The Legal Process

1.    Make informed business decisions based upon an understanding of the legal process, how a case moves from commencement to conclusion, and the potential costs involved.

2.    Draft basic litigation documents, such as a complaint, interrogatories, and document requests.

Resources:

1 Read Chs. 3 and 4 especially pp. 68-69 and independent internet research on the “Discovery” process.  (Also review Ch. 1).

Activities Due:

1 LEGAL PROCESS – DRAFTING DOCUMENTS:  Prepare ONLY the documents described in questions Part A, and Part C: 1, 2, and 3 at the end of The Legal Process – Drafting Legal Documents assignment on p. 19-20 in the syllabus below. (Do not do Part B.)

2 CONSUMER PROTECTION/ETHICS CASE: Read Exercise 23.3 on p. 514 (and do some brief Internet research) on Federal Trade Commission v. Colgate-Palmolive Company.  Answer the three questions in the exercise, not in excess of one page.

APA Format w/citations

 

THE LEGAL PROCESS – DRAFTING LEGAL DOCUMENTS

For this activity, you will play the role of plaintiff’s counsel in a personal injury lawsuit and draft a set of basic legal documents.  Please read the facts below and then complete the tasks listed at the end.   

 

Note: NJARTS is the plaintiff’s employer and the driver is plaintiff’s co-worker; as such, in some states, plaintiff may be barred from bringing a personal injury suit against them because of workers’ compensation laws.However, there are exceptions to that bar.  So, for the purposes of this assignment, assume that workers’ compensation laws do not bar the plaintiff from suing either or both NJARTS and the driver.

 

FACTS GIVEN:  NJARTS is a performing arts center in New Jersey.  Parking for the facility is limited.  To increase parking space for patrons, NJARTS requires its employees to park at a location two miles away and take a free shuttle from the parking lot to the center.

 

On August 1, a shuttle departed from the lot with 15 NJARTS employees on board.   The posted speed limit on the four-lane road was 60 mph.  The shuttle was traveling 75 mph.  The driver heard a loud “popping sound” and felt the shuttle begin to veer right.  In an effort to straighten the shuttle, the driver sharply turned the wheel to the left.  As a result, the shuttle impacted a metal guard rail and came to a halt.  The shuttle did not have seat belts.  Passengers inside were thrown as a result of the impact, and several suffered severe injuries.

 

Police investigation discovered that there was “tread separation” on the left front tire.  They believe that was the cause of the loud “popping sound” that was heard.  The pavement temperature was 120 degrees, and it appears that the high temperature caused the separation.  The shuttle was manufactured by Zippy Motors.  NJARTS had purchased the Zippy Motors shuttle, brand new, four months prior to the accident.  The shuttle had 1,000 miles on it at the time of the accident.

 

Jenny Rider was a passenger on the shuttle that day.   She was thrown from her seat upon impact with the guardrail and suffered four broken ribs and a broken leg.  She has undergone surgery, extensive physical therapy, and missed four months of work from her job as a talent booking agent at NJARTS. 

 

You have been retained as legal counsel for Rider, who wants to file a lawsuit which covers all possible legal grounds and parties.  Your assignment is this:

A.      List the possible parties to the lawsuit and make a list of the possible claims against each. 

B.      (Note that information from item A would be used in the preparation of a Complaint, but you will not actually be drafting a Complaint for this exercise.)

C.      Draft the following documents that will help you obtain the facts that you will need to prove in court to succeed on each claim.  These are called Discovery documents (see the Cheeseman text, pp. 68-69):

1.       A set of interrogatories to be served on each of the defendants you identified (e.g., the driver, NJARTS, Zippy Motors);

2.       Document requests to be served on each of the defendants you identified (e.g., the driver, NJARTS, Zippy Motors);

3.       A list of the people who you think should be deposed in the case.

 

Together, your submittal should be no more than three (3) pages in length.

 

Field of study: 

Answer

The Legal Process

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