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Lecture 3

LEGL 2700 Lecture 3: Legal Test 3 Notes

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University of Georgia
Legal Studies
LEGL 2700

Legal Test 3 Notes Torts • Torts o A civil wrong based on common law or legislation, not an agreement (contract) o Intentional torts ▪ One party intentionally or knowingly causes injury to another party o Negligence ▪ Most common claim, one party’s carelessness has caused another party’s injury o Damages • Intentional Torts o Some kinds of deliberate action that causes injury o Including where result is “substantially likely” from action ▪ A particular employer knows that the factory releases certain toxic elements in the air such that the employees will be injured ▪ Employer didn’t mean to hurt the employees but still knew it was happening o Most Common Intentional Torts o Fraud ▪ A material misrepresentation intentionally made to induce reliance, justifiably relied up, and injury as a result of that reliance • Ex: Misrepresenting a company’s financial condition to investors • Ex: Material omissions; omitting liabilities on a mortgage application o Interference with business relations ▪ Injurious falsehood: publication of untrue statements that disparage a business or product ▪ Interference with contractual relations • Defendant: Tort Feaser • Ex: Employee poaching o Coke wants to steal Pepsi’s employees, but Pepsi employees have a non-compete agreement. Coke says they will pay the damages, and cause pepsi employees to breach the contract o Defamation ▪ The publication of untrue statements about another that holds up that individual’s character or reputation to contempt or ridicule ▪ If oral: “Slander” ▪ If written: “Libel” • Ex: Untrue statements about counterparty ▪ Defenses to Defamation • Truth  The statements are true, and there is no liability for defamation • Privileged Communications Someone is testifying on the stand, they can’t be sued • Public Figures and First Amendment Defamation only where “malice” or “reckless disregard for truth” o Invasion of Privacy ▪ Appropriation of a person’s name or likeness for one’s own use • Ex: Video game/college athletes ▪ Invation of physical solitude • Ex: Paparazzi ▪ Public disclosure of personal objectionable information • Charleston sends the t-shirts but bulldog never pays, Charleston runs an ad in the paper saying no one buy bulldogs shirts because they didn’t pay. Bulldog can sue for invasion of privacy by putting personal business information out to the public • Ehling v. Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corp. o Ehling works at hospital and didn’t friend request anyone else who worked at hospital. o Ehling posts on FB about letting an active shooter die, instead of saving him like he first responders did. Hospital found out and put in a request to have her license revoked because she broke her ethical obligations saying the shooter should ave been left to die o Employee sues for invasion of privacy o They said no invasion of privacy, because it was ON facebook o Generally no expectation of privacy where information is publicly available, but there is a reasonable o Hospital wins—no invasion of privacy because employer did not improperly access employee’s private page. “Friend” willingly shared page with employer. • Other types of Intentional torts o Assault: Placing of another in immediate apprehension for his/her physical safety o Battery: Illegal touching, done without justification or consent • Harper v. Winston County o Mrs. Harper Is employee of Alabama government agency, Mrs. Wright was her superior. o The two got into a dispute, and Mrs. Harper alleged that Mrs. Wright grabbed her, jerked her arm, and made her go into a conference room to discuss their dispute o Mrs. Harper sues the employer for a tort of battery ▪ Superior didn’t have consent to touch her o Defendant granted summary judgment and plaintiff appealed ▪ Inappropriate for judge to resolve the case on summary judgment because the idea of an offensive arm grab is not fact, so should be determined by jury o Court reverses summary judgment • Other Torts: o False imprisonment: unjustified confinement of a non-consenting person o Trespass: Entering/remaining on another’s land without consent o Conversion: Wrongful exercise of control over another’s resources (stealing) • Negligence • Basis for negligence claim: Where defendant has a duty to act reasonably but instead acts carelessly and causes injury to plaintiff • 5 Elements of Negligence: o Existence of a duty of care o Breach of that duty o Causation in fact o Proximate cause (foreseeability) o An actual injury • 1) Existence of a duty of care o When someone is acting: Duty to act reasonably o When someone is not acting: No duty to take affirmative action ▪ Unless there is a special relationship • **Iannelli v. Burger King o Family goes to burger king, teenagers are hammered and one hits the dad with a chair o Burger king had an obligation to remove the teenagers from their restaurant o A restaurant has a duty to care to its patrons, but does that duty extend to protecting patrons from assault? o Court: Normally, no. But if risk becomes forseeable then yes (teenagers were rowdy before family got there) o Special relationship • 2) Breach of that Duty o Was defendant’s conduct reasonable? o Essentially a cost-benefit analysis done after-the-fact o Examples: ▪ National car rental ▪ Wal Mart • Guy buys gun at wal mart who should not have been sold the gun. Innocent people have a claim against wal mart because they breached the duty of checking data base to see if they could sell a gun or not ▪ WTC • Before the attack of 1993, Port authority did a study on security of WTC and concluded that they should close the parking garage because it was a threat for terrorism. Authority decided