LGST 201 University of Maryla

My original post:

Part 1: Applying the background and facts in Hastings’ case and the three relevant cases (see above), prepare a summary to address the following items

Questions to be answered in the case

Based on the facts of the case and the insights derived from the three cases related to the Hastings case, the questions that will be required to be answered include: first, if Gilford Pines Condominium Association had a duty of care to protect the public from the imminent threats of slips and falls and possible injuries from the incidence. The second question, which builds on the first, is if the defendant breached the duty of care through negligence, leading to the plaintiff’s slip and fall and the injury to the arm (Deering Woods Condo. Ass’n v. Spoon, 833 A.2d 17 (Md. 2003). The third question would be if the defendant failed to protect the public from potential slip and fall and if the defendant knew about the risks and failed to act as a reasonable person would do. These questions will guide the judgment based on the central issues of the case.

The central issues in the case

Whether the defendant, Pines Condominium Association, had a duty to use reasonable care to maintain, manage and control the site and keep it safe from unreasonable harm to the public, especially the black ice the plaintiff slipped, fell, and injured her arm on.

Cause of Action

Based on the outcomes of the case on the identified central issue above, the cause of action would either be the plaintiff reimbursing the defendants for the costs of the case if they are not found guilty, or the defendant compensating the plaintiff if they are found to have breached a duty of care to maintain, manage and control the site and keep it safe from unreasonable harm to the public. Based on the facts of the case and the three cases, the latter is less likely to happen because of a lack of enough evidence to show the defendants breached their duty of care for public safety—Maans v. Giant of Maryland, L.L.C.

Classmates i need to reply to:

1. Sue Hoffman

Irma,

You describe the possible questions well. You indicate the central issue is whether the defendant had a duty to use reasonable care. Did you consider the next layer of that duty – whether Gilford Pines breached that duty?

2. Michelle Ravert

Joseph v. Buzzoto Mgmt. Co., 918 A.2d 1230 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2007) was claim of negligence. To maintain an action in negligence, the plaintiff/appellant must assert the following elements in the the complaint: “(1) that the defendant was under a duty to protect the plaintiff from injury, (2) that the defendant breached that duty, (3) that the plaintiff suffered actual injury or loss, and (4) that the loss or injury proximately resulted from the defendant’s breach of duty. Joseph v. Buzzoto Mgmt. Co., 918 A.2d 1230 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2007)

Additionally, the duty to protect has a “prerequisite of knowledge” to prove a breach. The plaintiff/appellant must prove that the defendant/appellees had actual or constructive knowledge of the condition AND that they received it in ample time to remove it or warn of it prior to the incident at court. You mention the duty of care. There appear to be multiple expectations based on the situation of the owner. Landowners have a duty to exercise due care and businesses have a duty to exercise ordinary care of their property to ensure reasonably safe conditions exist, so the standard of care appears to be higher for businesses.

Lastly, in lieu of the prerequisite knowledge, it appears that one might attempt to sway a jury that the condition was of such a character OR of such a duration that it should have been discovered through the owners duty to exercise care for the property. This was a missed opportunity in the Deering Woods case. The drainpipe was installed twenty years prior and any water run-off form the parking lot would have drained to run over top of the walkway for that duration. Deering Woods Condo. Ass’n v. Spoon, 833 A.2d 17 (Md. 2003)

If it is found in the Hastings case that the condominium company did not have actual or constructive knowledge of the case, it may be prudent to ask questions about the exact location of the incident and surrounding areas to determine if there was a similar condition as in the Deering Woods case to build a case that condo company breached its duty of care by an egregious oversight of condition with a lengthy duration, negating the knowledge prerequisite to show breach of duty to protect.

thanks for sharing,

3. Bethany Tracy

Do you think that Ms. Hastings need to prove negligence or just that they needed to maintain, manage and control the site and keep it safe? I think negligence could be a big factor in this situation especially if the condominium knew about the black ice prior to her fall.


LGST 201 University of Maryla

Purpose

The purpose of this project is to develop skills in analyzing a legal issue and explaining that analysis in a legal memorandum.

