Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year/Break Pt.2

Yup, we're still on break, and still loving it, as we sure you are too.
While on break, watch this, it's GREAT.

Also, Law Wars is seeking contributors for the new semester! E-mail your submissions to!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hines v. Morrow- (Court of Civil Appeals of Texas, Dallas, 1921)

Luke Skywalker returned to Dagobah to continue Jedi training under the tutelage of Master Yoda. Under the direction of his master, Luke proceeded to stand on his head and lift some large rocks into the air using the Force. Before completing the exercise, with the rocks still floating mid-air, Luke's hand that had prior to that time been severed in an unrelated intrafamily lightsaber duel, which was extended with a cybernetic hand, began to sink into the swamp mud. The hand went down into a hole at least 10 inches or 12 inches, filled with soft mud and water, and Luke's limb became securely fastened therein, and he was unable by his own efforts to extricate his said hand from said hole. As he was sinking, Luke, a young Padawan, not yet fully trained in the Jedi ways, became distressed and lost concentration, at which point the rocks he had been levitating began to fall toward him. In order to avoid the danger of being hit with large rocks, which danger was then imminent and certain, if he was unable to extricate his limb from said hole and said danger would have caused to him death or serious bodily injury, and, prompted thereby, he used the force to lift himself up into the branches of a Gnarltree located nearby and out of the path of the falling rocks. Thereby his hand and arm were pulled from the hole and in doing so a coil in a hanging vine that was dangling between him and the tree caught Luke's other arm. As Luke was flew through the air, the vine tightened around his arm and so mangled and lacerated the same that it became necessary to amputate his only non-cybernetic hand.

Luke sued Yoda for his injuries resulting from Yoda's negligent maintenance of the area used for training, specifically failure to repair the many slimy mudholes. (Yoda's response: "Mudhole?! Slimy?! My home this is!")

Yoda's defense relied on the assertion that the accident was too freakish to be foreseen, even by Yoda's power of Force vision.

The court found for Luke because the injuries were a result of Yoda's negligence, and the exact consequences of negligence do not have to be foreseen.

Contributed by Andrew Greenberg

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy Wookie Life Day!

Yup. It's a holiday, so we're taking a break.

To help sooth that bad feeling you've got, watch this!

Happy Life Day!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ellish v. Airport Parking Co.- (Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department of New York, 1973)

Han Solo and Chewbaca had finished deactivating the hyperdrive in the Alderan system when they noticed that there no longer was a planet present, merely a vast debris field. Before long, the Millennium Falcon was pulled via automated tractor beam into the docking bay of what initially appeared to be a moon, but was in fact the space-station the "Death Star". Han and Chewie (along side Luke, Obi-Wan and the beloved droids) deboarded the Millennium Falcon and began adventuring around the station, in an attempt to save a certain wayward princess, carefree of the posted signs that stated that the Empire was not responsible for any damage to vehicles in the docking bay.

As the rag-tag group of adventurers concluded their initial escapades aboard the station, they returned to the Falcon only to find that it was missing, apparently stolen by several intoxicated stormtroopers while it was stored inside the Death Star docking bay.

Han later pressed charges for damages against the Empire, claiming that the Millennium Falcon's placement inside of the docking bay amounted to a bailment, and the failure of the Empire to return the ship in the condition it was bailed was a prima facia case of failure in acting the part of the bailee.

The Imperial Court held (unsuprisingly) that the arrangement did not amount to a bailment due to an analysis on six criterion: the open and obvious nature and location of the Death Star docking bay, the impersonal nature of the tractor beam service and a total lack of communication between the Death Star docking bay crew and Han Solo, the fact that Han retained the start up codes for the Millennium Falcon at all times, that there were posted warnings regarding the Empire's liability for docked vehicles, and the fact that with so many stormtrooper patrols, other vessels and TIE fighters coming and going about in the docking bay, that it would be impossible to keep tabs on one ship. Further, as Han was unable to provide evidence of negligence on the part of the Empire's docking bay crew, the court found for the Empire.

