Please complete the Chapter 1  and the Practice exercises at the end of Chapter 1 in Legal Analysis.

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Understanding Legal Rules

In Module 3…

We will examine legal rules and their application. As part of our study, we will incorporate principles of deductive reasoning as well as larger policy concerns. You will also begin to learn about case law and how to understand the reasoning in legal decisions.

READ Legal Analysis, Chapter 2 and Chapter 4, Section A.

Rules and Consistency D1

One of the reasons we have and create judicial rules is because the court system values predictability and consistency. In other words, similar cases should be judged along similar lines. 

Why should consistency — understood as similar cases judged in similar ways — be an essential goal of our judicial system? What’s so special about it? What happens without it?

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Definition of Battery

Please read the attachment “Definition of battery”

Please complete the Chapter Exercises for Chapter 3 of Legal Analysis.

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Please review the following hypothetical situations. Using the definition of Battery provided, determine whether each situation below is a Battery or not. Explain your answers.

1) An elderly, arthritic woman goes outside to sit with her friend and her friend’s grandson (who is 5). As she goes to sit down in her chair, the child — intending a prank — yanks the chair away as she goes to sit down. As a result, she falls on the ground and breaks her hip. Did the child commit battery?

2) Two co-workers are sitting around chatting. Coworker A knows that coworker B is shy and tends to avoid contact with others. In a gesture of camaraderie, coworker A puts his arm around B’s shoulder and pulls her close to him. As a result, she suffers neck pain that worsens and ultimately leaves part of her face  paralyzed. Did coworker A commit battery?

3) Children are playing a game of tag. Ozzie is tagged out, but he is upset about it. He picks up an apple from the ground and throws it at the kid who tagged him out, Gerald. Unfortunately, the apple misses him and instead hits Suzie in the back. Did Ozzie commit battery? Against whom? Gerald? Suzie? Or both? Or none?


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Below you will find a short abridged court opinion. Using this opinion, write a case brief using the guidelines provided in the course materials.

Read Garratt vs Daley in the attached

Deductive Reasoning:

In Module 4…

We will explore the ways we use deductive reasoning to elaborate, interpret, and synthesize legal rules with an eye towards applying those rules to specific fact patterns. 

READ Chapter 4 in full and READ Legal Reasoning and Political Conflict, Chapter 5. (This is largely background.)

Guide for Rule Synthesis

Read Effective Rule in the attached

Create a Rule

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For this discussion, I want each of you to craft a rule. It does not have to be legal in nature. Think of something you know really well — maybe it’s baking or cooking — and devise a rule (according to the guidelines laid out in the readings) that accurately captures some feature of it. For example, you might write a rule for when a Pie is done cooking or a rule for learning chords for the guitar. It can be on anything at all. Write it so that if it were legally enforceable, it would provide a clear guide for a judge to decide if the rule is met or not.

Once you’ve submitted your rule, GENTLY critique someone else’s rule. Raise ambiguities, address hypotheticals it might not cover, or talk about what is good and bad about it. Don’t worry! There are NO perfect rules. All rules have problems. 

Chapter exercise

Complete the Practice Exercises for Chapter 4. Upload your answers here.

Putting it all together

In Module 5

This week, we’re going to start pulling things together. There is no reading this week beyond the handouts given here and that you already have.

For this week, I will be posting a summary of cases from which you will extract a judicial rule. Then, you will spend some time discussing your procedure.

Cases for Study

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Here is your assignment:

I am including at the link below a series of cases involving battery.

Cases for Review.docx is attached

I would like you to read each case summary and do the following:

Read each case and take note of the facts of the case, the judgment issued, and the reasoning for that judgment.

In consideration of ALL of the cases (and Garrett v. Dailey, too), I want you to formulate a rule that the court could use when trying to establish intent for the purposes of battery. In other words, putting all of the cases together, SYNTHESIZE the legal rule that the courts seem to be following. Try to find a rule that accurately accounts for all of the decisions given based on the reasoning by the justices.

