481655 - Law and Veterinary Medicine Second Hour Basics of...

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Unformatted text preview: Law and Veterinary Medicine Second Hour: Basics of the American Legal System November 6, 2006 Paul Waldau, D.Phil., J.D. Importance of the Legal System to the future of Veterinary Medicine ¡ The recent JAVMA article “Effects of veterinary board disciplinary actions on veterinarians licensed in multiple states” (December 15, 2005: 1906- 1909) begins with this Editor’s Note: ¡ “The law has always had a profound effect on the practice of veterinary medicine, ¡ but recently the relationship between veterinary medicine and the law has become more important than ever.” Basics of the American Legal System ¡ We start with contracts and torts ¡ November 16—Minutes Paper on difference between contract and tort A basic difference— contract versus tort ¡ Contracts—details laid out in the reading “The General Legal System and Substantive Law” ¡ Mostly common sense stuff … you all enter such agreements regularly ¡ Three essential elements of a contract : offer, acceptance, and consideration Contracts ¡ How lawyers talk—“a plaintiff goes to court on a contract cause of action” ¡ Translated—the person suing is using a theory that relies on the claim that a valid contract exists and governs the dispute ¡ If so, the person suing (the “plaintiff”) must prove each of the “essential elements” of their claim that a valid contract was breached → → Four essential elements of a breach of contract claim ¡ There was a valid contract ¡ The plaintiff performed as specified by the contract ¡ The defendant failed to perform as specified by the contract ¡ The plaintiff suffered an economic loss as a result of the defendant’s breach of contract Torts ¡ “A private or civil wrong” ¡ Translated: an injury to one person (or corporate group) for which the actor who caused the injury is legally responsible Torts ¡ Torts occur when someone breaches a legal duty that exists by virtue of society’s expectations regarding interpersonal conduct ¡ Contrast— contracts exist from voluntary agreements , and you can sue on a contract only when someone has breached a duty created by a valid contract Essential elements of torts ¡ Existence of a legal duty (other than contract) owed by defendant to plaintiff...
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This note was uploaded on 03/03/2012 for the course LAW 218 taught by Professor Waldau during the Fall '06 term at Tufts.

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481655 - Law and Veterinary Medicine Second Hour Basics of...

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