Course Outcome Met by Project 2:

  • Draft objective, well-organized memoranda that analyze legal issues based on statutory law and case law

__________

Background: You and Attorney Chong are continuing to work on client Mary Hastings case. The next step is for you to draft a case law analysis memo for Mary Hastings’ case to submit to Attorney Chong.

The Project 2 Case Law Analysis Memo should analyze and explain the issues and law in cases relevant to Mary Hastings’ case. Also, the memo should apply that law to the facts, and set out reasoned conclusions.

Facts: Please refer to HASTINGS CASE FACTS: Projects 1,2,3,4 in Content to review the facts and court opinions relevant to Mary Hastings’ case.

Instructions

Review the Project 2 rubric.

Review the court opinions relevant to the Hastings case:

  • Deering Woods Condominium Association, 377 Md. 250
  • Joseph, 173 Md. App. 305
  • Maans, 161 Md. App. 620

Using the three court opinions above, draft a case law analysis memo evaluating the stated issue in the Mary Hastings case (see below).

The memo must follow the IRAC format and include four sections: Issue, Rule, Analysis and Conclusion.

Review a sample IRAC memo in Week 4 Instructor Notes.

The memo analysis focuses on:

ISSUE:

Whether Gilford Pines Condominium Association had actual and/or constructive notice of a dangerous condition and failed to take reasonable care to fix the condition?

Comprehensively, from all parties’ perspectives, apply the law to the Hastings case and fully support and explain your conclusions.

__________

Memorandum Format

Memorandum

TO: Alice Chong, Esq.

FROM: (your name), Paralegal

RE: Liability Assessment of Gilford Pines Condominium Association

DATE:

Issue

Rule

Application

Conclusion

Include proper citations for all information.

Citations must follow The Bluebook rules for citation and style, using the regional citation format.

__________

Review the Project Memo

Thoroughly read the presentation to ensure all required elements are present.

Review the grading rubric to ensure that you gain the most points possible for this assignment.

Proofread for spelling and grammatical issues.

Use the spell and grammar check in Word.

***********************************************************

The issue that you will be using is posted in the Project 2 description, which is the following.

Whether Gilford Pines Condominium Association had actual and/or constructive notice of a dangerous condition and failed to take reasonable care to fix the condition?

With respect to the “Rule” section, make sure that you fully address the law and the 3 cases as they apply to our issue. You should start off by looking at your Synthesis Memo’s Synthesis of the Rationales and the Individual Holdings sections. DO NOT merely cut and paste of those sections for Project 2. So, negligence in slip and fall cases involving an invitee should be addressed to include the duty owed to an invitee. Don’t forget to include how the breach should be established as described in the cases. This includes actual or constructive notice. As for our 3 cases, you should include the court’s conclusion, rationale, and the legally significant facts/background facts.

Do not forget to cite to the source of your information using the regional citation format. Don’t forget the specific page number from the Regional Reporter where you obtained the quoted or paraphrased information.

As for the Application section, this is where you finally address the Hastings’ facts. Apply the law to Hastings’ situation to include addressing the 3 cases – how are these cases similar or different to Hastings’ case. Do more than state that a case applies to her case. Focus on the significance of the cases. For instance, was it related to notice or the length of time or both? Do not merely state that the Hastings’ case has the same outcome as the 3 cases. And when applying the cases to Hastings’ case does not mean that her case will have the same outcome as the 3 cases. If it is the same, explain why. If not, you should be able to distinguish Hastings’ case to the cases.

In the conclusion, the question posed in the Issue should be addressed and why.

LGST 201 University of Maryla

  • Part 1:  

Background:   Chong asked you to review IRAC (Issue, Rule, Application and Conclusion) analysis and format for drafting legal memos.  IRAC is a memo format that allows you to organize how you work through drafting a document that resolves a legal issue. 

Because IRAC is such a common memo format, Chong asks you to prepare an IRAC exercise to be used for review and discussion at this week’s Learning Lunch.