There was however a dissent, which noted that Han had no choice in the matter of docking his ship, and that the Millennium Falcon could not be controlled or released from the docking bay without the tractor beam being deactivated by the docking bay crew (or the work of subterfuge by Obi-Wan).

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Stambovsky v. Ackley- (Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department of New York, 1991)

Pagao, an Ewok formerly of the Dark Moss village was moving into a new part of the forest moon Endor, Bright Tree Village, and had purchased a lovely treehouse at an affordable price. After moving in, however, strange things began to occur. Pagao would often see distressing paranormal occurances such as moving rocks, sticks and other small items within the house. At times, Pagao could swear that he felt the presence of other individuals, even when he was entirely sure he was alone; and at times he was sure he heard voices in a non-Ewok language, including one speaking in a dialect that sounded like a distant cousin of his Fa-zee of the Mu-pat Tribe.

Upon an inquiry with the local shaman, Logray, Pagao discovered that his new house was haunted by three spirits of fallen Jedi warriors, Skywalker, Kenobi and Yoda! Further, the entire village knew of the haunted nature of Pagao's new house, and was a in fact a local legend (much like the visit of Shiny God). Pagao, knowing that such spirits were portents of disaster (following the apocalypse of other tribes as debris for the Second Death Star rained down at high speeds upon the moon), wished to rescind his purchase and the seller refused.

Pagao found justice within a newly formed New Republic Court, which stated that the Galactic common law rule of "caveat emptor" (let the buyer beware) no longer applied, and that since the law arises from facts (also known as the principle of "ex facto jus oritur"), as a matter of equity, the Ewok buyer could have the contract rescinded, and be freed from having to live with the three Jedi spirits. The court noted that the seller's omission of the spirits presence in negotiating as an issue of concealment, as well as delivering a house filled with the spirits of the deceased violated both the warranty deed signed by seller.

However, the most noted part of this opinion was the humor of the Judicial Arbiter, who made repeated puns, and at one point remarked candidly about his opinion of the Ewok people.

*Seriously, though, do yourself a favor and check out this opinion on your own. It's hilarious.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Begun, the Finals have.

"Fear is the path to the dark side: finals. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to finals. Finals is suffering." -Yoda (or, what he might have said, had he been in law school)

We've got 'em! You may have 'em too! We'll be back to schedule on Sunday!
May the Force be with you for your finals (and beware the siren call of the Dark Side)!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christensen v Swensen (Supreme Court of Utah- 1994)

Princess Leia, onboard the Tantive IV and anticipating the arrival of Darth Vader, employed her astromech droid R2D2 to deliver a frantic plea to the old Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi, who was hiding on Tatooine.

R2D2, along with his befuddled BFF C3PO, crashed an escape pod onto Tatooine, and began to search for Obi-Wan. Unfortunately, they were quickly captured by Jawas and sold to Owen Lars. Before Owen could wipe their memories and subject them to an eternity of moisture farming, R2D2 was able to outwit the hapless Luke Skywalker and escape into the desert, desperate to complete his mission. However, Luke and C3PO followed him, and R2D2 unwittingly led them straight into a Tusken Raider ambush. After Obi-Wan mysteriously appeared and saved them, Luke (who had taken quite a tumble, and was additionally incensed by the murders of his aunt and uncle) pursued litigation against R2D2 for negligence. Knowing that as a droid, R2D2 would have very few assets, Luke attempted to hold Princess Leia, R2's employer/owner, vicariously liable for her droid's actions.

The lowest court on Tatooine held that an employer was vicariously liable when their employee's negligence occurred within the scope of their employment. Looking to an older case, they found that the test for scope was 3 pronged: The employee must be about the employer's business when the negligence occurs, it must occur within the hours and ordinary spatial boundaries of their employment, and the employee's conduct must be at least partially motivated by serving the employer's interest. The lowest court found, without a jury, that since Tatooine was not within the spatial boundaries of the Tantive IV, Leia was not vicariously liable for R2's negligence.

