tort law spr. 2007

tort law spr. 2007 - TORT LAW CHAPTERS 6 and 7 The next 3...

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TORT LAW CHAPTERS 6 and 7 The next 3 chapters (Chs. 6, 7, 8) deal with unacceptable behavior that results in an injury to someone else. This injury can either be due to their careless behavior (negligence) or their intentional behavior (intentional tort). If the unacceptable behavior is recognized by society as behavior that should be prevented, it can also be considered a crime (misdemeanors or felonies). Picture a timeline with very good behavior on the left and very bad behavior on the right with varying degrees of unacceptable behavior on the line between. The closer you get to the right, the worse the behavior is. Remember, law consists of a set of standards or rules that society has set to govern its conduct, and when a person unintentionally or intentionally injures someone else, that is a violation of such standards. Tort law is civil law, which means that if the injured party wants to receive monetary damages for his/her injuries, he/she will have to file a civil case against the party that caused the injury. At the same time, if the violation of the standard is severe enough and therefore has also been defined as a crime, the State (prosecuting attorney or district attorney) can bring a criminal action against the party that caused the injury. Thus, it is possible when a person intentionally injures someone else, that this poor behavior can be both a tort (civil case) and a crime (criminal case). The perfect example of intentional behavior that resulted in a tort and a crime is the O.J. Simpson case. Some of you may be too young to remember the murder trial against O.J. Simpson, who was accused of brutally killing his wife. O.J. Simpson was a famous football player who had made numerous commercials for cereal companies, Hertz Rental Car, etc. He was well-liked and a hero. He was accused of murder 1 in California and the criminal trial against him was very controversial. It took a long time to pick the 12 jurors and the 2 alternates that would eventually hear the case and make a decision regarding his innocence or guilt. In chapter 6, you will read that the burden of proof for the state to convince the jury of the defendant’s guilt is beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, almost more than 100% convinced that the crime was committed by the defendant, as charged. All 12 jurors must unanimously agree with this verdict. In the O.J. Simpson case, all 12 jurors did not agree, and Mr. Simpson was found not guilty of the crime with which he was charged. The prosecuting attorney had not included any lesser offenses in the murder chard, therefore Mr. Simpson was now free to go. However, the estate of his wife now filed a civil case against Mr. Simpson for the wrongful death of their daughter and claimed monetary damages from Mr. Simpson. The parties to this action were the parents of the murdered wife as plaintiffs and Mr. Simpson as the defendant. This case was brought in civil court, not criminal court and the burden of proof in a civil case is only preponderance of the evidence. That means the plaintiff’s
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This note was uploaded on 06/17/2008 for the course BA 3301 taught by Professor Spilger during the Spring '07 term at UH Clear Lake.

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tort law spr. 2007 - TORT LAW CHAPTERS 6 and 7 The next 3...

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