THEN, you will complete the graded assignment with the following instructions:

1) State your complete rule (1-2 sentences MAX)

2) Give the reasons for the rule you have synthesized (specifically refer to the cases that support your choice of rule).

3) Explain how it might apply to future cases.

This assignment should be NO MORE THAN 1 PAGE, typed, double-spaced. This assignment should be SHORT. Don’t get wordy. Stick to the rule and its explanation. That’s it.

Rule Making Assignment

Complete the assignment outlined in the page directly above this assignment in the module.

What About This?

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One of the things lawyers do is they create hypotheticals. To gauge the fitness of a rule, or to predict the outcome of a ruling, lawyers LOVE hypotheticals (often just called “hypos.” Thinking of the cases in the assignment for this week, and thinking of the Restatement (Second) of Torts definition for battery, consider the following hypothetical and debate whether a battery was committed.

A bar patron became intoxicated and passed out at the bar. Other bar patrons agreed to drive the man home. A bar employee helped him to the car and was putting him in the backseat when the intoxicated man became irate, started shouting obscenities and kicked the employee in the face, breaking his jaw. 

Is the bar patron guilty of battery? Why or why not?

Short Reflection

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For this short pass/fail assignment, please record your reflections after doing the assignments this week on rule synthesis. 

What did you find easy? What did you find hard? What questions did it raise for you?

NO MORE THAN 1 PAGE, double-spaced. Keep it short. Just record your thoughts.

Spivey v. Battaglia

On a lunch break, several employees, including the Plaintiff and Defendant, were seated at a work table eating lunch. Defendant Battaglia was seated next to Plaintiff Spivey. Battaglia, knowing Spivey was shy, and in an effort to tease her, put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her head towards him in a “friendly, unsolicited hug.”

As a result, Spivey suffered a sharp pain in her neck and ear, and a sharp pain the base of her skull. She later was paralyzed on the left side of her face and mouth.

Defendant Battaglia found not guilty of battery. The justices reasoned that Battaglia did not have the requisite intent insofar as he did not intend his conduct to be harmful or offensive. While he did intend to touch the Plaintiff, he had no intention to cause bodily harm or offense. Though Plaintiff was bizarrely injured as a result of the touch, there was no reasonable basis for Battaglia to anticipate or be aware of the likelihood of injury, and the risk of such injury did not rise to the level of substantial certainty.

McGuire v. Almy

Plaintiff McGuire was a caretaker at a home for mentally disabled patients. She was charged with caring for Ms. Almy, a patient suffering from severe mental disability. One evening, Ms. Almy suffered a fit of violence and began destroying the furniture in her room. McGuire rushed to the room, and upon entering found Almy standing in the center of the room holding a table leg from the destroyed furniture.

Fearing for Almy’s safety, McGuire walked slowly into the room and reached for the table leg. Almy raised the table leg and struck McGuire in the head, injuring her.

McGuire sued for battery. Defendant Almy found guilty of battery. Among many reasons given by the Justices, the reason that concerns us here for the judgment is as follows: Though mentally disabled, such a person is liable if by their act they cause intentional damage to the person or property of another, and if in the same circumstances a normal person would be found liable. Therefore, insofar as a particular intent would be necessary to render a normal person liable, the mentally disabled person, in order to be liable, must have been capable of entertaining that same intent and must have entertained it in fact.

Held, Almy guilty of battery against McGuire.

Van Camp v. McAfoos

Van Camp was walking along a public sidewalk when the Defendant, McAfoos (a child of about 5 years old), riding a small cycle, ran into Van Camp from behind, injuring her. Van Camp suffered a torn ligament as a result of the collision.

Van Camp sued McAfoos for battery, arguing that McAfoos should have known with substantial certainty that a harmful or offensive contact would result even if he had no intent to cause contact but was just riding his tricycle.

Held, judgment for McAfoos. No battery. The child, while in principle capable of forming the requisite intent, had no intent to cause harmful or offensive contact, and further, could not have known with substantial certainty that his behavior would result in injury. Without fault, no battery even though contact occurred.  

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