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Street Law And Community Legal Education Clinic

1. a) Define Tort. Explain the difference between an intentional Tort and astrict liability Tort.
    b) Name and define two (2) of the most common intentional Torts.

2. a) Name and describe the standard of proof used to establish liability in a Tort case.
    b) Besides the standard of proof what are two other differences between civil law and criminal law. Explain one.

3. Name and define the elements of negligence.

4. What defenses are available for each type of Tort? Describe them.
    What is the best way to protect yourself from any tort liability?

5. Name and describe the kind of damages awarded in Tort cases.

6. Explain two of the following: Defamation, Infringement, Product Liability and Attractive Nuisance.
7. Describe the basic steps you should take if you or your property has been harmed as the result of someone’s negligence. Describe the basic steps you      should take if your negligence has harmed someone or their property.

8. a) What are 3 kinds of property?
    b) What is intellectual property? Give examples.

9. Name and briefly describe the ‘reasonable person standard’.
10. a) Name and describe one argument for Tort reform.
     b) Name and describe one argument against Tort reform.

Sample Answer

1.a) Tort has been defined as an infringement of a right which is not contractual in nature or a wrongful act which results into a legal liability. In common law jurisdiction a tort is described as a civil wrong through which someone else may suffer harm or loss. Tortious liability results in legal liability for a person who has done the act (Goldberg, Sebok and Zipursky 2016).
An intentional tort has been defined as any intentional act which is reasonably foreseeable towards causing harm to a person and actually does so. Two types of intentional torts are assault and battery.

b) Assault under common law is a tort where a person acts intentionally having a specific or general intent of causing a reasonable apprehension of an offensive contact or an immediate harm. Assault is considered as an intentional tort because it requires intent.

Battery is that when a person intentionally brings and offensive or harmful contact with another person or someone associated with them without their consent.

2.a) The standard of proof which is required for establishing liability in tort cases is “on the balance of probabilities” . This means that the court will give judgement in favour of the party who has greater balance in terms of the evidence.

b) Two differences between civil law and criminal law is that in criminal law one of the parties to the case is the government and in civil cases the parties are private persons. In civil law there cannot be any imprisonment however in criminal law there can be imprisonment along with fines.

3.Negligence has three elements

Duty of care- a person who can be enjoyed by actions of any other person is entitled to be owed a duty of care by the other person.

Breach of duty of care- In situation where the person who owes the duty of care does not act like a reasonable person to take precautions in relation to avoiding the injury to the other person, breach of duty of care is committed.

Causation- in negligence a claim can only be established when it is proved by the plaintiff that the injury has only been caused to him because of the breach in duty of care and if the duty was not reached the plaintiff would not have been injured (Abraham 2017).

4.Defences against negligence

Contributory negligence- this happens when the person who has been injured has himself done something which has contributed to the injury caused to him.

Defences against nuisance

A claim for nuisance can be defended by the defence where the plaintiff himself had come to the nuisance and therefore suffered damages.

Defences against defamation

A claim for defamation can be successfully defended if it can be prove that the statement which has been made by the defendant is true.

5.General damages- these damages are provided in relation to the injury sustained by the person because of the negligence caused by the other. For example compensation of pain and suffering

Punitive damages- these damages are provided when a person intentionally commits the negligent act to punish him for his actions (Van Dam 2015).

6.Defamation refers to the communication of a false statement which causes injury to the reputation of the person associated with the statement. Under common law a claim for defamation can only be established when the statement which has been made by the defendant is false and has been made to someone else other than the concerned person who is defamed. Defamation can be subdivided into slander which is spoken defamation and Lible which is printed defamation.

Product liability- product liability is that area of law which makes suppliers manufacturers and other people who make goods available to the public responsible for any injuries resulting out of those products. In area of law product liability only refers to products which are tangible in nature. A person who has suffered injury due to the use of such product can make a claim in relation to any damages which has been incurred by him with respect to the injury to himself or any properties belong to him (Best, Barnes and Kahn 2018).

7.When my property has been harmed as a result of negligence by someone else I first need to find out that the person owes a duty of care to me or not. Then I need to find out whether such person has violated the duty of care owed to me. When I am satisfied I should make a claim in relation to the damages in the small cause Court. On the other hand where I have injured the property of another person I should determine whether any contributory negligence has been done by the other person or not.

8.a) The Three Types of property under law are real property which is land and buildings owned by a person, personal property such as cash or its equivalent owned by a person and intellectual property such as copyrights or trademarks

b) Intellectual property as a result of creativity and is an intangible property the rights of which are provided by law. A few examples of an intellectual property are the copyrights and patents owned by creators of a certain work.

 9.The reasonable person standard is also known as the objective test. This test is applied by the court in order to determine the intention or the standard of care taken by a person. According to the reasonable person standard if a person takes precautions to avoid an injury which would have been taken by a reasonable person in the same circumstances the person has taken the standard of care required to comply with his duty. In the same way if the reasonable person would have taken more precautions then the person then it is determined that the duty has been breached.

10. a) Argument for tort reform- ECONOMIC EFFECT- the cost which is involved in the compensation payments particularly when they are not proportionate to the damages, even where it is held that the goal of extreme composition is worthy, litigation is not the best method of providing compensation.

b) Arguments against tort reforms – Self Interest- on of the primary arguments which is made against tort reforms is that the proponents of tort reforms are only driven by self interest and there is no such illness in the system which has been highlighted by the tort reform supporter (Gilbert and Gilbert 2017).


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