Instructions:

Evaluate and address all the following items:

  1. It is important in a memo to include only legally significant facts.  
  • Explain “legally significant facts”, and why they are important to include in a memo.
  1. Evaluate and discuss the possible harm that can results by including insignificant facts or personal opinions in a memo.
  2. Explain the meaning of each letter in the IRAC acronym AND the significance/purpose of each letter.

D.  Explain how using the IRAC format assists you in writing a memo.

E.  Explain how the IRAC format assists the reader of a memo.

Part 2: 

React to two colleagues’ comments.  

Label all parts of analysis, as needed.

Write in correct, complete sentences in paragraph format, unless instructed otherwise.

Use Arial or Times Roman, size 12 font.

******************React to the following post:

1. Elizabeth Juzu

A legal requires the inclusion of the heading related to the legal issue, a statement regarding the real issue related to the legal issue, and an account of the facts directly regarded to the legal point under question. Moreover, the memo should include discussing the main issues relating to the legal issues and a discussion and concluding the facts of the main issues affecting the legal matter of the problem (Neumann Jr et al., 2021). When a suspect includes an insignificant fact or an opinion in a legal memo, the suspect is liable to statutory fines under the underlined laws as harm. The IRAC letters help write a memo as the letter “I” is used to defining the issue, “R” explains the case ruling, and “A” applies to the application of the law, while “C” makes the definition for a conclusion of the case (Arifin et al., 2019). Readers of a legal memo use the IRAC memo to make a complete follow-up on the steps to make a substantive case in a law case.

References

Arifin, R., Alkadri, R., Sari, D. P., Resthiningsih, L., & Holish, A. M. (2019). Improving Law Student Ability on Legal Writing through Critical and Logical Thinking by IRAC Method. Indonesian Journal of Advocacy and Legal Services, 1(1), 107-128.

Neumann Jr, R. K., Margolis, E., & Stanchi, K. M. (2021). Legal reasoning and legal writing. Aspen Publishers.                                                   

Professor reply to this post: 

  • Hi Elizabeth, Can you explain what constitutes legal significant facts and why they are important?  Also, will you provide more detail on the reference to statutory fines if insignificant facts or opinions are included in a legal memo?  Is this related to the potential consequences of insignificant facts are placed in a memo and there is a mistaken understanding of the client’s case facts? What would be some significant facts as well as insignificant facts in a motor vehicle accident between a motor vehicle and school bus? Nice start in describing the IRAC format. Yes, the “I” stands for the issue.  It is the legal problem/question being asked. The rule is the law that governs the issue and can be comprised of case law, statutes, and/or regulations.  The “A” is application or analysis which is where you apply the law to the client’s facts and should address both positions – plaintiff and defendant or prosecution and defense.  And, finally, the “C” stands for conclusion which would be where you address the issue and specify the likely outcome based on the law and the client facts. How is the IRAC format beneficial to the writer?  For readers, it allows them to understand the law that applies to an issue in an organized manner. 

2. Saadia Williams

  1. It is important in a memo to include only legally significant facts.  
  • Explain “legally significant facts”, and why they are important to include in a memo.

Legally significant facts are important to include in the memo because it is what allows the attorney and court to understand the case and the legal question being presented. The facts are what everyone should be aware of to make a decision on the case. Keeps everyone informed and prevents the most important information from being clouded with background details. 

  1. Evaluate and discuss the possible harm that can result from including insignificant facts or personal opinions in a memo.

Insignificant facts or personal opinions can cause possible harm to a case because they can be biased, resulting in an alternate decision. When writing the memo it should be very unbiased a clear what is being presented. The memo can put conclusions into the attorney or court’s mind on what they believe will be the outcome without having the legally significant facts. An example being someone innocent getting charged for something they didn’t do all because important facts were left out and replaced with personal opinions of who wrote the memo. 

  1. Explain the meaning of each letter in the IRAC acronym AND the significance/purpose of each letter.

I: stands for the legal ‘Issue’ that is being asked in the case. It is to identify the issue in the memo to allow the reader to understand what the case is asking. 

R: stands for the rule of law that is going to be applied to answer the legal issue from above. 

