Applying the Learned Hand rule

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Outlawed
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Applying the Learned Hand rule

Postby Outlawed » Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:42 am

The Carroll towing case should be fairly familiar to most 1Ls, particularly the Learned Hand rule- B<PL, where B stands for burden of untaken precautions, p is probability of outcome, L is severity of outcome. Carroll towing occured during wartime and the issue was the alleged negligence of not having a person on board working as a barge attendant and the injruy was harm to the ship. I came across a multiple choice question that asks what happens to P, L, and B, if the harbor was quite, idel and during peacetime. I thought the answer would be that P, L, B would all go down, since there is less of a chance of a bad outcome, presumably less severity (though this might be questionable), and lower burden of untaken precautions because there isnt as strong of a need to man the barge. The answer however, says that B, L, P would all go up. What gives? Am I wrong in my analysis? Please explain. Thanks.

thegrandinquisitor
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Re: Applying the Learned Hand rule

Postby thegrandinquisitor » Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:01 am

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Last edited by thegrandinquisitor on Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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samiseaborn
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Re: Applying the Learned Hand rule

Postby samiseaborn » Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:57 am

Would the burden of taking the precaution be more in wartime since it's probably harder to find someone qualified to be the attendant for all those hours, since most men are off at war? Therefore, the burden would be less during peacetime since there are more men around looking for work. I may be reaching though.

mr.undroppable
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Re: Applying the Learned Hand rule

Postby mr.undroppable » Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:27 am

You're approaching this all wrong - and I understand you are asking a particular question but the answer is meaningless. It is an imprecise formula and all that really matters is that you can argue both sides and come up with a reasonable justification for how you come out on the exam.

There is not 'right' or 'wrong' answer in any question you will see on the exam that involves this kind of analysis. If you only argue one side and feel smug that you have the right answer because you are insanely looking up multiple choice tests to help you study for torts (awful idea by the way), be prepared for a flat B or B- on your transcript. Argue both sides, no matter how ridiculous the argument, use some pet policy issue of your professor to choose which side is better, and welcome to A territory.

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SoxyPirate
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Re: Applying the Learned Hand rule

Postby SoxyPirate » Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:20 pm

thegrandinquisitor wrote:Injury would go down. If we were not at wartime, the value of the lost sugar would be lower since the government would not need it for its troops.


:lol:

legends159
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Re: Applying the Learned Hand rule

Postby legends159 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:54 pm

don't just argue both sides but also argue why the hand formula should or should not even apply in this case. Bring in other common sense policy considerations for why you can't just plug every negligence tort into a formula

270910
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Re: Applying the Learned Hand rule

Postby 270910 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:03 pm

OP asked about a multiple choice question. I'm pretty sure "OH HO HO PROF, how do we even know we should APPLY the hand formula!?111!!!" is not TCR on a multiple choice question.

I haven't come across this in my torts class, but I'd suggest people actually help him figure out why the MC answer is what it is, rather than attempt to give advice about what to do if he is asked this question in a completely different context :roll:

Congratulations, you've seen the light re: taking a standard law school essay exam. They are the standard so that's undeniably important. That doesn't absolve you from responsibility for multiple choice questions, however, which can and have been found on torts exams.

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Capercaillie
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Re: Applying the Learned Hand rule

Postby Capercaillie » Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:13 pm

Image

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Mulliganstew
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Re: Applying the Learned Hand rule

Postby Mulliganstew » Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:30 pm

Outlawed wrote:The Carroll towing case should be fairly familiar to most 1Ls, particularly the Learned Hand rule- B<PL, where B stands for burden of untaken precautions, p is probability of outcome, L is severity of outcome. Carroll towing occured during wartime and the issue was the alleged negligence of not having a person on board working as a barge attendant and the injruy was harm to the ship. I came across a multiple choice question that asks what happens to P, L, and B, if the harbor was quite, idel and during peacetime. I thought the answer would be that P, L, B would all go down, since there is less of a chance of a bad outcome, presumably less severity (though this might be questionable), and lower burden of untaken precautions because there isnt as strong of a need to man the barge. The answer however, says that B, L, P would all go up. What gives? Am I wrong in my analysis? Please explain. Thanks.


