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PA 165 Introduction to Torts

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1 PA 165 Introduction to Torts
Unit 9 Seminar

2 Unit 9 Graded Items Seminar (10 points) Discussion (20 points)
Final Exam (140 points) Deadline: 11:59 PM ET, Tuesday, June 19

3 Final Exam Format 140 points total 5 points for each question
28 true/false or multiple choice questions Covers material from units 1-9 (emphasis on units 6-9) 2 hour time limit; only one attempt Deadline: 11:59 PM ET, Tuesday, April 3

4 Unit 10 Course Reflection
Seminar and Discussion (ungraded) Term ends: 11:59 PM ET, Tuesday, June 26

5 Tort Investigations Paralegals play an important role in the investigation phase of tort cases. Investigation tailored to the particular type of case and the facts involved in the case.

6 Scenario A You are working as a paralegal for a law firm representing the plaintiff in a medical malpractice action. You are asked to conduct investigation on the physician expert witness for the defense. Where would you go to research information about the physician?

7 Scenario A Contact other physicians, nurses, previous employers
Check if physician has previously testified as expert Research if physician has been named as defendant in prior med-mal cases Verify license, board certifications Contact State Medical Board for possible complaints/discipline Internet research - “Google” Formal discovery (depositions, interrogatories) Search dockets, cases, jury verdict summaries (Westlaw, Lexis) Research where physician completed residency Research newspaper articles Prior criminal convictions

8 Scenario B Arnold is playing bingo at the local Grand Tigers Club fundraiser at the Hotel Luxe. Just when his cards are finally starting to look promising, the five-foot-long fluorescent light fixture drops from the ceiling above his head, rendering him momentarily unconscious. The bingo caller stops the game long enough to summon the local fire department, the police, and the town paramedics, who take Arnold to the local emergency room for treatment. You are a paralegal working for a law firm that represents Arnold. Where would you go to investigate this case? What sources would you consult?

9 Public Sector Resources
State and Local Government: vital statistics, marriage licenses, property ownership records, police records, tax assessment records, deeds, driver, vehicle, and boat records, and civil suit or criminal records

10 Weather Statistics Official weather statistics from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) which is part of the United States Commerce Department

11 FOIA and Sunshine Laws Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Agencies required to disclose records Agencies may withhold information pursuant to nine exemptions in the statute. Sunshine Laws: Laws that provide for the disclosure of information from governmental entities

12 Researching Business Entities
Secretary of State: fictitious name (D/B/A) EDGAR (SEC filings) Dun & Bradstreet (D&B): Business directory Hoover’s

13 Assumed Name In some jurisdictions, to do business under a fictitious name, a certificate of an assumed name must be filed (also called D/B/A – “doing business as”) Filed with state Secretary of State

14 Sample Website: MN Sec. of State

15 Conducting Interviews
Use open ended questions Begin with “Who” “What” “Where” “Why” “When” and “How” Avoid close ended questions that call for a simple yes/no response.

16 Naming Wrong Defendant
Potential consequences for naming wrong defendant Attorney: possibly liable for malpractice or subject to discipline for suing the wrong person or business as a defendant Client: potential liability or fines

17 Private Sector Resources
Newspapers, television, radio Private databases (Westlaw, LexisNexis, US Search) Private investigator

18 Settlement Brochures Videotape and computer animation sometimes used accident reconstruction for settlement brochures and demonstrative evidence Sample company:

19 Final Exam Review Unit 6: Premises liability Vicarious liability
Negligence per se Defenses in negligence: mistake, contributory negligence, comparative negligence, assumption of the risk, last clear chance, statute of limitations

20 Final Exam Review Unit 7: Nuisance Wrongful death Wrongful birth

21 Final Exam Review Unit 8: Strict Liability Ultrahazardous activities
Wild animals Products liability

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