A: stands for analyzing the facts with the rule of law to resolve the issue. 

C: stands for conclusions to the issue presented. The Court’s decision on what the solution is. 

2.  Explain how using the IRAC format assists you in writing a memo.

Using the IRAC format can assist you with organizing the case in a way that will give you the beginning, middle, and end of a case. The format is a great way to train your mind on how to read/analyze a case to really understand it. 

3.  Explain how the IRAC format assists the reader of a memo.

Someone reading a memo in the IRAC format will find that there is a good flow of information that is clear and to the point. The less background writing will help the reader fully understand the purpose of the memo.                                                                                  

Professor reply to this post:

Hi Saadia,

Legally significant facts are important in a memo as they determine the outcome of the case, as they are the facts and circumstances that would assist in answering the legal issue. Yes, they assist in making a determination of the case.  They are the facts related to the event. Would these include facts that are favorable as well as unfavorable to the client?

The inclusion of insignificant facts and personal opinions could overshadow the legally significant facts and unnecessarily complicate matters. You are on point that the information presented could be biased and not relevant to the matter being addressed. 

What would be some significant facts as well as insignificant facts in a criminal matter where the defendant is charged for unlawful possession of a firearm?

Nice job in describing the IRAC format. Keep in mind that the “C” stands for conclusion which would be where you address the issue and specify the likely outcome based on the law and the client facts.  This is where you would address which party would most likely be successful based on the facts and the law.

The IRAC format helps the writer as well as the reader. For the writer, it provides structure and organization/outline for the document.  It does allow for an efficient way to present information.  For the reader, it allows the reader to focus on the relevant details of a case and to the likely outcome in an organized manner. 

LGST 201 University of Maryla

Purpose

The purpose of this project is to develop skills needed to write a synthesis memorandum that synthesizes given case law focused on a specified issue and set of facts.   Synthesizing the law refers to identifying the law in a given area and combining and blending that law as it applies to a particular issue and set of facts.  

Course Outcome Met by Project 1:

  • Draft memoranda that synthesize law relevant to a legal topic or issue

__________

Background:  You and Attorney Chong are continuing to work on client Mary Hastings’ case.  The next step is for you to draft a Synthesis Memo regarding the Hastings’ case to submit to Attorney Chong.

Chong reminds you that the Synthesis Memo should address the law that applies to slip and fall cases.  The memo must contain an explanation of the law/common approach/standard that courts use to resolve the legal issue in slip and fall cases.

Facts:  Please refer to HASTINGS CASE FACTS: Projects 1,2,3,4 in Content to review the facts and court opinions relevant to Mary Hastings’ case.

Instructions:

Review the Project 1 rubric.

Review the court cases relevant to Mary Hastings case:

  • Deering Woods Condominium Association, 377 Md. 250
  • Joseph, 173 Md. App. 305
  • Maans, 161 Md. App. 620

Using the three court opinions above, draft a Synthesis Memo with the following four sections and content:

I.  Introduction

Introduction must:

  • Provide a “roadmap” of what will be covered in the memo;
  • Explain the legal topic being addressed;
  • Identify the jurisdiction of each of the three court opinions by properly listing the cases/citations.

II. Synthesis of the Rationales

Synthesis of the Rationales must:

  • Analyze and synthesize the law that applies to slip and fall cases;
  • Evaluate and explain what must be established to be successful in a slip and fall case;
  • Analyze and explain the defenses available in a slip and fall action.

III.  Individual Holdings

Individual Holdings must:

  • Describe the background facts to include the legally significant facts from each of the three cases (listed above);  
  • Analyze and explain comprehensively the holdings in each of the three of the cases (listed above) on the legal issue in each case.

IV.  Synthesis of the Holdings

Synthesis of the Holdings must:

  • Summarize the holdings of each the three cases (listed above).

__________

Memorandum Format

Memorandum

TO:              Alice Chong, Esq.

FROM:         (your name), Paralegal

RE:              Client Mary Hastings

DATE:

I.  Introduction

II.  Synthesis of the Rationales

III.  Individual Holdings

IV.  Synthesis of the Holdings

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