So, during my recent exam preparation, I have unearthed an early work of legal scholarship that I penned in my first year of law school. It’s my poetic Torts outline. Prepare to be dazzled (read: bored and confused):
You harmed someone unintentionally. If you did it, and it made sense, and you shouldn’t have done it, and they are injured and sad, that’s too bad.
But wait! If it had these traits, you’re okay, mate:
-if they hurt themselves a little bit, their big payday’s throat they slit
-if they took on the risk of being harmed in such a way, it’s not likely you’ll have to pay
-if their injury had no proximate cause, this should give opposing counsel pause
But hold on a second, my embattled friend; you’re not the only one who benefits from this trend.
-if you broke a law doing what you did, breach and duty into their pouches slid
-if in dangerous activities you engaged, strict liability will have you enraged
-if someone else your canine bit, the only thing I can say is “tough freaking shit”
So say you lost your legal case; to your pockets the other side will race. How much will you have to pay, you ask? The answer will have you wanting to drink a cask.
-It doesn’t matter if he’s made of clay; for all his medical expenses you must pay
-If his feelings are easily compromised, cash for that suffering must still be supplied
-If Aetna pays his medical costs, I’m sorry to say, your dough is still lost
-Let’s say our man is a CEO; if he misses work, your wallet won’t grow
What you’ve done is just deplorable; look at the man, you’ve smashed him to chlorophyll!
Why, it’s seems you’ve encroached on a close of land; and you did, even if the trespass was the wave of your hand.
Or maybe you shouted something particularly mean; if it caused them distress, your victim is probably seeing green.
It’s possible you locked someone out in your shed; if you did it on purpose, your trust fund is dead.
Maybe you had a good reason to do one of these; if you did, it can be only one of three:
-if there is an express agreement you both did sign, then he has no reason whatsoever to whine
-If at you threateningly someone did lunge, then it’s ok for your knife to plunge
-If you asked politely to do so beforehand, go on, give him a taste of your forehand
Torts here and torts there, everywhere you look. Why, they can probably happen in a breakfast nook!
But to torts, I’ll raise a glass of beer; Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year.