Chapter 4 Crimes (Review)

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1 Chapter 4 Crimes (Review) On a separate sheet of paper, write down the answer to the following Q s; if you do not know the answer, write down the Q. 1. What is a crime? 2. There are elements of a crime. 3. What are they? List them. 4. What are the 3 classifications of crimes? How are they different? 5. What are crimes committed in the business world referred to as?

2 Chapter 4 Crimes (Review cont.) 6. What are 5 specific examples of crimes (i.e. assault, computer crime)? 7. What are your rights when arrested? List What is the burden of proof in a criminal case? 9. What % of jury members must vote to convict? 10. What are the two main types of defenses? Examples of each? 11. What is the purpose of criminal courts?

3 Personal Injury Laws Chapter 5

4 Objectives Lesson 5-1 Distinguish between crimes and torts Describe the elements of a tort Explain when a person is responsible for another person s tort

5 Torts Private or Civil Wrongs

6 Torts Private or Civil Wrongs Four Elements of a Tort what must be proved to establish liability or legal responsibility Duty - 1 st element not to injure another (bodily harm, reputation, or privacy) not to interfere with their property rights (trespassing) not to interfere with the economic rights of others (right to contract)

7 Elements of Torts (cont.) Violation of Duty (Breach) 2 nd element almost always involves a question of fact for a jury to decide 3 classifications of breach Intentional (intent involved) Negligence (lacks intent - based on carelessness) Strict liability (lacks intent and carelessness, but duty was violated)

8 Elements of Torts (cont.) Injury 3 rd element there must be an injury (if someone acts carelessly, but no one is injured, then no tort has been committed) Causation 4 th element Must be proof that breach of duty caused the injury Proximate cause (reasonably foreseeable that breach will result in an injury)

9 Example Elements of a Tort On a windy day, Mason was burning dry leaves in the backyard. When he went inside to answer the phone, flames quickly spread to the neighbor s fence and then to a tool shed where a small can of gasoline exploded. Soon the neighbor s house caught on fire and burnt to the ground. Did Mason commit a tort? A crime?

10 Example Did Mason Commit a Tort? He owed a Duty to the neighbors not to injure (damage) their property He Breached the Duty when he carelessly left the fire unattended The Injury occurred when the neighbor s house was burned Leaving the fire unattended was the Proximate Cause of the loss of the fence, shed and the house Mason did not commit a crime

11 Responsibility for Another s Torts General Rule With few exceptions, everyone (including minors) are liable for their torts What is vicarious liability? When one person is liable for the torts of another person When may parents be liable for their children? If they give children dangerous instruments (guns) If they allowing continuing dangerous habits For property damage (vandalism of school property) Damages while operating motor vehicles

12 Section 5-1 Review 1. There are 3 elements to crimes and 4 elements to torts. 2. The torts are defined in the statutes. 3. The 3 types of torts include intentional, negligence, and strict liability. 4. Only the person who committed the tort can be liable for that tort.

13 Section 5-1 Review (cont.) 1. You forget to clear the ice from your sidewalk after a winter storm. The mailman has to walk on the grass to avoid slipping and falling. Have you committed a tort? 2. A 13 year old throws rocks at his neighbor s house and breaks 4 windows. Has a tort been committed? If so, will the 13 year old be liable?

14 Objectives Lesson 5-2 Describe different types of intentional torts Describe the torts of negligence and strict liability List and describe the defenses to the tort of negligence

15 Intentional Torts Defendant intended either the injury or the act Clearly there was intent to injure or harm Examples: Assault Battery False Imprisonment Defamation Fraud Etc.