On appeal to the highest court on the planet, it was decided that vicarious liability is normally a jury issue, and is only decided by the court when there are no factual issues. They held that reasonable minds could differ (that is, there was a factual issue) as to all three criteria, including the spatial limitation. As an astromech, R2D2 was often employed far outside of the Tantive IV, which made the spatial boundaries of his employment hard to determine. The court held that a jury was required to determine the facts before liability was imposed on Leia, and remanded the case for further proceedings.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Summers v. Tice- (Supreme Court of California, 1948)

Commander Cody and two other clone troopers were in the field hunting for Separatist Droids on Geonosis when Cody decided to scout a head and recon the area. Due to radiation from a nearby nebula, all scanning transmissions were effectively jammed. When the other clone troopers caught up with Cody, he jumped up to give them further instructions, at which time they both fired very, very negligently directly in Cody's direction upon hearing this rustling and not detecting his signal. They shot him twice in the face.

During the Republic Tribunal's court marshal of the two clone troopers, it was determined that due to the lack of evidence as to which injury was the cause-in-fact of Cody's injury, then Cody could sue both of the troopers under the doctrine of Joint/Several liability. Further, under this doctrine if Cody could establish negligence on the part of the two troopers (which they totally were), he could recover the entirety of his damages from one or the other.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Dillon v. Twin State Gas & Electric Co.- (New Hampshire Supreme Court, 1932)

Master Chief Gunnery Officer Tenn Graneet was a Death Star Gunner on superlaser duty during the Battle of Yavin. Just as Luke Skywalker was completing his trench run, he slipped and fell back over the tiny railing on his platform as the Death Star's main superlaser was charging up in preparation to fire on Yavin IV. He was incinerated instantly by the beam, and his estate sued the Empire for his wrongful death. The Empire's advocates countered, stating that mere seconds later the Death Star would have been destroyed by Skywalker's torpedo, killing Graneet instantly. The Imperial Court agreed with the Empire, and lowered Graneet's damages to those few seconds of life lost between the charging of the superlaser and the destruction of the Death Star.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


Law Wars took the holiday week (+an extra day) off for preparing outlines, but we'll be back Sunday!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Jacob & Youngs v. Kent- (Court of Appeals of New York, 1921)

Shortly after the completed construction of the Emperor's new dreamhouse/battlestation, the Death Star, the Emperor along with Vader were inspecting the many features of the exterior of the space station when they stumbled upon what looked to be a thermal exhaust shaft within the equatorial trench of the Death Star.

The two called in the station's designer, Bevel Lemelisk, and pointed out to that within the contracts for him to design and construct the Death Star, there was a specific clause that stated "all thermal exhaust vents must be subject to approval by the Emperor, any thermal exhaust vents built without approval will be rejected and is to be immediately torn down, removed and remade or replaced in accordance with the official drawings and specifications, whenever discovered..."

Lemelisk refused, stating that "It's not a big deal. What possible harm could come from something like this? It's the size of a womp rat." The Emperor refused to pay him, and Lemelisk proceeded to file suit. At trial, the Emperor attempted to defend himself by pointing out the clause, but the Imperial Court refused (which lead to several force electrocutions, chokes and further electrocutions to certain Imperial Justices), stating that the cost of the substantial performance of removing or replacing the intricate duct-work that made the thermal exhaust ports lead straight to the reactive core of the Death Star would be grossly out of proportion to the good attained, and that the Emperor could recover only for the functional difference between a Death Star without such thermal exhaust ports.

The Emperor proceeded to execute Lemelisk following the trial, cloned him, and then executed him again. His rage that day was palpable.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wishnatsky v. Huey- (Court of Appeals of North Dakota, 1998)

On board the Executor the Emperor and Vader were having a serious Sith Master/Apprentice discussion about pressing Force related issues (namely capturing that slippery Luke Skywalker), Admiral Firmus Piett wanted to inform Vader that comscan had picked up some interesting activity. Piett entered Vader's lair without knocking, and Vader instinctively used the Force to shut the doors. Piett collided into the now shut doors and fell backwards against the wall.

