patterns in torts

Postby thwalls » Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:35 am

anonis wrote:Fortunately, our torts professor lists out for us what parties we need to identify torts between, A and B, A and C, etc :)


Our professor doesn't provide answer keys, although he has a voluminous supply of back tests, and he likes to just drop news paper clippings into the exam as questions. Then his directions are: you're an attorney for so and so, draft a memorandum laying out all possible causes of action, all possible defenses, and all damages. Go nuts.

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GoodToBeTheKing
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Re: Attacking long fact patterns in torts

Postby GoodToBeTheKing » Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:18 pm

You may be able to map it out as

A's Liability/Extent of Liability

B's Liability/Extent of Liability


etc.....



this way you can cover the scope of risk/proximate cause of each person

Omerta
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Re: Attacking long fact patterns in torts

Postby Omerta » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:23 pm

This is kind of a late comment, but my professor does the same thing. He suggested writing by injury (which I'm now doing because he said to do it that way). It works pretty well for the convoluted causation problems you run into.
A is B's patient. B seduces A and causes her IIED. C puts A on Prozac while knowing test results show that 15-18 yr old girls have a higher rate of suicide while on Prozac for initial period. Two month after being prescribed Prozac, A attempts suicide and has a paralyzed right arm. A is driving a lawn mower later and falls off while not wearing the safety bracelet and A's right arm is cut off by the blade of the mower made by D.

A's psychic distress: just B

A's arm paralysis: maybe B, A contrib, Prozac, and C

A's arm chopped off: A contrib, P, C, too distant from B.

thwalls
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Re: Attacking long fact patterns in torts

Postby thwalls » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:18 pm

Omerta wrote:This is kind of a late comment, but my professor does the same thing. He suggested writing by injury (which I'm now doing because he said to do it that way). It works pretty well for the convoluted causation problems you run into.
A is B's patient. B seduces A and causes her IIED. C puts A on Prozac while knowing test results show that 15-18 yr old girls have a higher rate of suicide while on Prozac for initial period. Two month after being prescribed Prozac, A attempts suicide and has a paralyzed right arm. A is driving a lawn mower later and falls off while not wearing the safety bracelet and A's right arm is cut off by the blade of the mower made by D.

A's psychic distress: just B

A's arm paralysis: maybe B, A contrib, Prozac, and C

A's arm chopped off: A contrib, P, C, too distant from B.


I like that way as well. I'm actually a fan of the long story where you just have at it with no direction. But the ones where you have 1 initial cause followed by 8 interceding causes makes me want to hurt someone.

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Charles Barkley
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Re: Attacking long fact patterns in torts

Postby Charles Barkley » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:37 pm

I'm so glad my professors torts exam is not like this.




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