16 Negligence Torts Most common tort Intent not required (only carelessness) Duty and Negligence Reasonable-person standard (duty requires that we use care and good judgment of a reasonable person) Age is a factor (how someone of like age, intelligence and experience would act) If a child is doing an adult activity (driving a car or boat), then child is typically held to adult standard Professionals (doctors, lawyers, etc.) and skilled tradespersons (plumbers, mechanics) are held to a higher degree of care in their work

17 Negligence Torts (cont.) Breach of Duty in Negligence Any violation of the reasonable-person standard Causation and Injury in Negligence Violation of duty must be proximate cause of injury (reasonable foreseeable) Must be injury to victim

18 Defenses to Negligence Contributory Negligence injured party also negligent and partially caused the injury in states that recognize this type, injured party could not recover even if their negligence was only a minor part Comparative Negligence injured party is partly at fault they would receive compensation for their injuries, but reduced in proportion to their own negligence

19 Defenses to Negligence (cont.) Assumption of the Risk injured party was aware of the dangers, but decided to subject themselves anyway no recovery for injured party

20 Strict Liability Intent or negligence not required Proof of activity and injury substitutes for violation of duty Engaging in abnormally dangerous activities (storing flammable liquids) Ownership of dangerous animals Sale of goods that are unreasonably dangerous (defective goods that injure consumers); typically, the manufacturer and any sellers of product are held liable

21 Section 5-2 Review 1. Battery is an example of a negligence tort. 2. Intentional torts are the most common form of torts. 3. Strict liability torts are the most similar type of tort to crimes. 4. Comparative negligence is a defense that, if successful, will not allow the injured party to recover any money for the tort. 5. Assumption of risk is a good defense if a danger sign was posted, but the injured party ignored it. 6. Owning dangerous animals could lead to a strict liability tort.

22 Steps in a Trial Defendant s Opening Statement Judge Orders Jury to Deliberate Plaintiff s Closing Statement Defendant Presents Evidence Complaint is Served Plaintiff Presents Evidence Verdict is Given Discovery Phase Defendant s Closing Statement Plaintiff s Opening Statement

23 Remedies Available in a Civil Suit Injunction (court order to do or not do a certain act) Damages (monetary award to compensate for the loss) are the usual remedy Actual or compensatory damages (to place injured party in same financial state as before tort occurred) Not always easy to measure the loss (ongoing pain, suffering or death), but some measurement has to be made (usually decided by a jury) Punitive damages (additional damages because there was deliberate intention to cause injury) For intentional torts, punitive damages are always available

24 Contingency Fees - Lawyers Some lawyers will represent clients on a contingency fee basis if they win case, they collect a contingency fee (typically, 25-40% of the damages awarded); if they lose the case, they receive nothing. 25% (out of court settlement), 33% (trial award); 40% (appeal award) If you win a lawsuit against an individual or a business, and are awarded $2 million in damages, how much would your lawyers receive (if they were working on a contingency basis at 33%) $2,000,000 X 0.33 = $660,000 (to the lawyers)

25 What Procedure is Used to Try a Civil Case? Judge or Jury If jury is used, it is selected Judge decides issues of law - Jury decides issues of fact For civil cases, there is not always a right to trial by jury; if there is no jury, then the judge would decide both (issues of law and fact) Normally 6 12 people on civil juries (decisions do not have to be unanimous a majority vote is required)

26 What Procedure is Used to Try a Civil Case? Opening Statements and Testimony Plaintiff (party that initiates the lawsuit) Defendant (party complained against) Evidence anything that the judge allows to approve or disprove the alleged facts Testimony statements made by witnesses under oath Subpoena written order by judge commanding a person to give testimony to the court

27 What Procedure is Used to Try a Civil Case? Closing Arguments & Instructions to Jury After all evidence is presented, each attorney gives a closing argument They summarize the case, trying to persuade the jury to their side The judge instructs the jury as to what issues of fact they need to decide

28 What Procedure is Used to Try a Civil Case? Jury Deliberation and the Verdict Each juror determines whether a PREPONDERANCE of the evidence (a majority or at least 51%) supports the plaintiff s case Unanimous vote of the jury is not required need a Majority Verdict jury s decision The judge then renders a judgment (the final result of the trial) If for plaintiff, $ is awarded If for defendant, then merely a judgment for the defendant Decisions can be appealed if one party believes that the judge made a mistake of law

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