I have no idea how the answer could argue that the injury goes up when one of the main reasons the case has such a high injury risk is because of wartime.

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rayiner
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Re: Applying the Learned Hand rule

Postby rayiner » Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:48 pm

particularly the Learned Hand rule- B<PL, where B stands for burden of untaken precautions, p is probability of outcome, L is severity of outcome. Carroll towing occured during wartime and the issue was the alleged negligence of not having a person on board working as a barge attendant and the injruy was harm to the ship. I came across a multiple choice question that asks what happens to P, L, and B, if the harbor was quite, idel and during peacetime. I thought the answer would be that P, L, B would all go down, since there is less of a chance of a bad outcome, presumably less severity (though this might be questionable), and lower burden of untaken precautions because there isnt as strong of a need to man the barge. The answer however, says that B, L, P would all go up. What gives? Am I wrong in my analysis? Please explain. Thanks.


Where did you get this MC question? It seems wrong. If the Harbor is quiet and idle, then P definitely goes down. Hand explicitly goes into this in his opinion --- he notes that the fact that it was wartime and the harbor was busy with barges constantly being "drilled" in and out increased the chance that something would go wrong. You could argue that, to a first approximation, B and L would remain unchanged. What do law students know about the cost of labor and flour in wartime versus peacetime...

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stab master arson
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Re: Applying the Learned Hand rule

Postby stab master arson » Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:50 pm

The chick who sits in front of me in torts makes me want to apply the Rosy Palm rule again ... and again....

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SoxyPirate
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Re: Applying the Learned Hand rule

Postby SoxyPirate » Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:55 pm

stab master arson wrote:The chick who sits in front of me in torts makes me want to apply the Rosy Palm rule again ... and again....


Did you type this one-handed?

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mikeytwoshoes
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Re: Applying the Learned Hand rule

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:59 pm

SoxyPirate wrote:
stab master arson wrote:The chick who sits in front of me in torts makes me want to apply the Rosy Palm rule again ... and again....


Did you type this one-handed?

158

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mikeytwoshoes
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Re: Applying the Learned Hand rule

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:59 pm

stab master arson wrote:The chick who sits in front of me in torts makes me want to apply the Rosy Palm rule again ... and again....

136

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SoxyPirate
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Re: Applying the Learned Hand rule

Postby SoxyPirate » Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:10 pm

mikeytwoshoes wrote:
SoxyPirate wrote:
stab master arson wrote:The chick who sits in front of me in torts makes me want to apply the Rosy Palm rule again ... and again....


Did you type this one-handed?

157


Fixt

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m311
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Re: Applying the Learned Hand rule

Postby m311 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:50 am

The MC answer is wrong. Are you reading it incorrectly or something?

solidsnake
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Re: Applying the Learned Hand rule

Postby solidsnake » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:58 pm

I agree that the MCQ is way too vague without investigating other key facts. OOH, defendant would love to show that if the harbor was idle, then the severity of harm that is likely to flow to def's alleged neg would decrease substantially because there is less of a chance that, if the harbor would have to be temporarily shut down while the wreckage was being salvaged, the flow of trade would restrained comparable to that of a busy harbor. P would likely go down as well because there is less chance barge would collide with other vessels. OTOH, plaintiff will want to show that if the harbor was idle, the bargee would have been more capable of eliminating the risk of injury once the barge broke loose because he could devote more attention to it, rather than on other vessels in the harbor.

Cost of commodities on board during wartime/peacetime relevant to L. If war/peacetime affected bargee's wages, then relevant to B. If different qualities of rope were used to tie down the barges in war/peacetime, then relevant. If bargees typically listened to the radio more during wartime rather than peacetime (for updates on the war) then relevant as it would affect their attention. If placing bargees on board would have led to other cost-cutting measures (like cheaper rope) then relevant to B, although not to the war/peacetime attendant circumstance.




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