- The study of civil penalties for actions that inflict harm on individuals/groups. A tort is "[a] civil wrong other than a breach of contract. Tort usually refers to the causing of damage to property or to a person's reputation, or harm to a person's commercial interests." --The Internet.
- Torts are almost as much fun as the pastry for which they are named.
- Common Torts and their Definitions
- The Lemon Flavored Intentional Tort.
- Not to be confused with the Criminal "Assault and Battery." Essentially, if you feel like you could have been legitimately and imminently hurt, you have been assaulted. After which, you may utilize your knowledge of the Rules of ENG Procedure and sue the bejeebies off of your assailant.
- Example: Bill Clinton comes at Barack Obama with a "Vote Hillary" pin. After raising his arm high in the air, poised to strike out at his political enemy, Bill gently pins Obama's lapel. In the moment that Barack saw Bill raise his arm, if he reasonably believed that he was going to be injured, he was assaulted.
- Note: Barack is a Harvard Law School graduate...and a sissy if he was afraid of a pin...in the hands of a Clinton.
- Strawberry Tort
- The usual follow-up to an assault. It is essentially an unwarranted, offensive contact.
- High-fivin' the guy next to you at the game? Could be a Battery.
- Grabbin' your brother around the shoulders in order to "hug it out?" Battery.
- Head butting your teacher after receiving your grade in torts? Battery (but you could argue Self Defense/Defense of Others)
- Trespass to Land
- Vanilla Tort.
- If you intend to be where you are not supposed to be knowing that you're not supposed to be there, you are trespassing. Capiche?
- Used to jump across ol' man Waylan's fence in order to get to school early and soak up the extra reading time? Trespass.
- Were you one of those kids who skiid out of bounds at Alta, even when the signs told you not to in big red letters and pictures of skiers with lightning bolts around them? Trespasser.
- Liked to nibble on the neighbor's grass and bed down for the night near the mouth of the canyon? Trespassing deer.
- Trespass to Chattels
- Chattel Flavored Tort.
- Still couldn't really tell you what a "chattel" is beyond being personal property. It's a fun word, though, and makes law-trained people sound smarter than everyone else. Therefore, it is a good word. Chattel this, chattel that. "I'll have a bit of the chattel, thank you! Ha ha ha..." etc.
- Sizzled the neighbor kid's ant farm with a magnifying glass? Trespass to chattels.
- Hurt your brother's chattel? Trespass to chattels.
- False Imprisonment
- Chocolate Flavored Tort.
- Like chocolate, this tort often gives the tortfeasor (real word!) a chemical high similar to love, but not really love. It's simply holding someone against their will where they have no reasonable option of escape.
- Remember locking the car door on your "longtime" girlfriend after a smokin' first date at the planetarium and library? Even though you paid for the Arbys, went halv-sies on the star show tickets, and you really did deserve some action, this is still false imprisonment.
- Creme Brule Tort.
- I didn't study this. You won't study this in law school. Just don't say mean things about other people that aren't true and may sully their reputation. Defamation=Mud Slinging.
- This tort is only illegal outside of political campaigns, high school love triangles, and law school talent shows.
- Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
- Pineapple Tort.
- Never heard of a pineapple tort being made? I've never heard of IIED being successfully argued either. Next tort.
- Complicated Flavor Tort.
- Simply ask "Did the defendant owe the plaintiff a duty? If so, was that duty breached? If there was a breach of that duty, was there causation of the harm alleged? Finally, if the breach of the duty caused the injury, did a real injury occur?"
- Within each question are a hundred little questions that need to be answered as well. Because of its complicated nature, this is a tort best left to professionals or Siegfried & Jensen.
- Easy example: You left your rollerblades out near the fridge. While perusing the fridge for something to drink, your older sister is faced with a moral dilemma: how to decide between Sunny D and Purple Stuff? In the midst of her conundrum, your sister sagely opts for the Purple Stuff. Stepping backwards with her prize, she plants her weight on her left foot just as it goes down onto one of the rollerblades. Flipping up through the air, your sister spills Purple Stuff all over herself, ruining her tie-dye shirt and slap bracelet in the process.
