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APPLYING RULE TO FACTS

CHARACTERISTICS OF A
STRONG APPLICATION OF
RULE TO FACTS
©2013 UMKC School of Law
Lawyering Skills I

Components of a strong application of
rule to facts

fact

Critical
language

why

Strong
application

which application works the best? Why? .Read the following examples of application of rule to facts Even though you do not know anything about the facts.

Application 2 Firing into a mall with only fifty people in it is not substantially certain to result in one of the people being hit by a bullet. Simms demonstrated no intent to cause a harmful physical contact with Winston. He was not substantially certain to hit one.Rule for Intent The element of intent is satisfied if the actor desires to cause consequences of his act. . Therefore. Application 1 He fired blindly through a store window covered with paper into a mall with fifty people. or he believes that the consequences are substantially certain to result from it.

Application 3 Because only fifty people were in the mall. Nothing suggests that customers were congregating outside the store or that. As a result. Simms was not substantially certain to strike one of them by shooting blindly across one stretch of the mall. Simms would have known they were there. his odds of hitting another person when his view was blocked would be based upon the likelihood that. of all the spaces fifty individuals could occupy in four blocks of mall. . even had they been doing so. one individual happened to occupy that single space that would put her in his random line of fire.

Which one is best? Why? .

•The statement of facts would have already informed the reader what happened. •The first sentence does not connect the fact to the rule. •Can you count on the reader to get it right? . •The sentence is essentially wasted words. He was not substantially certain to hit one. •Why was he not substantially certain to hit one? •The reader is forced to fill in the blank.Applying Rule to Fact Not So Good Application 1 He fired blindly through a store window covered with paper into a mall with fifty people.

but still leaves the reader to infer why that fact satisfies that language. . Therefore.Applying Rule to Fact Better Application 2 Firing into a mall with only fifty people in it is not substantially certain to result in one of the people being hit by a bullet. Simms demonstrated no intent to cause a harmful physical contact with Winston. •The second sentence explicitly ties the fact to the larger concept rather than forcing the reader to make the connection. •The first sentence ties the facts more directly to the language of the rule.

Nothing suggests that customers were congregating outside the store or that. of all the spaces fifty individuals could occupy in four blocks of mall. one individual happened to occupy that single space that would put her in his random line of fire. his odds of hitting another person when his view was blocked would be based upon the likelihood that. . As a result. Simms was not substantially certain to strike one of them by shooting blindly across one stretch of the mall.Applying Rule to Fact Strong Application 3 Because only fifty people were in the mall. Simms would have known they were there. even had they been doing so.

the fact does or does not satisfy the rule • A fact never exists in a stand-alone sentence that merely states the existence of the fact. • The explanation of that fact’s meaning utilizes other facts where appropriate to support that interpretation. precisely. • how it should be interpreted • how it does or does not satisfy a portion of the rule • what specific language from the rule the fact does or does not satisfy • why. . • The explanation of what the fact means is connected to the application of the rule to other relevant facts.What Makes it Strong? • The focus of each sentence containing a fact is what that fact means.

Components of a strong application of law to fact Specific fact Critical language from the rule Why the fact does or does not satisfy that language .

fact Critical language why Strong application .

Bring your applications to workshop and be prepared to share them. choose facts for each part of the rule provided below and create a short application for each of those facts. Choose at least two facts that support that the school was entitled to restrict the speech on each part of the rule.EXERCISE: APPLYING RULE TO FACTS Using the “fact + critical language + why” approach. . Choose at least two facts that support that the school was not entitled to restrict the speech on each part of the rule.

however. Julie Fenton. Texas. . Juarez has been the journalism teacher at Sam Houston High School in Carrizo Springs. Juarez because Ms. is furious with Ms. Juarez removed Julie from the school newspaper staff due to Julie’s plagiarizing an article from the Internet. She is young and attractive – the boys comment on her looks frequently among themselves – and is generally well-liked by her students.FACTS Ms. for five years.

. during lunch. and at home. Eventually. Students were viewing it during classes. When the principal discovered the page. word got out. some disapproving – were flying all over Twitter and Facebook and instant messaging. Messages about it – some approving. and students at school began to access it. he expelled Julie for the rest of the semester.) Julie created a webpage with some very derogatory material and showed it to some of her friends when they were at her house.FACTS (cont.

S.) Ms.FACTS (cont. . Juarez is a second-generation Mexican American whose parents became U. There have been some shouting matches. and discussions about illegal immigration have been heated. and even a couple of fights between some Hispanic and Anglo students. Sam Houston High School has a large Hispanic population. citizens before she was born.

JAUREZ .JULIE’S WEBSITE ABOUT MS.

Football team only.S. Juarez (no makeup) THE COMPLAINT CORNER ADD YOUR COMMENT •The bitch is incompetent! •That’s okay. •Can’t you tell in class? She has to be stoned.” Push for Juarez’s address and directions.” “Mmmmm. Call me soon.” .THE SLUT JUAREZ PAGE Website for a Bitch a) Ms.S. Alien Status: Illegal Employment History a) Drug runner b) Cocaine dealer c) Migrant worker d) El Paso hooker “Drop by after class and relax. S. from Wetback U. Two good shags ‘ll get you an “A. in B. boys. No wonder he gets such good grades . How she sees herself “I just love my boys. b) c) d) The SLUT’s Bio Graduate of Mexican High B. •Does she really get high? I could enjoy her that way.” are a regular thing.” •I hear she and “J. please.

that is: – Disruptive OR – Offensive. including speech off-campus. .Rule Schools may punish student speech.

Disruptive Speech Speech that can reasonably be anticipated to materially and substantially interfere with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school .

or plainly offensive speech.Offensive Speech Vulgar. . indecent. lewd.

fact Critical language why Strong application .