You be the judge and render a decision on the following fact patterns. Be sure to write your answers to questions 1to 4 in IRAC paragraph format including the specific rule of law you rely on. Remember, in IRAC paragraph format, first identify the legal issue posted by the fact scenario in the form of a question, next state the rule of law that applies, then give an analysis by telling how the facts apply to the law cited, and finally give your ruling as a judge in the conclusion.
1. David Ricupero suspected his wife Polly of having an affair, so he taped her phone conversations and, based on what he heard, sued for divorce. David’s lawyer, William Wuliger, had the recorded conversations transcribed for use at trial. The parties settled the divorce out of court and signed an agreement that included this clause:
Except as herein otherwise provided, each party hereto completely and forever releases the other and his attorneys from any and all rights each has or may have . . . to any property, privileges, or benefits accruing to either by virtue of their marriage, or conferred by the Statutory or Common Law of Ohio or the United States of America.
After the divorce was final, Polly sued William Wuliger for invasion of privacy and violation of federal wiretapping law. Wuliger moved to dismiss the case based on the clause quoted. Polly argued that Wuliger was not a party to the divorce settlement and had no right to enforce it. How would you rule?
2. Kuhn Farm Machinery, a European company, signed an agreement with Scottsdale Plaza Resort, of Arizona, to use the resort for its North American dealers convention during March 1991. Kuhn agreed to rent 190 guest rooms and spend several thousand dollars on food and beverages. Kuhn invited its top 200 independent dealers from the United States and Canada and about 25 of its own employees from the United States, Europe, and Australia, although it never mentioned those plans to Scottsdale.
On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait and on January 16, 1991, the United States and allied forces were at war with Iraq. Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi leaders threatened terrorist acts against the United States and its allies. Kuhn became concerned about the safety of those traveling to Arizona, especially its European employees. By mid-February, 11 of the top 50 dealers with expense-paid trips had either canceled their plans to attend or failed to sign up. Kuhn postponed the convention. The resort sued. The trial court discharged the contract under the doctrines of commercial impracticability and frustration of purpose. The resort appealed. How would you rule?
3. Matthew Gabriel was a student in Professor Pumos immunology class. Professor Pumos syllabus outlined course requirements and stated that plagiarism will not be tolerated. After grading the first assignment, Professor Pumo realized that many papers had sentences copied from other sources without citations. Instead of reporting everyone for plagiarism, Professor Pumo said she would give students a â€œfree passâ€ on one copied sentence. But Gabriels paper contained many plagiarized sentences, so he received a failing grade for the assignment.
Gabriel sued the professor for breach of contract. He argued that the syllabus was a contract and that the â€œfree passâ€ policy broke it because that term was not part of their original agreement. According to Gabriel, since the professor breached the contract, he was no longer obligated to refrain from plagiarizing, and so should not be punished. How would you rule?
4. A new truck, manufactured by General Motors Corp., (GMC) stalled in rush hour traffic on a busy interstate highway because of a defective alternator, which caused a complete failure of the trucks electrical system. The driver stood nearby and waved traffic around his stalled truck. A panel truck approached the GMC truck, and immediately behind the panel truck, Davis was driving a Volkswagen Fastback. Because of the panel truck, Davis was unable to see the stalled GMC truck. The panel truck swerved out of the way of the GMC truck, and Davis drove straight into it. The accident killed him. Davis widow sued GMC. GMC moved for summary judgment, alleging (1) no duty to Davis, (2) no factual causation, and (3) no foreseeable harm. How would you rule?