Torts: Conversion Q

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SwampRat88
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Torts: Conversion Q

Postby SwampRat88 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:24 pm

I have a suspicion that my torts professor is going to throw a conversion hypo related to the loss of a body part on the examination.

What is the case law on this? Off the bat, I assume that you would not have an actionable claim if you voluntarily surrendered a body part. But what if someone cuts your hair off while sleeping--conversion? (battery, obviously)

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Angus MacGyver
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Re: Torts: Conversion Q

Postby Angus MacGyver » Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:48 pm

Make the argument for conversion...

SwampRat88
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Re: Torts: Conversion Q

Postby SwampRat88 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:21 pm

Angus MacGyver wrote:Make the argument for conversion...


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore_v._R ... California

I guess I'm confused because conversion wasn't found in that case.

random5483
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Re: Torts: Conversion Q

Postby random5483 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:11 pm

Law school exams require analysis. Just because a case decided something a certain way does not mean every court will find it that way. Not to mention, courts often change the law based on changes in time or because of a persuasive argument (granted they can only change the law if not bound by precedent from a higher court).

In your hypo, argue both conversion and battery. Also discuss trespass to chattels as an alternate possibility. Cite the case you listed and perhaps use it to support a conclusion that a conversion charge is unlikely to succeed, while a battery charge will probably succeed. Do not, however, completely skip conversion. You are being graded on your issue spotting AND analytical skills. Failure to spot a potential issue and analyze it will cost you points.

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Angus MacGyver
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Re: Torts: Conversion Q

Postby Angus MacGyver » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:40 pm

random5483 wrote:Law school exams require analysis. Just because a case decided something a certain way does not mean every court will find it that way. Not to mention, courts often change the law based on changes in time or because of a persuasive argument (granted they can only change the law if not bound by precedent from a higher court).

In your hypo, argue both conversion and battery. Also discuss trespass to chattels as an alternate possibility. Cite the case you listed and perhaps use it to support a conclusion that a conversion charge is unlikely to succeed, while a battery charge will probably succeed. Do not, however, completely skip conversion. You are being graded on your issue spotting AND analytical skills. Failure to spot a potential issue and analyze it will cost you points.


Absolutely. Bring up conversion.

You could say something like:
The plaintiff would argue that the taking of the plaintiff's hair was conversion because [elements + exam facts].

The defendant would counter that it is not conversion because [elements + exam facts].




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