a naive torts question

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
brownstudy
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:46 pm

a naive torts question

Postby brownstudy » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:07 pm

If battery requires the intent be met either "by a purpose to cause the tortious contact" or "substantial certainty that such a contact will result".

Can the intent be proved if a person is cleaning a roof by throwing junks off the roof to a path that only rarely used by ppl (for instance, only one ppl walked on the path in the past year, what about 10, or 100? )

can it be viewed that the intent can be transferred form "nobody" to the one that got accidentally injured?

brownstudy
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:46 pm

Re: a naive torts question

Postby brownstudy » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:25 pm

i think i get it now.. should have read more before posting..

brownstudy
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:46 pm

Re: a naive torts question

Postby brownstudy » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:05 pm

Another naive torts question:

if R secretly finds out the time T passes by a place everyday and pretended to inadvertently dropped tacks at the spot before T passes one day. Can R be charged with battery?

The purpose I think is always in one's head. If someone just denies the the purpose, the first sufficient condition does not hold.

The second condition "know substantially certain the contact would happen" seems can be denied easily in this case too, if R dropped it inadvertently.

Who bears the burden of proof? R to show he really did it inadvertently or T to show R really had an intention or purpose. If T claims that it's statistically unrealistic that all the coincidences happened together, then how rare it has to be in order for someone to successfully utilize this argument, not considering how to quantify the probability.

A question that needs to be answered beforehand is this: can the act and the harmful consequence be temporally separated? It seems so.

dakatz
Posts: 2460
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:19 pm

Re: a naive torts question

Postby dakatz » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:16 pm

brownstudy wrote:Another naive torts question:

if R secretly finds out the time T passes by a place everyday and pretended to inadvertently dropped tacks at the spot before T passes one day. Can R be charged with battery?

The purpose I think is always in one's head. If someone just denies the the purpose, the first sufficient condition does not hold.

The second condition "know substantially certain the contact would happen" seems can be denied easily in this case too, if R dropped it inadvertently.

Who bears the burden of proof? R to show he really did it inadvertently or T to show R really had an intention or purpose. If T claims that it's statistically unrealistic that all the coincidences happened together, then how rare it has to be in order for someone to successfully utilize this argument, not considering how to quantify the probability.

A question that needs to be answered beforehand is this: can the act and the harmful consequence be temporally separated? It seems so.


T would of course have the burden of proving the intent element as part of his burden to prove the entire prima facie case. You are overthinking by trying to draw a line. It is all based on the circumstances and could only be decided on a case by case basis. Circumstantial evidence can be presented to establish that one knew with a substantial certainty that a certain result would occur. Whether T could prove it in this case is based on an endless number of factors and circumstances unique to the situation.

And in your hypothetical, R acted with the specific purpose of harming T, so I don't know why you say that the first sufficient condition doesn't hold. Regardless of issues of proof, we know (from our omnipotent standpoint) that R acted with the specific intent to harm T. It doesn't matter if he dropped the tacks and said "I hope that, sometime in his life, T walks down this street and steps on these tacks. It will probably never happen, but I really hope it does". Might be the most unlikely thing in the world, but if it happens, we can say that R acted with the specific intent of harming T, and the harm resulted. No need to worry about the general intent possibility (knowledge of a substantial certainty)

How these issues are proven in the real world is something unto itself that you really don't have to worry about in torts class.

User avatar
Teoeo
Posts: 801
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:21 am

Re: a naive torts question

Postby Teoeo » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:24 pm

brownstudy wrote:Another naive torts question:

if R secretly finds out the time T passes by a place everyday and pretended to inadvertently dropped tacks at the spot before T passes one day. Can R be charged with battery?

The purpose I think is always in one's head. If someone just denies the the purpose, the first sufficient condition does not hold.

The second condition "know substantially certain the contact would happen" seems can be denied easily in this case too, if R dropped it inadvertently.

