20 Nov You are a lawyer representing the Kalamazoo County city of Galesburg (in the northeastern part of the county) in a hypothetical lawsuit involving a backed-up sewer (yuck!). Write a legal
Please follow EXACT Directions
Example included but scale down the pages
Case is included (a hypothetical case)
Need by Sunday
INTRODUCTION: As indicated in emails, this is not a traditional research assignment. You will not be writing a research paper as you learned in high school. Instead, you will be writing a legal brief (your best effort) more like what law students and lawyers write. This has proven to be a very useful experience for former students even if they didn’t go to law school, so look at this as a positive learning experience. These are graded with the understanding that this is a COM 4460 class, not a first-year law school class. You will not be held to unrealistic standards. But this is an undergraduate law class and the course number is 4460. Yes, the higher the number the more challenging the class, and this may be the highest numbered college class you ever take. Follow the instructions below and use the “Sample Brief1” as a template. Don’t worry about MPA, APA, or other style guides(lawyers have their own style guide which we won’t be using) but do remember proper grammar, punctuation, sentence and paragraph syntax, those things.
INSTRUCTIONS: You are a lawyer representing the Kalamazoo County city of Galesburg (in the northeastern part of the county) in a hypothetical lawsuit involving a backed-up sewer (yuck!). Write a legal brief using the court decision in this same sub-module, Kerbyson v. Elba Township (2015), as a precedent (remember how important precedent is in American common law) and a critical part of your defense of the city of Galesburgin this hypothetical case. DON’T confuse the hypothetical case with the real one. Write your brief on the real case, but you will need to refer to details in the hypothetical case as you write about the real precedent case in various parts of your brief. While you are not a first-year law student (and don’t write like one), you are capable of writing a reasoned, literate, logical, and informative law brief that would inform a judge about Kerbyson v. Elba Township as a precedent.Your goal is to advance the legal argument that Michigan statutes do not hold a city responsible for a sewer backup in a resident’s basement. Your 3-5 page legal brief is due as a .docx (not .pdf) uploaded to the D2L dropbox
THE FACTS IN YOUR HYPOTHETICAL CASE: The nearby city of Galesburg had a massive rainstorm and flood this past spring, on March 5 and 6. Streets were flooded with rainwater and residents had trouble traveling around the city, but more importantly, the rainwater overflowed the city’s sanitary sewer system. Unable to handle the combined amount of rainwater and sewage, the sanitary sewer system backed up into the plaintiff’s basement, Fred and Ethel Mertz, 325 Lucy Lastic Street. The raw sewage and water came up through a floor drain and filled the entire basement to about 4 feet high of rain water and you know what. The Mertzs had to vacate their house while Modernistic, an emergency cleanup company, spent five-days pumping the sewage out, drying, cleaning, sanitizing, and eliminating the odor in their entire house at a cost of more than $25,000 (they’re still dealing with odor elimination). Part of the cost was covered by their homeowner’s insurance, but most wasn’t. Upon investigation, the city determined that a sewage pumping station across the street from the Mertzs failed early on the morning of March 6. The electricity was knocked out in the area around the Mertzs and the pumping station, but the pump’s emergency battery failed to activate. An automatic telephone dialing machine, set to dial the city’s police station upon a battery or pump failure, failed to activate and call the police station, so city officials did not find out about the backup in the Mertz’s basement until 6:30 the morning of March 6 th . The Mertz’s hired a local lawyer, Dewey Cheatum, to represent them in a lawsuit against the city of Galesburg for $20,000 plus legal expenses. He has already prepared his legal brief, but you don’t get to see what he wrote until you write yours and exchange them. So you are on your own as to how to explain to the judge how you want him or her to deal with this case.
HOW TO WRITE A LEGAL BRIEF: Lawyers write briefs to accompany either verbal and/or written arguments in a lawsuit. Often, they’re the finer details of an oral argument, as in “I explain that in my brief, your honor.” A brief usually states all of the legal reasons for denying a lawsuit (since you’re the defense attorney), including other precedents, statutes, regulations, and legal textbooks, but we will assume your hypothetical case is built exclusively on your one assigned case, Kerbyson v. Elba Township. Keep in mind that a legal brief isn’t a five-paragraph English essay or any other form of essay or research writing you have done before, but nearly any logical and thought-about organization you provide in this assignment would be better than a haphazard mash-up thrown together at the last moment. Your brief also must be logical in its presentation and based on firm legal specifics from Kerbyson v. Elba Township, not emotions, your opinion, or what you think of the plaintiff’s lawyer (but he is a scumbag!). If you remember back to the legal procedure pods at the beginning of the semester, you should ask for what was called a “summary judgment,” which means the judge should throw the entire case out of court (and Dewey Cheatum if there is any justice in the world) and conduct no further trial. If you don’t ask for a summary judgment, the judge doesn’t have to give you one if he or she doesn’t want to.
Here are the five parts of every legal brief. Don’t let the example in the module overwhelm you in terms of length, detail, and complexity. It was written by a third-year law student. Do the best that you can: (1) Summary of your argument – describe the claim you will be making in your hypothetical case. Include mention of Kerbyson v. Elba Township but don’t discuss it in detail yet
(2) Table of Authority – list and briefly explain all sources of legal authority (cases or textbook citations) listed in Kerbyson v. Elba Township (but not the footnotes).
(3) Statement of facts – discuss and describe the facts provided on the previous page, in your own words
(4) Prevision decisions – now discuss Kerbyson v. Elba Township in detail, especially how and why the judge ruled as they did in their final decision section
(5) Conclusion – a quick summary of your case, how Kerbyson v. Elba Township applies to it, and a request for a summary judgment
Your paper should be a minimum of three and a maximum of five word-processed pages, using 12-point Times Roman typeface, double spacing, and one-inch margins on all four sides. As always, correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, articulation, logic, etc. are expected. Papers that do not meet these minimum guidelines will be failed.
Id. means the same thing in legal documents as ibid. means in other styles. Both mean to refer to the source of the previous reference. Don’t list “Id.” in your Table of Authority. No individual quotation in your paper from the Kerbyson v. Elba Township case may be more than two sentences long. Don’t indent quotations as you might in other papers, include them in the body of your brief. Quotes are not a good way to fill space in a law class assignment. Original thinking is. In contrast to some English essays the instructor has seen (he teaches in both departments), law paragraphs have a minimum of three sentences and a maximum of eight or nine sentences in length. The first sentence of each paragraph is called a topic sentence, and it summarizes what the rest of the paragraph will be about. Again, this assignment is not free form writing, but educated, disciplined professional writing. Due: Your paper should be a minimum of three and a maximum of five word-processed pages, using 12-point Times Roman typeface, double spacing, and one-inch margins on all four sides. This assignment is due Sunday