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Torts Keyed to Goldberg
Smollett v. Skayting Dev. Corp.
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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:
On February 1981, Helene Smollett and her husband, Leonard, (collectively, Plaintiffs) went to a fundraiser at a skating rink owned by Skayting Development Corporation (Defendant). The skating area was raised about three to five inches above the surrounding floor space, which was carpeted. The skating area did not contain any guardrails. When Plaintiffs questions Defendant about the lack of guardrails, Defendant responded that the new rinks were regularly built without them as a safety precaution, such as Defendant wanted to avoid the guardrails from becoming loose and collapsing. Around the skating rink were signs, which stated,“skate at your own risk.” Smollett was an experienced skater, so she chose not to take the lesson that the fundraiser was offering. Also, the rink was extremely crowded; however, many of the skaters appeared to be young and/or inexperienced. After Smollett skated for about 90 minutes, on her last lap, a child fell in front of her. To avoid a colliding with the child, Smollett turned off of the rink and onto the carpet, causing her to break wrist. Plaintiffs brought suit against Defendant on the grounds that Defendant was negligent. Defendant asserted a defense, claiming Plaintiffs assumed the risk of injury. The jury found for Smollett, but not her husband. Also, the jury decided that Smollett was 50 percent liable, thus her damages should be reduced under the applicable comparative negligence statute. Following the verdict, Defendants motioned for judgment notwithstanding the verdict or, in the alternative, a new trial, and the judge denied the motion. Defendant 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.