- You are negligent, both for placing your rollerblades near the door and for even having Purple Stuff in the fridge as an option. That poor girl.
- Money Flavored Tort.
- Essentially, lying to someone to get them to give you money.
- Politicians, businessmen, salesmen, teachers, televangelists, scientists, and Girl Scouts are all guilty of this tort pretty much all the time. Thin Mints, no matter what they tell you, will NOT make you thin.
- If I convinced you to pay me money for the education rendered through this blog post, I would be defrauding you.
- I accept personal checks, VISA, MasterCard, and American Express.
- Asbestos Flavored Tort.
- Any presence, individual, or condition that inhibits your ability to enjoy your property, your life, or your liberty.
- Red Lights.
- The Great Salt Lake Stink.
- Yellow Lights.
- Shaun Hannity.
- The New England Patriots.
- Orange Cheese Flavored Popcorn.
- When, where, and how to sue people in civil matters.
- Civil is a misnomer, as the process of litigation is rarely ever that. It should probably be called Embittered, Nasty, Greedy Procedure.
- But I digress.
- If you're good at understanding and following rules, you'll be good at this.
- Beware, however, as most lawyers do not know how to follow the rules in general, let alone the Rules of Embittered, Nasty, Greedy (ENG) Procedure.
- For a fun legal treat, buy the Federal Rules of ENG Procedure and read through them starting at 1 and see how far you get.
- Note: It's like counting the licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop.
- Want a preview of the joy that results from the study of this topic? Walk up to a first-year law student and whisper the words "Pennoyer and its progeny." Seriously, try it. You'll get a kick out of the response.
- Note: You will literally get a kick out of the response
- Fun Factor:
- 3 if you're normal
- 7 if you're sick
- 9 if you actually take the class. This is the result of becoming both sick and delusional due to the grade you received in this class.
- Complication Factor:
- 10 if you're normal
- 10.5 if you're a law student
- 9 if you're a Supreme Court Justice
- 1 if you're a law professor who often gets frustrated with the simpletons that form the moronic makeup of your class. Really, how hard can Collateral Claim Preclusion really be?!
- Idiot Factor:
- Wanna look dumb? Just try explaining to your law firm how you managed to get sanctioned under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of ENG Procedure. Or how you lost the case pursuant to a 12(b)(6) motion for failure to state a claim. Worst of all, try telling your client that you're charging him $45,000 to defend a suit from his ex-wife when the statute of limitations had run three years earlier and you didn't catch it until now.
- Final Thoughts:
- Empty your mind of thoughts. Let the Rules guide you. The Rules surround us and bind us. An attorney's strength flows from the Rules. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter... Concentrate...feel the Rules flow. Yes. Good. Calm, yes. Through the Rules, things you will see. Other places. The future...the past. Old friends long gone. Trust your instincts, but Use the Rules.
You see, back in the day, I was a struggling undergraduate student at the University of Utah, reading and writing towards a degree in English Literature, working at Kaplan Test Prep, and dating some really cute girls.
When compared to my life now, I realize that, while not much of the nouns in my life have changed, the verbs have gone skee-wompus on me. I am essentially dating my graduate studies at BYU (how else would you describe a Saturday night study session?), struggling towards a juris doctor degree, reading and writing at the Attorney General's office, and working at meeting some really cute girls.
So, maybe it's just the nostalgic side of me crying out for a bit of reminiscence, or just the fact that I was browsing some of my old UofU files, when I came upon this little nugget:
A PowerPoint Presentation titled "JumpinMo!"
If you read the title of the post (congratulations, you can do at least 20% of what I do as a law student), you'd know that Mo Rocca was going to play some part in this. Well, here he is.
