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!