DETAILED "CASE ANALYSIS" QUESTIONS RE: Garratt v. Dailey
The following list, infra, contains numerous very specific Questions, each of which is designed:
(1) to help you gain a deeper understanding of the court's opinion in the Garratt v, Dailey case, as well as HOW the court actually derived its opinion, and
(2) to provide a "model" of the detailed and very specific type of questions that you SHOULD be asking as you read the Garratt v. Dailey case in an effort,
(3) to prepare your own BRIEF of the Garratt v. Dailey opinion that accurately reflects both the "rule(s) of law from the case, as well as the legal analysis that led to the specific outcome of this case.
Some of the Questions, infra, are specifically intended to help you prepare your own BRIEF of the Garratt v. Dailey case. Other Questions, although certainly useful to aid in your overall understanding of this case, are primarily intended to provide EXAMPLES of the types of questions that you SHOULD be asking out of your own intellectual curiosity as you engage in "critical legal analysis" of this (or any other) appellate opinion. Once you have prepared your own "response" to each of these Questions, infra, simply click on the appropriate link for each Question to COMPARE your response with one that has been prepared by Professor Martin.
CA Q 4. WHO is the plaintiff (Ruth Garratt) in this case suing?
CA Q 5. What is the basis of the plaintiff's cause of action against Brian Dailey?
CA Q 6. What exactly IS the tort of "battery" and what specific elements must the plaintiff prove in order to establish liability for a “battery?”
CA Q 7. WHERE did the court get this definition of "battery"? (i.e., what precedent case or other legal authority did the court use as the basis for stating this as the DEFINITION of "battery.")
CA Q 8. What are the FACTS in this case?
CA Q 9. Since the parties are in disagreement as to what actually occurred in this case (i.e., did Brian deliberately try to pull the chair out from under the plaintiff, or did he deliberately try to push the chair toward her as she was sitting down), WHO should decide WHICH VERSION of the FACTS is “right”?
CA Q 10. WHO DECIDED WHICH VERSION OF FACTS was “right” in this case?
CA Q 11. WHICH VERSION of the facts did the TRIAL COURT use?
CA Q 12. SO, WHICH VERSION of the facts should you use in YOUR case BRIEF?
CA Q 13. The court begins the first sentence of the opinion by stating that: “[t]he liability of an infant for an alleged battery is presented to this court for the first time.” ( i.e., Can a minor child be liable for an alleged battery?) Is THAT really the ISSUE in this case that should be included within your brief?
CA Q 14. In the third paragraph of its edited opinion, the court QUOTES from the trial court’s findings in its earlier opinion in this case: “IV. That the preponderance of the evidence in this case establishes that…”
WHAT does the court mean when it refers to “the preponderance of the evidence?”
CA Q 15. The trial court made the following findings of fact (see page 1 of the case, paragraph 3):
(1) "that when the defendant, Brian Dailey, moved the chair in question he did not have any wilful or unlawful purpose in doing so;"
(2) "that he did not have any intent to injure the plaintiff, or any intent to bring about any unauthorized or offensive contact with her person or any objects appurtenant thereto;" and,
(3) "that the circumstances which immediately preceded the fall of the plaintiff established that the defendant, Brian Dailey, did not have purpose, intent or design to perform a prank or to effect an assault and battery upon the person of the plaintiff."
HOW did these findings of fact affect the outcome of this case at the trial level?
CA Q 16. IF the trial court determined that here was NO INTENT for the tort of "battery" against the plaintiff, then WHY did the trial court still go ahead and find that the plaintiff had sustained damages in the amount of $11,000 for her injures suffered from her fall?
CA Q 17. What is the "procedural history" of this case? (I.e., HOW did this case come to be appealed to this court?)
CA Q 18. What is the specific legal contention that the plaintiff is asserting on this appeal? (i.e., Obviously, the plaintiff is claiming that the trial judge ruled erroneously in dismissing her claim for "battery" against Brian Dailey. BUT, the question here is WHAT SPECIFIC LEGAL REASON does the plaintiff offer in support of her argument that the trial judge erred?)
CA Q 19. What is Brian's contention as to whether he intentionally inflicted a harmful bodily contact upon the plaintiff?
CA Q 20. WHAT does the plaintiff contend as to whether Brian Daily intentionally inflicted a harmful bodily contact upon her?
CA Q 21. Finally, in the seventh paragraph of the edited opinion the court explains the ultimate legal question (i.e., the real legal “Issue”) that it is going to address in this opinion. What is that question?
CA Q 22. HOW MANY DIFFERENT KINDS of INTENT does the court address in paragraphs 7 and 8 of the Garratt opinion?
CA Q. 23. WHAT is the specific "HOLDING" of this case? (I.e., what specifically did this court decide as to how the requisite intent for a "battery" can be proved?)
CA Q 24. So, what is the SPECIFIC "HOLDING" in the Garratt case?
CA Q 25. What is the ISSUE to be included in your Brief of the Garratt case?
CA Q 26. Which party has “prevailed” as a result of the decision in the Garratt case?
CA Q 27. Does the result of the Garratt decision mean that the plaintiff is now entitled to recover the eleven thousand dollars in damages that she sustained as a result of her injuries from this fall?
CA Q 28. So, WHY did the court send this case back to the trial judge (i.e., "remand" the case)? What exactly is the Washington Supreme Court asking the trial judge to do?
CA Q 29. Does this disposition of the Garratt case mean that the Washington Supreme Court thought that the trial judge made an error in finding the original facts that it did, OR is the Washington Supreme Court simply giving the trial judge a second opportunity to apply those same original facts (as well as some potentially new additional ones) to the LAW that the Supreme Court has articulated in the holding in this case?
CA Q 30. When this case is remanded back to the trial court, factually WHAT MUST THE PLAINTIFF show in order to PROVE that Brian Dailey had at least IMPLIED intent for a “battery”(i.e., specifically what must the plaintiff prove, and what, if any, ADDITIONAL facts can the plaintiff offer in an attempt to prove it)?
CA Q 31. When stating the “holding” of a judicial opinion, you should always consider articulating it in TWO WAYS: (1) as BROADLY as possible (without offending any of the analysis provided by the court), and also (2) as NARROWLY as possible (so as to LIMIT the potential precedential effect of the case in future cases). For example, HOW might you be able to state the holding of the Garratt case in BOTH the BROADEST and also the NARROWEST possible ways?