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Torts Keyed to Henderson
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Sturges
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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:
Sturges (Plaintiff) contracted to purchase a vacant lot located next to a Wal-Mart store. Plaintiff then entered into negotiations to lease the lot to Fleming Foods, a Texas grocery store chain. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Defendant) then decided that it wanted to purchase the vacant lot in order to expand its existing store. Defendant informed management at Fleming Foods that it wanted to purchase the lot and if it did not, it would relocate its existing store elsewhere. Fleming Foods then ended its negotiations with Plaintiff because it did not want to build a grocery store on the lot if it would not be next to a Wal-Mart store. Plaintiff sued Defendant for tortious interference with their prospective lease with Fleming Foods. The trial court judge first instructed the jury that Defendant wrongfully interfered with Plaintiff’s prospective contractual arrangement with Fleming Foods if 1) there was a reasonable probability that Plaintiff would have entered into contractual relation and 2) Defendant intentionally prevented the contractual relation from occurring with the purpose of harming Plaintiff. The jury answered “yes” on the issue. The trial court next instructed the jury by asking whether Defendant’s intentional interference was justified, namely, if Defendant possessed an interest in the subject matter equal or superior to that of the other party, or if it results from the good faith exercise of a party’s rights, or the good faith exercise of a party’s mistaken belief of its rights. The jury answered “no” to the question. The jury found Defendant liable and assessed $1 million in actual damages and $500,000 in punitive damages. The court of appeals affirmed the award of actual damages but remanded the matter to the trial court for a retrial on the issue of punitive damages. The Supreme Court of Texas granted Defendant’s petition for review.
- 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.