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torts_bar

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Published by Michael Seager

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Published by: Michael Seager on May 07, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/11/2013

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 T
ORTS
: B
AR
E
XAM
C
HECKLIST
 
1)I
NTRO
Hypersensitivity of 
Π
not taken into account when deciding whether a tort was committed
 There are no incapacity defenses to tort liability2)I
NTENTIONAL
T
ORTS
(Intent is
always an element
)a)Batteryi)
commits harmful or offensive
contact
ii)Contact is with
Π
s person
iii)Offensive means
unpermitted
by a person with ordinary sensitivityiv)
Π
s person” includes anything held by plaintiff (i.e., briefcase)b)Assaulti)
puts
Π
in
apprehension
 ii)Apprehension is of an
immediate
 
battery
iii)Apprehension means
Π
’s knowledge
or
awareness
that unpermitted touching willfollowiv)Words
and conduct
= immediacyv)Future words destroy immediacyc)False Imprisonmenti)Act o
restraint
(1)Threats(2)Omissions and preexisting duties (i.e., prison guard’s failure to let prisoner go aftersentence is up)(3)
Π
knows of the restraint or suffers harmii)Confined in a
bound area
(1)Locked in
or 
(2)No
reasonably discoverable
means of escaped)Intentional Infliction of Mental Distressi)Intentional or reckless conductii)Outrageous conduct—exceeds all bounds of decency tolerated by a civilized societyiii)Severe emotional distressiv)Mere insults are never outrageous
unless
(1)Humiliated in a public place(2)Repetitive or continuous conduct(3)
is a common carrier or innkeeper(4)
Π
is a member of a fragile class (Young child, Elderly, Pregnant)v)Hypersensitivity is not enough
unless
 
knew of and exploited the sensitivitye)Trespass to Landi)
Intent to go
to the challenged location (whether
is aware or not that property isprivate)ii)Act o
physical
invasion (i.e., throwing a rock onto land of another)iii)Land (air above and soil below where owner can
use
the space)iv)Stupid Golfer is a trespasser; Bad golfer is not a trespasserf)Trespass to Chattels & Conversion1
 
i)Deliberate interference with personal propertyii)Interference means damages or takingiii)Small interference =
trespass to chattels
iv)Big interference =
conversion
v)Conversion:
Π
gets the full value3)D
EFENSES
 
 TO
I
NTENTIONAL
T
ORTS
a)Consenti)Legal capacity to consentii)Express(1)Actual words spoken or written(2)Exception : duress, fraud, mistakeiii)Implied(1)Custom and Usage (i.e., football; hockey)(2)
’s reasonable interpretation of 
Π
’s objective conductiv)Exceeding scope of consent makes you liable for the tortb)Self Defense; Defense of Others; Defense of Property (Protective Privileges)i)Timing :
acts when the invasion is imminent or in progress (
no revenge
)ii)Accuracy : Reasonable belief iii)Limitation :
must limit to the appropriate degree of forceiv)
Never
use deadly force for defense of propertyc)Necessityi)Property torts
only
ii)Public(1)
invades
Π
’s property(2)Emergency(3)Protect
community
or
significant group of people
(savior of the public)(4)Absolute defenseiii)Private(1)
invades
Π
’s property(2)Emergency(3)Protect
’s own interest
(4)Not an absolute defense(a)
must pay for actual harm caused(b)
not liable for nominal or punitive damages(c)
Π
/owner must tolerate presence on land during emergency (
sanctuary untilemergency is over
)4)D
EFAMATION
a)Elementsi)Defamatory statement—statement that tends to adversely affect
reputation
of 
Π
ii)Published—communication to a
third person
 iii)Damages, maybe (i
Π
must prove damages,
Π
limited to
economic injury
)b)Examplesi)Mere name calling is not defamatory2
 
ii)Must be an alleged factual statement that reflects poorly on the honesty and integrity of 
Π
iii)Opinion can be defamatory if reasonably interpreted as factiv)Cannot defame dead personsc)Libeli)Defamation embodied in
permanent
form (i.e., writing, videotape)ii)
Π
need not show actual damages but can if he wants tod)Slanderi)
Spoken
defamationii)Slander per se :
Π
need not show damages if statement was about:(1)Business/professional activities of 
Π
 (2)Crime of moral turpitude (fraudulent; dishonest) committed by
Π
(3)Unchastity of a woman
Π
(4)Loathsome disease held by
Π
(leprosy; venereal disease)iii)All other cases are not per se slander and
Π
must prove actual damagese)Defenses to Defamationi)Consentii)Truth (
’s burden)iii)Absolute Privilege (Identity of Speaker)(1)Communication between spouses(2)Executive, legislative, and judicial branch employees including lawyers and witnessesiv)Qualified Privilege (When and Why Statement was Made)(1)
speaks in a socially useful context (letters of recommendation; references; etc.)(2)Defamatory material is relevant to context(3)
makes statement with good faith belief in its truth even though a false statement5)P
RIVACY
T
ORTS
a)Appropriationi)
uses
Π
’s
name or picture
without permission for
commercial advantage
(e.g., TigerWoods)ii)Exception : Newsworthinessb)Intrusioni)
Invasion by
of 
Π
’s seclusion
in a way objectionable to average person (e.g.,eavesdropping)ii)
Π
must have an expectation of 
privacy
iii)No trespass requirementc)False Lighti)
Widespread dissemination
of major
misrepresentation
concerning
Π
’s
character,history, or beliefs
that would be objectionable to an average personii)Damages are emotional and psychological lossiii)Non-defamatory falsehood can be false light (e.g., Jewish guy portrayed as devoutcatholic)iv)Careless or negligent act enoughd)Disclosure3

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