He sued Vader for battery, however an imperial court granted Vader summary judgment, stating that as a matter of law, it was not a battery. This was affirmed by the higher court, stating that the contact had been "momentary, indirect, and incidental," and that Vader's actions were "rude and abrupt" but would not "be offensive to a reasonable sense of personal dignity." The court basically implied that Piett was a crybaby, something that would stay with him for the rest of his life until an A-Wing crashed into the deck of the Executor. Probably because he actually was a bit of a crybaby.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Swinton v. Whitinsville Sav. Bank- (Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, 1942)

Tricky Aadj-Duck Jun sells a summer home to Admiral Ackbar on the newly freed planet Endor. Aadj-Duck Jun knows there to be one clan of Ewoks hiding out in the attic and another camping in the shrubbery surrounding the house. However, he purposely withholds this information from the unsuspecting Admiral, the latter being understandably more shrewd in matters of space warfare than in real estate. Months later, Admiral Ackbar discovers the Ewoks while investigating the mystery of his beloved cat's disappearance. When he sues Aadj-Duck Jun, he loses. This is because there is no liability for bear nondisclosure.

Contributed by Charlie Gokey

Friday, November 13, 2009

General Motors v Sanchez- (Supreme Court of Texas, 1999)

Young Luke Skywalker was training under Obi-Wan Kenobi on board the Millenium Falcon on their way to rescue Princess Leia from the Empire (she claimed they were her only hope). Obi-Wan was instructing Luke on lightsaber techniques, and as part of his training, had Luke read the holographic manual which described safety measures to be taken to reduce the risks involved with such a highly dangerous (and elegant) instrument, including the proper way to turn a lightsaber on and off.

One night after Obi-Wan had gone to sleep, Luke decided to practice his sweet lightsaber moves, so that the princess would be impressed when they rescued her. When he was done, he believed that he'd flipped the lightsaber off, unaware that an intermediate position existed between the on and off positions. While Luke was admiring his Force-bulked physique in the mirror, the lightsaber, which had indeed not been fully turned off, flipped from the intermediate position back on, and sliced off Luke's hand.

Luke sued the lightsaber manufacturer, claiming that the intermediate position was a design defect.

The imperial court held that while the lightsaber was defective in its design, however a space jury found that Luke was negligent for not taking measures to ensure the lightsaber was off, and he was held 50% responsible for his own injury. They found that although Luke did not have a duty to guard against unknown defects, he did have a duty to take reasonable precautions to secure his lightsaber. Because Luke had read the holographic manual, he knew the safety measures required to ensure it was properly turned off, and had breached his duty when he failed to follow those measures. Therefore the imperial court held that the lightsaber manufacturer's damages should be reduced by 50% to account for Luke's comparative responsibility in the harm.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lakotos v. Billotti- (Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, 1998)

Anakin Skywalker, padawan, and Padme Amidala, senator, were secretly married on the planet Naboo. There they kept a secret home, which was held by both of them in joint tenancy with right of survivorship (They both shared an equal interest, with one gaining full control of the property when the other died). For a while everything was totally cool, and Padme got totally preggers. Then Anakin made his inevitable turn to the dark side. After hearing of her husband's slaughterfest at the Jedi temple, Padme hitched a ride with Obi-Wan to meet Anakin and confront him on the planet Mustafar. Anakin, now Darth Vader, suspecting Padme of being in cahoots with Obi-Wan, and wanting the Naboo home all for himself, Force-choked her like crazy, until she eventually died. As the surviving spouse, Vader was now the sole possessor of the property on Naboo and held it until his children grew up and sued him. Although Vader was legally entitled to the property, the council found that it should go to Luke and Leia, citing the Empire's slayer statute, which states that a murderer is not allowed to benefit from his wrongdoing, and that the property should therefore go to Padme's heirs.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Peet v. Roth Hotel Company- (Supreme Court of Minnesota, 1934)

Famed pod-racing super star, Sebulba, was preparing for the Boonta Eve Classic and noted that his powerbinders were not functioning correctly. He took his pod's specialty powerbinder to Watto's shop for a quick bit of maintenance, but when he arrived, Watto was not available (he was out rolling chance cubes). One of the service droids running the shop gave Sebulba a box, in which he placed the powerbinder and gave the box to the droid. The droid then wrote Sebulba's name on it and placed it to the side.