to not close it because they liked the profit of the parking deck o Theme: Financial interest of defendants • NEED NOTES FOR FRIDAY BEFORE SPRING BREAK Monday March 13 th Criminal Law • Classifications of Law o Public Law: Matters involving the regulation of society ▪ Constitutional, administrative, criminal law o Private Law: Disputes between individuals ▪ Property, contract, tort law o Criminal Law: A representative of government seeks to prove a wrong committed against society o Civil Law: Everything else; primarily between individuals, but also certain administrative matters • Criminal Law v. Civil Law o Party initiating action ▪ Criminal: State or federal prosecutor ▪ Civil law: Private plaintiff o Burden of Proof ▪ Criminal: Beyond a reasonable doubt ▪ Civil: Preponderance of the evidence, or clear and convincing o Whats at stake: ▪ Civil: • Money • Court order (injunction) requiring or prohibiting action ▪ Criminal: • Money • Liberty • Criminal Law o Business Crimes: Crimes committed by companies or their employees for personal enrichment ▪ Fraud ▪ Bribery ▪ Larceny ▪ Racketeering • Constitutional protections • 4 amendment: unreasonable search and seizures ▪ The right of the people against unreasonable search and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants issued without probable cause ▪ To search, officials need a warrant • Evidence of crime + cause to believe search will assist in investigation o Exceptions: ▪ For weapons during arrests ▪ Items in “plain view” ▪ Exigent circumstances (police have to act quickly or else evidence will be destroyed) o Expectation of privacy • 5 amendment: grand juries, self-incrimination, double jeopardy o For serious criminal matters (felonies), the prosecutor cannot just bring a criminal trialFirst prosecutor has to go to a grand jury o Grand Juries ▪ 16 to 23 Jurors ▪ Supermajority required for indictment (not unanimity) ▪ No judge, rules of evidence, or defense counsel ▪ Does “Probable cause” exist to believe the accused committed the crime? ▪ **Felony=1 year or more jail, misdemeanor=less than one year o Other protections ▪ Protection against double jeopardy • Individual cannot be tried for same crime twice • With mistrials (procedural mistake) can generally start over, but if the prosecutor is trying to sabotage it to start over, that is double jeopardy ▪ Protection against self-incrimination • Miranda warnings th • 6 amendment: criminal procedure protections o Rights to: o Speedy and public trial o Trial by jury o To be informed of the charge against you o To confront your accuser o To subpoena witnesses in your favor o TO have assistance of an attorney • Riley v. California (4 Amendment Case) o Police pull over riley for expired license and impound the car, where they find guns under the hood o Arrest Riley and take his phone and search it o Riley convicted after his phone is searched without a warrant (where they find out he committed a murder and is in a gang) o Appeals based on idea that it was unconstitutional to access the contents of smartphone (police had no pressing need to access the contents of his phone) o California says searching phone is no different than opening up a wallet seized by police o Supreme court sides with Riley (unreasonable search) Specific Crimes • Underlying CrimeMain crime • Tangential CrimeA crime picked up along the way while committing underlying crime • Criminal Law o State of mind/ “mens rea” / “scienter” ▪ Intent: “Willfully” or “Knowingly” • Intentionally committed the crime ▪ Recklessness • Does not give rise to criminal cases in most situations • Underlying Crimes • Fraud: generally, knowingly, and willfully ▪ Advancing a scheme to falsify or conceal a material fact ▪ Making materially false statements ▪ Making use of a false writing that contains materially false statements ▪ To induce some action or deprive someone of property of services o “Good faith” is a defense ▪ It was a mistake, I wasn’t trying to trick someone out of their money. Not intentional o Securities fraud o Health care fraud o Bankruptcy Fraud • Larceny: o Unlawful taking of personal property with intent to deprive rightful owner permanently (stealing) o Business context: Misappropriation of funds/embezzlement • Racketeering o Racketeering Influenced and corrupt organizations act (RICO) ▪ Essentially: Investing funds from a “prohibited” activity into an enterprise, or owning/controlling such an enterprise or participating in such an enterprise ▪ “Prohibited activity” a pattern of racketeering activity or collection of an unlawful debt • “Racketeering activity”Threats or acts of crime • Bribery o Offering, receiving, soliciting something of value for the purpose of influencing the action of an official in discharge of his duties o Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) ▪ Criminalizes bribing foreign official in order to get treaties with foreign countries ▪ Fuzzy because line of bribe and commission payment is different in different places • Tangential Crimes o Mail or Wire Fraud ▪ Use of the US postal service or use of radio, tv, telephone, internet or other “wired” form of communication to carry out a scheme to defraud o Conspiracy ▪ An agreement to do something unlawful ▪ Intent to join the conspiracy ▪ One overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy ▪ Act was knowingly committed in furtherance of the conspiracy ▪ But not successProsecutors don’t have to show that conspiracy was successful o Aiding and Abetting ▪ Intentional act to assist another in committing a crime ▪ Often paired with a conspiracy charge o Obstruction of Justice ▪ Commission of an act with intent to obstruct the legislative or judicial process ▪ Examples: Lying, altering documents, destroying documents, intimidating witness ▪ High profile cases:
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