Who bears the burden of proof? R to show he really did it inadvertently or T to show R really had an intention or purpose. If T claims that it's statistically unrealistic that all the coincidences happened together, then how rare it has to be in order for someone to successfully utilize this argument, not considering how to quantify the probability.

A question that needs to be answered beforehand is this: can the act and the harmful consequence be temporally separated? It seems so.


This is really two different questions. Obviously, based on the information you gave us, the intent requirement has been fulfilled. On the other hand, absent that information, the burden of proof is on T. This is a basic rule of logic/law - the claimant must always bear the burden of proof (at least initially).

brownstudy
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:46 pm

Re: a naive torts question

Postby brownstudy » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:29 pm

I see! I'll stick to the omnipotent standpoint then. I can imagine how complex it could get in real world and the unique evidence or proofs for each case. Thanks!


dakatz wrote:
brownstudy wrote:Another naive torts question:

if R secretly finds out the time T passes by a place everyday and pretended to inadvertently dropped tacks at the spot before T passes one day. Can R be charged with battery?

The purpose I think is always in one's head. If someone just denies the the purpose, the first sufficient condition does not hold.

The second condition "know substantially certain the contact would happen" seems can be denied easily in this case too, if R dropped it inadvertently.

Who bears the burden of proof? R to show he really did it inadvertently or T to show R really had an intention or purpose. If T claims that it's statistically unrealistic that all the coincidences happened together, then how rare it has to be in order for someone to successfully utilize this argument, not considering how to quantify the probability.

A question that needs to be answered beforehand is this: can the act and the harmful consequence be temporally separated? It seems so.


T would of course have the burden of proving the intent element as part of his burden to prove the entire prima facie case. You are overthinking by trying to draw a line. It is all based on the circumstances and could only be decided on a case by case basis. Circumstantial evidence can be presented to establish that one knew with a substantial certainty that a certain result would occur. Whether T could prove it in this case is based on an endless number of factors and circumstances unique to the situation.

And in your hypothetical, R acted with the specific purpose of harming T, so I don't know why you say that the first sufficient condition doesn't hold. Regardless of issues of proof, we know (from our omnipotent standpoint) that R acted with the specific intent to harm T. It doesn't matter if he dropped the tacks and said "I hope that, sometime in his life, T walks down this street and steps on these tacks. It will probably never happen, but I really hope it does". Might be the most unlikely thing in the world, but if it happens, we can say that R acted with the specific intent of harming T, and the harm resulted. No need to worry about the general intent possibility (knowledge of a substantial certainty)

How these issues are proven in the real world is something unto itself that you really don't have to worry about in torts class.

brownstudy
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:46 pm

Re: a naive torts question

Postby brownstudy » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:34 pm

I was thinking if someone just hide his purpose and pretend not to substantially know the consequences (pretend he doesn't know the tacks slipped out of his half-open bag), it seems very easy to dodge the charge of battery. But that's not relevant to Torts class..

Just started reading my first las school book. EE on torts..

Teoeo wrote:
brownstudy wrote:Another naive torts question:

if R secretly finds out the time T passes by a place everyday and pretended to inadvertently dropped tacks at the spot before T passes one day. Can R be charged with battery?

The purpose I think is always in one's head. If someone just denies the the purpose, the first sufficient condition does not hold.

The second condition "know substantially certain the contact would happen" seems can be denied easily in this case too, if R dropped it inadvertently.

Who bears the burden of proof? R to show he really did it inadvertently or T to show R really had an intention or purpose. If T claims that it's statistically unrealistic that all the coincidences happened together, then how rare it has to be in order for someone to successfully utilize this argument, not considering how to quantify the probability.

A question that needs to be answered beforehand is this: can the act and the harmful consequence be temporally separated? It seems so.


This is really two different questions. Obviously, based on the information you gave us, the intent requirement has been fulfilled. On the other hand, absent that information, the burden of proof is on T. This is a basic rule of logic/law - the claimant must always bear the burden of proof (at least initially).

dakatz
Posts: 2460
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:19 pm

Re: a naive torts question

Postby dakatz » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:40 pm

brownstudy wrote:I was thinking if someone just hide his purpose and pretend not to substantially know the consequences (pretend he doesn't know the tacks slipped out of his half-open bag), it seems very easy to dodge the charge of battery. But that's not relevant to Torts class..