A few weeks later, Sebulba inquired about the status of the repair, to which Watto replied stating that he had never received the part. Watto then investigated his staff to see if any of the droids had made off with the part, or perhaps a certain human slave named Skywalker, but these efforts to find the powerbinder failed. The droid who accepted the part did not know what had happened to it.

Sebulba sued for damages, stating that Watto's shop had failed to return the bailment of the powerbinder. The shop claimed that the droid was not made aware of the value of the specialty powerbinder since Sebulba had placed it in a box, and as such could not be held responsible for such high damages. The Tatooine court disagreed, stating that Sebulba had not misrepresented or hidden the nature of the powerbinder by placing it in the box, and that the shop would be held to a reasonable standard of care in its keeping. By not returning the powerbinder, they had breached this standard of care, as well as failed in acting as a bailee.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lucy v. Zehmer- (Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia, 1954)

Lando Calrissian operated a classy restaurant on Corellia before he became the classy administrator of the classiest Cloud City on Bespin. Han Solo, a friend of Lando's who was severely lacking class and hoping to obtain some, came to Lando's restaurant just before close one night and offered to buy Lando's classiest vessel, the Millenium Falcon. Han had discussed this matter with Lando many times before, and each time Lando had politely but sternly assured his "good buddy" that the Falcon simply was not for sale.

This night, Han brought with him a large box of "space wine" and the two began to drink and once again discuss the terms under which Han might buy the Falcon. Han claimed that he could pay 50,000 Imperial Credits cash that he had just saved up from several smuggling jobs via the Kessel Run. Lando said that for 50,000 he'd accept (believing his "good buddy" to be lying and wishing to call his bluff) and sell the Falcon to Han. In an attempt to force Han to admit he didn't have the credits, he even wrote out a contract of sale on the back of one of the restaurant's receipt, and signed it. Han then grabbed the receipt and offered Lando 5 credits down payment to seal the deal. Lando declined, still thinking that Han didn't have the credits. Han then proceeded to get Chewbacca to help him get the rest of the funding together.

When Han came to Lando a week later with the "contract" and the 50,000 credits, Lando refused to convey the start up code to the Falcon, stating that he had been "joking" and that he had never intended to sell the Falcon, that it had all been a joke. Han sued for specific performance, and the court granted, stating that it would have been impossible for Han or anyone else (who wasn't a telepath) to know that Lando was joking from his outward appearance. Lando claimed in court that he was very drunk from the space wine, but the court was not convinced, knowing full well that Lando was a man who could handle his liquors.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Gammon v. Osteopathic Hospital of Maine- (Supreme Court of Maine, 1987)

Lobot, Lando Calrissian's assistant on the floating Cloud City on Bespin was grieving his recently deceased mother, as well as the loss of his employer Lando Calrissian due to his high-stakes contracting with the Empire (see Williams v Thomas-Walker Furniture Co- (Federal Court of Appeals-DC Circuit, 1965). Later that day, Lobot received a package from the Cloud City infirmary that he believed contained his dead mother's personal effects. When he opened the bag, he discovered that it only contained Luke Skywalker's severed hand, which while cauterized by Darth Vader's lightsaber strike, had begun to rot and turned blue in the process.

Lobot claimed to suffer emotional distress from the incident, having cyborg/human relations malfunctions and administration-related nightmares, growing distant from his family. Lobot did not report any physical ailments suffering from his emotional distress, nor did he seek professional help from the Cloud City counselor.

He sued the Cloud City infirmary for emotional damages. The court ruled that while Lobot was not within the "zone of danger", he had satisfied the court's newly established test that an individual must suffer "more emotional damage than a reasonable cyborg could bear", and held that the infirmary was obviously negligent in its mishandling of bodily remains. The court also noted that as family member of someone who was recently deceased, Lobot was much more likely to be trustworthy, limiting concerns of future floods of litigation.

