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Torts Keyed to Goldberg
164 Mulberry Street Corp. v. Columbia University
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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:
Francis Flynn (defendant), a professor at Columbia University (Columbia) (defendant), sent letters to various restaurants in New York City falsely claiming to have contracted severe food poisoning after eating at the restaurant. Flynn’s study was intended to compare how restaurants would respond to these letters. Columbia was unaware of the study and had no policies or procedures in place regarding empirical research like Flynn’s. Various restaurants, their owners, managers, and employees (plaintiffs) sued Flynn and Columbia alleging intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, libel and libel per se, and misrepresentation. One of the lawsuits involved a restaurant called Da Nico, owned by plaintiff 164 Mulberry Street Corp. The other suit involved two restaurants, Chez Josephine and Two Two Two, which were respectively owned by plaintiffs Jean Claude Baker and Frank Valenza. Plaintiffs described the competitive nature of the New York City restaurant scene and how allegations of food poisoning could do irremediable damage. They provided further details about discarding food at great cost and undertaking difficult dealings with vendors and employees to locate the cause of the alleged contamination. Defendants moved to dismiss both complaints for failing to state a viable cause of action. The trial court dismissed some but not all of the claims. In the Chez Josephine action, the court dismissed the plaintiffs’ libel claims but allowed Baker and Valenza to pursue their claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress. Defendants appealed that decision.
- 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.