THE LEGAL PROCESS – DRAFTING LEGAL DOCUMENTS

THE LEGAL PROCESS – DRAFTING LEGAL DOCUMENTS

For this activity, you will play the role of plaintiff’s counsel in a personal injury lawsuit and draft a set of basic legal documents. Please read the facts below and then complete the tasks listed at the end.

FACTS GIVEN: CoreARTS is a performing arts center in New Jersey. Parking for the facility is limited. To increase parking space for patrons, CoreARTS requires its employees to park at a location two miles away and take a free shuttle from the parking lot to the center.

On August 1, a shuttle departed from the lot with 15 CoreARTS employees on board. The posted speed limit on the four-lane road was 60 mph. The shuttle was traveling 75 mph. The driver heard a loud “popping sound” and felt the shuttle begin to veer right. In an effort to straighten the shuttle, the driver sharply turned the wheel to the left. As a result the shuttle impacted a metal guard rail and came to a halt. The shuttle did not have seat belts. Passengers inside were thrown as a result of the impact, and several suffered severe injuries.

Police investigation discovered that there was “tread separation” on the left front tire. They believe that was the cause of the loud “popping sound” that was heard. The pavement temperature was 120 degrees, and it appears that the high temperature caused the separation. The shuttle was manufactured by NJ Motors. CoreARTS had purchased the NJ Motors shuttle, brand new, four months prior to the accident. The shuttle had 1,000 miles on it at the time of the accident.

Rider was a passenger on the shuttle that day. She was thrown from her seat upon impact with the guardrail and suffered four broken ribs and a broken leg. She has undergone surgery, extensive physical therapy, and missed four months of work from her job as a talent booking agent at CoreARTS.

You have been retained as legal counsel for Rider, who wants to file a lawsuit which covers all possible legal grounds and parties. Create a basic litigation strategy for Rider’s case. Make a master list of the possible claims, the possible parties to the lawsuit, and the facts that you will seek to prove in court, including the sources of that information. Then draft the following documents to execute that plan:

1. A complaint to be filed in New Jersey state court. The complaint should identify the parties, the operative facts, the legal basis for the lawsuit, and the damages you seek;

2. A set of interrogatories to be served on CoreARTS and NJ Motors;

3. A list of the people who you think should be deposed in the case; and

4. Document requests to be served on CoreARTS and NJ Motors.

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