Bethel v. New York City Transit Authority- (Court of Appeals, New York, 1998)

Jek Porkins was sitting in transit on his way to a briefing at the Tierfon Rebel Base when his seat collapsed beneath him. Porkins sued the Rebel Transit Authority for negligence. Though Porkins had no proof that the Rebels knew of the defective seat, he stated that the Authority owed him the "highest duty of care" as a common carrier for Rebel forces, and that they had constructive notice of the problem due to repairs of the seat 11 days earlier. While a trial court found for Porkins, the ruling was overturned, stating that the extraordinary requirements of the common law for common carriers was unacceptably harsh. The court instead opted for the establishment of a "reasonable person" standard, which is far more flexible. The case was remanded to a lower court for a new trial based on the "reasonable person" standard.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hypothetical 1 [See Popov v. Hayashi- (Superior Court, San Francisco County, California, 2002)]

The Corellian Corvette Tantive IV is in open space. Two ships are nearby, one an Imperial Star Destroyer Devastator, another, a bounty hunting vessel piloted by Cradossk. Cradossk is able to capture the Tantive IV by tractor beam, and begins to pull the ship in when a rogue vessel fires upon him, causing the ship's tractor beam to malfunction. At this point the Devastator overtakes and captures the Tantive IV. Cardossk sues the captain of the Devastator for possession of the Tantive IV. What result?

*The author wishes to note that hypotheticals may not be accurate in regards to official Star Wars cannon. These hypothetical situations are intended to assist in legal analysis, rather than convey accurate Star Wars history.

Hawkins v. McGee- (New Hampshire Supreme Court, 1929)

While coming in for several routine tune ups for his cybernetic prosthetic, Medical Droids 2-1B and FX-7 attempted to persuade Luke Skywalker that they could repair his hand and make it "as good as new", further promising him "one hundred percent good hand".

Despite their poor grammar, after several visits the Droids were successful and Luke agreed to undergo their procedure. The droids used an experimental form of "skin grafting" and removed skin from Luke's chest to use as the "new" tissue for the hand. Unfortunately, the tissue used for the graft continued to grow chest hair, and Luke's hand became increasingly hairy, leading to his need to wear a black glove over the hand at almost all times (see, Return of the Jedi).

Luke sued the droids for breach of contract, as well as pain and suffering. The court dismissed the claim for pain and suffering stating that these effects were inherently a part of the procedure that Luke agreed to; however, the court did hold that the Droids were liable to Luke for breach of contract, and that the damages the Droids owed to Luke should be equal to the difference to the hand he received (one that was disgusting and hairy) and the one he was promised (one that was "one hundred percent good hand"). This was based on the reasoning of "expectation interest" which aims to place Luke in the position he would have been, had the Droids not breached the contract.

White v Brown- (Supreme Court of Tennessee, 1977)

Han Solo devised a holographic will (which in legal terms means a will written and signed exclusively by the will-writer, but in this case also means an actual hologram) leaving the Millennium Falcon to Chewbacca "to fly in." His will also contained the phrase, "the ship is not to be sold."

After Han died and Chewbacca picked up the Falcon, his wife, Leia Solo, claimed that the ship only belonged to Chewbacca until his death, upon which Han and Leia's children would inherit the Falcon. She based her claim on the phrases in Han's will which limited Chewbacca's rights to the ship, stating that it was her husband's intent that after Chewbacca died, the ship would automatically revert back to the Solo family (This theory is called a Life Estate).

Chewbacca then brought suit against Leia, stating that regardless of the terms of the will, Han intended to give him the ship outright, to be passed on to Chewbacca's heirs after his death (This is known as a Fee Simple Absolute). He believed that the clauses in the will limiting his rights were unlawful and the result of Han writing the will himself, without legal assistance.
The council, citing New Republic law, decided that the prevailing law favored the intent of the will-writer in cases of holographic wills, and that, when intent could not be determined, such wills should be read as assigning Fee Simple titles, rather than Life Estate titles, unless a contrary intent is expressed in either the words or the context of the will.

