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Torts keyed to Best
O’Connor v. McDonald’s Restaurants of California, Inc.
Citation:269 Cal. Rptr. 101 (Cal. Ct. App. 1990)
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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:
Evans was a McDonald’s employee in California. As Evans desired a managerial position with McDonald’s, Evans made sure to volunteer to help the store off of company time, a policy that McDonald’s fostered in potential managers. As part of this volunteering strategy, Evans worked one evening from around 8 PM to 1 AM as part of a team cleaning the store playground area for the McDonald’s “spring-blitz” program, a competitive cleaning competition between McDonald’s locations sponsored by McDonald’s corporate decision-makers.
After finishing cleaning, Evans and several other employees went from the store location to Evans’s coworker “Duffy’s” house. At Duffy’s house, the coworkers continued to talk about both store policy and the “spring-blitz” program for several hours. At 6 AM, Evans left Duffy’s house. On the way home, Evans’s vehicle struck O’Connor’s motorcycle, causing permanent disability. O’Connor sued several entities for his injuries, including Evans and McDonald’s.
McDonald’s moved for summary judgment on the grounds that, as Evans was outside the scope of his employment at the time of the injury, the doctrine of respondeat superior did not apply. O’Connor argued that Evans was working outside the scope of his regular employment, and therefore on a “special errand” for McDonald’s at the time of the injury. The trial court found that Evans was on a special errand at the time of the store cleaning, but he had stopped working in the scope of his employment when he went to a social event at a coworker’s house, therefore respondeat superior did not apply. O’Connor 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.