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University of Connecticut School of Law
Adler, Jonathan H.

Principles of exam taking

1) Read instructions and fact pattern very carefully
Identify lines of investigation
important to massage facts
Keep answer relevant to question asked

2) Plan and outlines the answer
3) Organize claim by claim party by party
4) Systematically analyze each claim according to its constituent elements
5) Don’t make implicit legal assumptions, if you are going to make a legal assumption make it explicit
Can say since there is a clear majority approach I am going to assume this jurisdiction follows it. Or if there are two approaches state them both and outcomes under both
6) Don’t make implicit factual assumptions, there are likely to be missing facts or ambiguous facts.
Look for omissions
Say need more facts on this and why
7) Be concise and be brief
write in shorthand, don’t need to know all case names
Example: here is a proximate cause ? we have a Hughes and daughty problem
That pertains to how broadly risk will be applied. (May not have to state rule but, always have to apply rule to facts)
Can’t write like LP
8) Don’t leave your practical judgment at the school house door.
Possible claim here but person has no money so don’t do
9) Show your work make reasoning explicit
10) Present your analysis with conclusion first

Torts Outline

Decide what torts are committed
Determine parties for each tort
prima facie case requirements, defenses (self defense, consent, contrib.), general consideration item (vicarious liability of parents)
Use irac

2 systems of thought:
1) Morality or Corrective Justice*:
– It attempts to hold defendants liable for harms they commit and no others
– Imposing liability not for good social effects but when it is right to do so
2) Social utility/policy
– Bases tort law on social policy
– Concern is not justice to the individual but to provide a system of rules that
work toward the greater good of society
Fire in city, one would impose liability for city’s destroying personal property, one wouldn’t

I. Intentional Torts – ?P’s super-sensitivities do not count, except if D knew about it (look at average ordinary person); everyone liable for int’l torts?
A. Battery – The intentional infliction of a harmful or offensive contact

Garratt v. Dailey – boy pulls chair out from under P. The act must be done with the intention of bringing about a harmful or offensive contact. Intent: (1) Act done for the purpose of causing contact or (2) D acts with the substantial certainty that harmful contact will result. Case is to be remanded to see if child had the knowledge to say that he was substantially certain. (child has substantial certainty P would sit down and fall to the ground since child knows laws of gravity, that’s all that’s required; can hold child liable for conduct whether or not they understood it to be harmful.)
HYPO. 2 hunters in woods, J searches for deer, but shoots B instead. B brings battery suit since J intended to pull the trigger. No battery here – must have intended the harmful bodily contact, not the act. HYP. J goes to purposely shoot B, bullet grazes B’s arm. B brings battery action. Yes, battery – don’t need to know