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Published by: fredtv on Feb 04, 2011
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Torts: Essay Approach

I. Exam Answer Format
A. State the Issue Æ 'PlaintiII is suing the deIendant Ior . . . .¨
B. State Prima Facie Case Æ 'To establish . . . the plaintiII must show . . . .¨
C. Apply the Law to the Facts Æ 'Here. plaintiII will show . . . .¨
D. Apply Defenses Æ 'Here. deIendant will raise the deIense oI . . . . He must show . . . .¨
E. Raise Other Considerations Æ 'DeIendant`s employer might be liable because . . . . To show this . . . .¨
F. IIED: Iall back tort. always consider
II. Intentional Torts (Prima Facie Case)
A. Battery Æ HarmIul or oIIensive contact with plaintiII`s person
B. Assault Æ Reasonable apprehension by plaintiII oI immediate harmIul or oIIensive contact
C. False Imprisonment Æ Act oI intentionally conIining plaintiII to a bounded area
D. Intentional InIliction oI Emotional Distress Æ Outrageous conduct causing plaintiII extreme emotional distress
E. Trespass to Chattel Æ interIerence w/ right oI possession oI personal property and actual damage or
F. Conversion Æ serious interIerence w/ right oI possession oI personal prop to iustiIy Iorced sale to ǻ (no trans
G. Trespass to Land Æ Intentional physical invasion oI plaintiII`s land
H. Nuisance Æ Unreasonably interIering with use/enioyment oI plaintiII`s property ('public¨ iI health/saIety inter.)
I. WrongIul Inst. oI Legal Proceedings
1. Abuse oI Process Æ WrongIul use oI proceeding against plaintiII Ior ulterior purpose
2. Malicious Prosecution Æ PurposeIul. wrongIul institution oI criminal proceedings against plaintiII
III. Defenses
A. Consent
1. Capacity to consent? (age. drunk. mental)
2. Consent 'express¨ or ~implied¨ by either custom. or plaintiII`s conduct
3. Did deIendant act within scope oI consent?
B. DeIense
1. Self-Defense Æ Reasonable believed necessary to protect oneselI Irom immediate danger (like Iorce)
2. Defense of Others Æ Tort is. or is about to be committed against 3d person
3. Defense of Property Æ Reasonable belieI that tort is being. or is about to be committed on property
a. may only use reasonable Iorce. never deadly Iorce to solely protect property
C. Necessity
1. Priv to interIere w/ P`s prop rights when appears reasonable to avoid more serious iniury to prop/person
2. Private Æ Ior personal beneIit; must pay Ior actual damages caused
3. Public Æ Ior beneIit oI several/many people; no liability Ior damages
IV. Defamation/Privacy
A. DeIamation
1. 'DeIamatory statement concerning plaintiII. published. causing iniury to reputation.¨
2. Need not prove damages iI libel. 'slander per se¨ (business rep.. women`s chastity. disease. moral crime)
3. Constitutional Issues: PlaintiII must prove . . .
a. Public OIIicial/Person Æ CL elements ¹ NY times Malice (know Ialse/ reckless disregard)
b. Private Person/Public Issue Æ acted with Iault (Neg) OR NY times malice
c. Private Person/Private Issue Æ P need not prove anything; damages presumed (maybe punitive)
4. DeIenses
a. Truth (iI private matter); Consent
b. Absolute Privilege Æ Can never be lost; iudicial proc.. legislators at work. husband-wiIe
c. QualiIied Privilege Æ Lost iI abused/malice; reports. letters oI rec.. stmnts in publisher`s interest
B. Invasion oI Privacy
1. Appropriation Æ Unauthorized use oI plaintiII`s name/picture Ior commercial advantage
2. Intrusion Æ DeIendant intrudes into plaintiII`s privacy or seclusion (expectation oI privacy invaded)
3. False Light Æ Publicizing Ialse Iacts that reas person would obiect to; NY times malice
4. Disclosure Æ Publication oI private Iacts about plaintiII (health. grades. Iinancial inIo. etc.)
C. Note: When 'deIamation¨ at issue. always consider 'inIliction oI emotional distress¨
V. Negligence
A. Duty oI Care
1. Each person has a duty to behave as a reasonable person under the same or similar circumstances.
a. Note: proIessionals. children. common carriers/innkeepers & land possessors have special duties
b. Landowner duties: undiscovered tres (no duty); discovered tres (warn/make saIe artiIical
conditions w/risk oI death/serious iniury); licensee (warn/make saIe artiIicial and natural
conditions iI not obvious and dangerous) invitee(make reasonable inspections. discover
nonobvious dangerous conditions and warn/make saIe)
B. Breach oI Duty
1. Discuss whether deIendant met the standard. ('A reasonable person would have . . . . Here. deIendant
did . . . . ThereIore. the deIendant did/did not breach his duty oI care.¨)
2. Statutory Negligence
a. Negligence per se must ask iI the harm was the kind the statute sought to prevent)
3. Res Ipsa Loquitur
a. Accident type wouldn`t normally occur but Ior negligence. instrumentality that caused accident
was in ǻ`s exclusive control. and iniury was not P`s Iault.
C. Causation
1. Actual Æ 'But Ior¨ negligence plaintiII wouldn`t have been iniured; iI ioint use 'substantial Iactor¨ test
2. Proximate Æ Lack oI Ioreseeability; deIendant only liable Ior harms Ioreseeably resulting Irom his acts
a. Direct Cause Æ II events uninterrupted Irom neg. to iniury. liable Ior all Ioreseeable harms
b. Indirect Cause Æ II events interrupted by intervening Iorce (Act oI God. 3d party). deIendant not
liable Ior unIoreseeable results
D. Damages Æ PlaintiII must have suIIered damages/iniury Irom breach oI duty
E. Neg. InIliction oI Emotional Distress Æ duty to avoid causing emotional distress; physical iniury; zone-oI-danger
F. DeIenses Æ Contributory Negligence (complete bar); Comparative Neg; Assumption oI risk
VI. Strict Liability
A. Dangerous. and Trespassing Animals Æ P is liable Ior harm caused by animal`s abnormally danger propensity
B. Abnormally Dangerous Activities
1. Activities involving serious risk oI harm. which can`t be perIormed without risk regardless oI due care;
not common in particular community
C. DeIenses Æ Comparative Neg.; Assumption oI Risk
VII. Products Liability (4 theories)
A. Strict Products Liability
1. DeIective Product: was product deIective Ior its Ioreseeable use when it leIt the ǻ
a. DeIectively ManuIactured
b. DeIectively Designed (not saIe Ior intended use. could have been made saIe w/o price impact)
c. Failure to Adequately Warn
2. Causation
a. Actual (did product actually cause iniuries)
b. Proximate (were iniuries Ioreseeable)
3. Damages Æ Same as torts; usually denied iI loss merely economical
B. Negligence
1. Duty Æ standard oI care. Ioreseeable plaintiII
2. Breach Æ unlike strict products liability. need to establish actual breach oI duty
3. Causation Æ Actual. Proximate
4. Damages
C. Implied Warranty
1. Implied warranty oI merchantability (Iitness Ior a ordinary purpose)
2. Implied warranty oI Iitness Ior a particular purpose

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