BROADEST: Even absent proof that Defendant had any intent to cause harmful (or offensive) contact with the Plaintiff's person, liability for any intentional tort can also be established where the Defendant is shown to have acted with knowledge to a substantial certainty that [harmful or offensive bodily] contact to the Plaintiff’s person will occur.
What has changed by articulating such a broad statement of the holding? Notice that since “battery” is only ONE of many different intentional torts, the holding is now expanded to include ALL INTENTIONAL TORTS as well as just the tort of “battery.” BUT, is this now really a correct statement of the law? Has it expanded the concept of IMPLIED INTENT (addressed by the Garratt case) too far, so that this broader statement is no longer event an accurate statement?
NARROWEST: Liability for a “battery" possibly can be established by proof that the Defendant acted with knowledge to a substantial certainty that [harmful or offensive bodily] contact to the Plaintiff’s person will occur.
What has changed by articulating such a narrow statement of the holding? Notice that this statement now ONLY applies to the tort of “battery.” This means that the applicability of the concept of “implied” intent now must be separately determined with respect to every other type of intentional tort. This may avoid some of the problems created by articulating the “holding” TOO broadly (as in the situation supra. BUT, is this statement of the holding now TOO narrow?
And, there is another problem with this NARROW statement of the holding in the Garratt case. Notice it uses “possibly can” language instead of CAN (as in the BROAD statement of the holding, supra.) Technically, this may be a bit more accurate in respect to what the Garratt court actually did (since it did remand the case for further factual consideration), but by including such a narrow limitation, the potential precedential effect of the Garratt is very much weakened.
As indicated by these examples, supra, there are both advantages and disadvantages of stating the "Holding" of any appellate decision in either the BROADEST or the NARROWEST manner. Thus, when articulating the specific "Holding" of any case, you should consider what effect either approach may have on the overall efficacy of the "rule(s)" that eventually may be derived from that "Holding."