Just started reading my first las school book. EE on torts..

Teoeo wrote:
brownstudy wrote:Another naive torts question:

if R secretly finds out the time T passes by a place everyday and pretended to inadvertently dropped tacks at the spot before T passes one day. Can R be charged with battery?

The purpose I think is always in one's head. If someone just denies the the purpose, the first sufficient condition does not hold.

The second condition "know substantially certain the contact would happen" seems can be denied easily in this case too, if R dropped it inadvertently.

Who bears the burden of proof? R to show he really did it inadvertently or T to show R really had an intention or purpose. If T claims that it's statistically unrealistic that all the coincidences happened together, then how rare it has to be in order for someone to successfully utilize this argument, not considering how to quantify the probability.

A question that needs to be answered beforehand is this: can the act and the harmful consequence be temporally separated? It seems so.


This is really two different questions. Obviously, based on the information you gave us, the intent requirement has been fulfilled. On the other hand, absent that information, the burden of proof is on T. This is a basic rule of logic/law - the claimant must always bear the burden of proof (at least initially).


You would prove it through circumstantial evidence. And if you aren't in law school yet, you SHOULD NOT be reading E&E books or anything substantive for that matter. Search through some past threads to understand why because the list is too long. As a current student who tried it, I can tell you from experience that you shouldn't be doing that.

brownstudy
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:46 pm

Re: a naive torts question

Postby brownstudy » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:58 pm

dakatz wrote:
brownstudy wrote:I was thinking if someone just hide his purpose and pretend not to substantially know the consequences (pretend he doesn't know the tacks slipped out of his half-open bag), it seems very easy to dodge the charge of battery. But that's not relevant to Torts class..

Just started reading my first las school book. EE on torts..

Teoeo wrote:
brownstudy wrote:Another naive torts question:

if R secretly finds out the time T passes by a place everyday and pretended to inadvertently dropped tacks at the spot before T passes one day. Can R be charged with battery?

The purpose I think is always in one's head. If someone just denies the the purpose, the first sufficient condition does not hold.

The second condition "know substantially certain the contact would happen" seems can be denied easily in this case too, if R dropped it inadvertently.

Who bears the burden of proof? R to show he really did it inadvertently or T to show R really had an intention or purpose. If T claims that it's statistically unrealistic that all the coincidences happened together, then how rare it has to be in order for someone to successfully utilize this argument, not considering how to quantify the probability.

A question that needs to be answered beforehand is this: can the act and the harmful consequence be temporally separated? It seems so.


This is really two different questions. Obviously, based on the information you gave us, the intent requirement has been fulfilled. On the other hand, absent that information, the burden of proof is on T. This is a basic rule of logic/law - the claimant must always bear the burden of proof (at least initially).


You would prove it through circumstantial evidence. And if you aren't in law school yet, you SHOULD NOT be reading E&E books or anything substantive for that matter. Search through some past threads to understand why because the list is too long. As a current student who tried it, I can tell you from experience that you shouldn't be doing that.


I read the posts on study tips in the TLS collected wisdom

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=123092

I think three suggested reading and I don't remember anyone specifically opposed to it. My impression is that it gives you a general idea. Since I read really slow (never finished a LSAT RC) I hope to read something in advance so I can keep up with all the readings when the semester begins. Since I'm international, I also hope to build my law vocabulary.

It seems the drawbacks include lose the process of extracting the rules from the casebook during the semester, and reading materials that won't be covered by the professor.

Thanks for the advice. I'll dedicate the rest of the night on tls reading some more comments on supplements.