The council found that, despite Han's phrasing, it was impossible to determine whether he meant to give the Falcon as a Life Estate or as a Fee Simple Absolute. They also found that the phrases limiting Chewbacca's rights to the ship were not strong enough to overcome the law's preference for passing Fee Simple titles, and therefore were unlawful limitations. The council awarded the ship in Fee Simple Absolute to Chewbacca, and voided the parts of Han's will restricting his rights to use the Millennium Falcon as he saw fit.

Williams v Thomas-Walker Furniture Co- (Federal Court of Appeals-DC Circuit, 1965)

Lando Calrissian is the Baron Administrator of Cloud City, on Bespin. In an attempt to stave off an invasion by the Empire, Lando makes a deal with Darth Vader, trading the rebel Han Solo and his companions for the continued survival and independence of the people he represents. However, Darth Vader uses high pressure tactics, like blackmail and threats of violence to induce a deal where he holds more bargaining power, and effectively removes any meaningful choice Lando might have had in negotiating the terms or in accepting the bargain. Additionally, Vader continually adds to and modifies the terms of the deal, allowing him to unfairly advantage until the deal is so one-sided that Lando no longer gains anything from the bargain. When Vader brings suit against Lando for breaking the deal and helping Han and Leia escape, the council will find that the deal is unconscionable, both procedurally (in the formation of the deal) and substantively (in the terms of the deal) and will refuse to enforce it as a matter of law.

Pierson v Post- (Supreme Court of Judicature of New York, 1805)

Biggs Darklighter is flying his T-16 down Beggar's Canyon, an unowned plot of land on Tatooine. Biggs locates and begins pursuing a wild womp rat. Just as he is about to corner the womp rat in a corner of the canyon and fire upon it, Luke Skywalker bullseyes the womp rat from his T-16 and makes off with it. Biggs files suit, claiming that Luke stole his womp rat. Looking to the logic of earlier authors, the council rules that even though Biggs was in pursuit, intent to possess and pursuit alone are not enough to convert the womp rat into property. Luke's intention of possession was made real by the act of mortally wounding the womp rat, sufficiently converting the womp rat into his property.

Portee v Jaffee- (Supreme Court of New Jersey, 1980)

Tusken Raiders abduct Anakin Skywalker's mother on Tatooine while Anakin is off learning to be a Jedi. She is tortured and the Sand People are basically all kinds of negligent with her. By the time Anakin arrives to rescue her, it's too late and she dies in his arms. This inflicts great emotional damage on Anakin, and as a result he heads further down the path that will lead him to the dark side. If Anakin hadn't murdered the whole tribe, he would have had a claim against the Tuskens for his emotional damages, even though they didn't directly harm him, because 1) he personally witnessed his mother's death, 2) he was in close proximity to her when she died (he would not have had a claim if he watched her death by hologram), 3) he and his mother were related, and 4) her death was a serious injury.

Monday, October 19, 2009

This thing is happening.


My name is Emma, and I go to a midwestern law school, along with my friend Tim. We are midway through our first year, and, as might be expected, need to go that extra mile to understand some of the new concepts and cases being thrown our way, especially when explaining to our friends why law school is so gosh darn hard.

We have come across a surprisingly universal analogy machine, which is called Star Wars. We have yet to find any law term or case that cannot be explained in Star Wars. So we figured we'd start sharing them with the world, because obviously this is something everyone needs to know.

Feel free to join in if you like, and welcome to Law Wars.

-Emma (+ Tim)

*Note- We are only 1L's, so most of the legal rules we write about are probably out of date. Please do not consider anything on this blog authoritative, and definitely do not take anything as legal advice. This blog is only meant as a way for us to blow off steam and make our classes a little more interesting. We are basically the opposite of professionals, and our opinions are worth absolutely nothing.*

*Note 2- While almost everything in this blog is based upon something in the Star Wars canon, it is not strictly canon, and will deviate as necessary.*