In the fall of 2005, Mo Rocca came to lecture at the University of Utah about politics, history, and the history of political pets. By all accounts, it was a smashing success...except for some technical difficulties. I didn't get to attend the lecture/performance, as I had a date with Annie Rosevear that night, but I did get a call at about 6:30 asking if I could bring my laptop.
It seems that Mo had a Powerpoint presentation that he would be using as the focus of his speech, so my dear friend Cody Roberts, who was heading up the Presenter's Office at the time, needed a laptop equipped with Microsoft Office.
Cue: Mission Impossible Theme Song
Scene: Tires squealing, as the forest green Subaru Legacy peals out of my parents' driveway.
Well, to make an already long and dull story much shorter and more exciting, I got to meet Mo Rocca as the Presenter's Office team were desperately trying to make my laptop work with Kingsbury's technology. Imagine 6 high-strung college students trying to put the last finishes on a sold-out show with the best reporter the Daily Show had ever seen. Then throw Red Bull into the mix. It was hectic.
Anyway, somewhat removed from the commotion, I found myself looking on at the hustle and bustle with none other than Mo himself. Our conversation went something like this:
Mo: Is it always this disorganized around here?
Me: No. It's usually worse.
Me: Yeah. You should have seen the hell raised when the Indigo Girls came through.
And that was all of the conversation that I can remember. Beyond the above exchange, I know my Grandma's recently broken hip somehow came up, we chatted about the heavy Mormon population in the surrounding area, and I'm certain I made some asinine comment about the Daily Show and how I thought he "was really funny." I swear I saw Mo's eyes glaze over, but he never looked away. That's a true professional.
From there, I went on a nice date with Ms. Rosevear, who unfortunately had no idea who he was, and slept peacefully, happy in the knowledge that I had made a new friend. I recovered my laptop the next day, only to find to my utter joy that Mo's entire presentation was still there.
Joy!!! The JumpinMo powerpoint presentation was at my very fingertips! And although I didn't get to see his speech, I could almost imagine him dedicating the Powerpoint to his friend, "laptop boy with the broken-hip Grandma" from Salt Lake City.
I'm very grateful that Mo left me a gift as a seal of our friendship. And out of respect to my best friend from Comedy Central, I have decided not to post all of the pictures from it...
only these two (and if someone comes along and asks me to take them down in a very professional, legal manner, I'd be more than happy to...but until that time):
I think Mo might be anti-Christmas. I don't quite get it, because I didn't hear the speech. But I can imagine that he's kind of got an Ivy League Grinchy-ness to him during the holidays.
BASIC CABLE SUPERSTARS: Mo Rocca and Flavor Flav!!!
Their clocks are Off the HOOK!
Thanks, Mo. You're a true intellectual's comedian. May you continue to enthrall college-aged kids for the rest of your years.
We've had Arnold "The Governator" Schwarzenegger, Jesse "The Body Politic" Ventura, Ronald "I was in the Movies!" Reagan...
MIKE HUCKABEE & FOZZIE BEAR
These two have more in common than you might think!
1. Both look out of place in the public sector. Fozzie because he's naked beyond the bowler hat and the scarf(?) and Huckabee because, well, let's face it--he's a walking political disaster.
2. Both put up a facade in public, acting far too nice to be what they really are--one a southern evangelical politician and the other a grizzly bear. Get in their way, and either one is just as likely to eat you as to provide sound policy or a cuddly friend.
3. Both resort to jokes when any real pressure is applied. WAKA-WAKA-WAKA!!!
Oh, also, on the right, you can check out some of the books that I read or tried to finish in 2007. Don't ask me how I found time to read them. Even I was surprised at the sheer volume of volumes. I've found that I spend too much time in non-fiction, history, and theory books at the law school, so to counter that, I stick mostly to fiction at home--poetry, plays, sci-fi, and fantasy. I'd recommend most of them heartily. If any intrigue you, don't hesitate to ask about them. Auf Wiedersehen!