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Civil Procedure Keyed to Yeazell
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Campbell
CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
In 1981, Defendant was driving with his wife, Inez Preece Campbell, in Cache County, Utah. He decided to pass six vans traveling ahead of them on a two-lane highway. Todd Ospital was driving a small car approaching from the opposite direction. To avoid a head-on collision with Defendant, who by then was driving on the wrong side of the highway and toward oncoming traffic, Ospital swerved onto the shoulder, lost control of his automobile, and collided with a vehicle driven by Robert G. Slusher. Ospital was killed, and Slusher was rendered permanently disabled. The Campbells escaped unscathed. In the ensuing wrongful death and tort action, Defendant insisted he was not at fault. Early investigations did support differing conclusions as to who caused the accident, but “a consensus was reached early on by the investigators and witnesses that Mr. Campbell’s unsafe pass had indeed caused the crash.” Defendant’s insurance company, Plaintiff insurance agency, nonetheless decided to contest liability and declined offers by Slusher and Ospital’s estate (Ospital) to settle the claims for the policy limit of $50,000 ($25,000 per claimant). Instead, a jury determined that Defendant was 100 percent at fault, and a judgment was returned for $185,849, far more than the amount offered in settlement. During the pendency of the appeal, in late 1984, Slusher, Ospital, and the Defendant reached an agreement whereby Slusher and Ospital agreed not to seek satisfaction of their claims against the Defendant. In exchange the Defendant agreed to pursue a bad faith action against Plaintiff and to be represented by Slusher’s and Ospital’s attorneys. In 1989, the Utah Supreme Court denied Defendant’s appeal in the wrongful death and tort actions. The Defendant then filed a complaint against Plaintiff alleging bad faith, fraud, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The jury awarded the Defendant $2.6 million in compensatory damages and $145 million in punitive damages, which the trial court reduced to $1 million and $25 million respectively. Both parties appealed.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.