User avatar
helloperson
Posts: 310
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:26 pm

Re: a naive torts question

Postby helloperson » Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:39 am

brownstudy wrote:I was thinking if someone just hide his purpose and pretend not to substantially know the consequences (pretend he doesn't know the tacks slipped out of his half-open bag), it seems very easy to dodge the charge of battery. But that's not relevant to Torts class..

Just started reading my first las school book. EE on torts..\


0L here but I'll chime in anyway... I feel like you're missing the point. The point isn't to know definitively whether something is or is not battery, but to be able to make a strong case that something should or should not be considered battery. Try being less concerned with developing a definitive answer and more concerned with the arguments you could make one way or the other.

woodstocker
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:14 am

Re: a naive torts question

Postby woodstocker » Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:24 pm

I have another Torts q. What is the difference between forseeability in determining duty of care, and forseeability in determining proximate cause? Is it basically the same measure? If so, wouldn't satisfaction of duty automatically satisfy proximate cause? Any clarification would be appreciated. Thanks!

dakatz
Posts: 2460
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:19 pm

Re: a naive torts question

Postby dakatz » Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:30 pm

woodstocker wrote:I have another Torts q. What is the difference between forseeability in determining duty of care, and forseeability in determining proximate cause? Is it basically the same measure? If so, wouldn't satisfaction of duty automatically satisfy proximate cause? Any clarification would be appreciated. Thanks!


Its been a few months since torts, so my answer may not be as sharp as it might have been a few months ago. Saying I have a duty to protect you from reasonably foreseeable harm says nothing about whether or not the harm that occurred was reasonably foreseeable (i.e. within the scope of proximate cause). That is the first point that should hopefully clarify it. Also, there are a number of ways a duty can be created. It doesn't necessarily need to rest on the foreseeability of harm.

User avatar
soaponarope
Posts: 169
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:02 pm

Re: a naive torts question

Postby soaponarope » Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:41 pm

dakatz wrote:
woodstocker wrote:I have another Torts q. What is the difference between forseeability in determining duty of care, and forseeability in determining proximate cause? Is it basically the same measure? If so, wouldn't satisfaction of duty automatically satisfy proximate cause? Any clarification would be appreciated. Thanks!


Its been a few months since torts, so my answer may not be as sharp as it might have been a few months ago. Saying I have a duty to protect you from reasonably foreseeable harm says nothing about whether or not the harm that occurred was reasonably foreseeable (i.e. within the scope of proximate cause). That is the first point that should hopefully clarify it. Also, there are a number of ways a duty can be created. It doesn't necessarily need to rest on the foreseeability of harm.


In addition, "duty of care" is a question of law decided at the bench, i.e. by a judge.
Proximate cause is a question of fact and is determined by the jury. Duty and Proximate cause are indeed similar but can be distinguished as follows: Establishing that the defendant owed a Duty of care (with the factors taught by your torts professor) will get you to breach/causation/proximate and the damages analysis... The "proximate causal analysis" function is to limit the scope of liability.

3 ways you can analyze if the D owed a Duty of care: 1) General duty, 2) Duty to protect, and 3) duty to rescue. Use the factors/rules that your professor taught you.

User avatar
Nicholasnickynic
Posts: 1126
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 3:21 pm

Re: a naive torts question

Postby Nicholasnickynic » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:36 am

yikes.

User avatar
Stanford4Me
Posts: 6049
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:23 am

Re: a naive torts question

Postby Stanford4Me » Sun Apr 03, 2011 12:42 am

You know its finals season when . . .

User avatar
gwuorbust
Posts: 2087
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:37 pm

Re: a naive torts question

Postby gwuorbust » Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:46 am

Stanford4Me wrote:You know its finals season when . . .


0Ls ask stupid torts questions?

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: a naive torts question

Postby Renzo » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:40 pm

gwuorbust wrote:
Stanford4Me wrote:You know its finals season when . . .


0Ls ask stupid torts questions?


Bingo. Sure likes 0L prep look like time well spent, doesn't it?




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google Adsense [Bot], ididntwantsalmon, Milksteak, OldArmy and 8 guests