Memorandum of Law


The final project will consist of a four page Memorandum of Law discussing tort issues based on these facts:

Natasha and Rodney Collins are a married couple. They have been married for two years and recently Rodney purchased a new automobile as their family car. His name is listed solely on the title of the car as the owner. Natasha drives the car routinely though to run errands. Her husband warns her when she is driving not to text or take funny videos which she likes to upload to social media. She is notorious for using her phone while driving.

One afternoon, she was running an errand to her local grocery store when she rear ended the car in front of her while she was going 45 miles per hour. Marco Polo was the driver of the other car (that she hit), and he suffered whiplash and his right leg was badly broken.

Natasha’s Facebook account shows that she posted a picture on facebook of herself driving her car with a funny face approximately 1 minute prior to her accident. She also sent several text messages within the last 7 minutes prior to her accident.

Marco is taken to the hospital where the Doctor informs him, correctly, that he will lose his right left unless he consents to an immediate particular type of surgery which may save his leg.  The Doctor does not inform Marco that this type of surgery, if successful, will mean that his repaired knee in his right leg will need an artificial replacement within the next twelve years. Marco, not knowing about the risk of knee replacement, agrees to the surgery, which the Doctor performs and is successful in saving his badly broken leg. However, the Doctor accidentally leaves a small metal clamp inside Marco’s leg after sewing the leg up. This clamp causes great pain until it is discovered and removed.

Marco comes to your law office to determine what his legal rights are and who may be liable for his injuries.

After reviewing the facts and researching the applicable law, you should address the following in your Memorandum of Law:

  1. Identify who Marco can sue and explain why. Identify the torts that will be the basis for the lawsuits and explain why. (Vicarious Liability, Lack of Consent and Negligence issues are all at play in this fact situation).
  2. When negligence is involved please identity whether the elements of negligence are present in each negligence situation. Apply the facts to those elements (as we did/will do in the Week 1 discussion).
  3. Find statutory and case law that supports Marco’s position in each of the possible lawsuits you have identified and cite authority where appropriate.

The paper must follow these guidelines:

  • Double-spaced
  • Times New Roman (12) font
  • One-inch margins all around
  • Minimum four (4) complete pages of Memorandum of Law
  • No Title page or reference page is needed as the heading of the Memo will convey the needed information that would go into a title page and sources should be included in the body of your writing in your Memo
  • All sources should be cited to in the body of your writing in your Memorandum of Law
  • You must include citation to legal authority in your paper. All cites should be in Blue Book form. NOTE: Wikipedia is NOT an acceptable source due to the fact that it can be changed by almost anyone with a computer.
  • You should include at least 5 sources of citation (two (2) of which are required to be cases).

Here is a rubric for an idea of grading criteria:

  • Substance – 60 points
  • Sources of Citation – 20 points (10 points for two (2) case sources and 10 points for three (3) other reliable sources and receiving full points depends on using proper Blue Book form of citation to those sources)
  • Formatting – 20 points

Please see the Legal Help Center under your “My Organizations” on your Keiser homepage for assistance with your citations and finding reliable legal sources. There are numerous websites that you can review for help with formatting a proper Memorandum of Law. For example, here is a website for help with preparing a quality Memorandum of Law:

SafeAssignment: Your paper will also be submitted to SafeAssignment.  You should have an originality score of 65% or higher (meaning an unoriginality score of 35% or lower) if you want to earn a passing grade.  If you are unsure, you should submit it to SafeAssign yourself several days prior to the due date and make modifications as necessary. This will go towards your “substance” part of your grade.

Ideally, the quality of your paper would be of such that you could use this drafting project in a portfolio to be submitted to a possible future employer or in any other “real world” situation where you need a high quality writing sample.

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