Robertson Torts Outline

Robertson Torts Outline - I Trial Court Procedure in Torts...

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I. Trial Court Procedure in Torts Cases (Ch. 1) a. Major Stages at which trial judges make tort-law mistakes i. Granting or denying motions to dismiss 1. Motion to dismiss- complaint set forth by plaintiff not tortious ii. Granting or denying motions for summary judgment 1. Summary Judgment- motion to dismiss, but with some facts from the defendant iii. Permitting or disallowing improper statements by counsel during jury selection, opening statement, or closing argument iv. Excluding relevant evidence or admitting improper evidence v. Granting or denying motions for directed verdict vi. Erroneous jury instructions vii. Granting or denying motions for JNOV viii. Granting or denying motions for new trial, additurs, or remittiturs Evidence must be viewed in light most favorable to the non-moving party when deciding summary judgment, directed verdict or JNOV II. Policies courts try to establish with torts/Policies court looks to on unsettled Q's a. Keeping the peace- keep people from hitting each other and/or taking revenge b. Economic efficiency c. Fairness d. Administrative Feasibility- courts don't like legal doctrine that’s hard to apply and opens the floodgate on litigation e. Doctrinal "fit"- whether answer fits in with surrounding, related legal doctrine I. Battery a. Battery is b. Elements of Prima Facie Case i. T ouching of the plaintiffs person or something closely connected 1. Closely connected can be purses, a plate (Fisher), or cigar smoke ii. H armful or offensive 1. Harmful if causes physical pain, injury, illness 2. Offensive if offends person of reasonable sense of dignity (ORSD) a. This is defined by a community norm b. P that is unusually sensitive won't recover, unless D knew of P unusual sensitivity (then it’s a maybe) iii. I ntended touch 1. Desired touch or 2. Knew with Substantial Certainty that touch would result Transferred Intent 1. Even if D only intends apprehension, but contact occurs, still liable for battery (and vice versa) 2. If D intended contact with one person, but causes contact, apprehension in another still liable iv. C ausation 1. Conduct was necessary for injury to occur 2. Directly or indirectly Six possible formations of intent- broadest possible rule to most specific o D knew touch- Garratt v. Dailey- knew she would hit the ground, not sure if he desired o D desired touch- White v. University of Idaho (teacher plays piano on students back) o D knew ORSD- White v. Muniz (Alzheimer patient hit caregiver, did not "appreciate offensiveness") o D desired ORSD- Ghassemieh v Schafer- student wanted to embarrass teacher
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o D knew Harm- Horton v. Reaves (child "must appreciate the fact that the contact may be harmful") o D desired harm II. Assault i. Elements of an Assault 1. Intent (desired or KSC) a. To inflict harmful or offensive touching b. Or put plaintiff in apprehension of harmful or offensive touching a. Words alone are not enough, unless they are coupled with overt acts or circumstances that would put reasonable person in apprehension 2. Apprehension of plaintiff a.
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