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Author Topic: Torts: Trespass v case for 1L  (Read 7552 times)

Specks

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Torts: Trespass v case for 1L
« on: August 20, 2008, 05:04:39 PM »
I am reading my torts case book right now and I am absolutely confounded by the differentiations it is trying to draw between trespass and Case. Anybody have suggestions that will help me understand this stuff better? I only just started law school yesterday and am already entirely lost.

outerbeach

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Re: Torts: Trespass v case for 1L
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2008, 05:24:07 PM »
Trespass & trespass on the case were early English writs & precursors to  our modern concept of the difference between intentional torts (trespasses) and negligence (trespass on the case).  It sounds like your text is taking you through the historical origin of modern tort law.  Don't let it confound you -- most of the English common law origins of our modern law are tangled and confusing!

Ender Wiggin

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Re: Torts: Trespass v case for 1L
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2008, 05:28:17 PM »
Yeah--those distinctions are absolutely not going to matter (ever).  Old English law had some very strict pleading requirements--the lawyers basically had to jump through hoops, and if they missed one the case was over.  Do your best to understand that they're just talking about how much more strict things were then, and know (unless your professor is crazy) that you'll never have to really know anything more about that.

Enjoy Torts!  I really liked the class (I'm taking my final exam tomorrow morning).  I'm going to miss it a little. 

LSN


Michigan Law Class of 2011

Terrible Ivan

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Re: Torts: Trespass v case for 1L
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2008, 09:29:51 PM »
If you started law school yesterday and are already entirely lost, join the club. So is everyone else. Give yourself a few weeks of not getting it. It takes some 1Ls much longer. If it is early November and you're still struggling, then start worrying. Until then, do your readings and relax.

Kirk Lazarus

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Re: Torts: Trespass v case for 1L
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2008, 10:37:18 PM »
whenever you don't understand a concept, Google it.
YLS c/o 2009

Specks

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Re: Torts: Trespass v case for 1L
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2008, 11:17:06 AM »
Thanks so much for the help guys. You probably have a pretty good idea of how much I appreciate that clarification. :D

F. Mercury

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Re: Torts: Trespass v case for 1L
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2008, 06:56:30 PM »
whenever you don't understand a concept, Google it.

this person knows whats up

naturallybeyoutiful

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Re: Torts: Trespass v case for 1L
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2008, 11:21:36 PM »
If you started law school yesterday and are already entirely lost, join the club. So is everyone else. Give yourself a few weeks of not getting it.

titcr. 

That said, I'll try my best to answer.  As others have said, this distinction has disappeared today and the difference is pretty much irrelevant for your intents and purposes.  You don't need to know all those old writs of action for exam purposes, but (as best I remember it from my 1L classes last year) trespass on the case was for indirect harms.  For example, let's say I'm a logger riding along and some of my logs fall off my truck, roll onto your land, and knock down your fence.  In such a case, you would've wanted to sue me in a direct trespass action.  But let's say, I'm a logger going along  and logs fall off my truck and land in the street.  An hour later, you come along and your horse trips over the log and you're thrown to the ground.  That would've had to have been a trespass on the case action.  I kind of made those two examples up, but I think that's the basic idea.

Similarly, if I had a horse in my barn and you came and stole it from me, then in the old days I'd sue you in trespass for the value of my horse.  But if I hired you to equip my horse with horseshoes, but you put them on wrong, and as a result several days later my horse got an infection in that foot and I couldn't use him in my business, then I'd sue you in trespass on the case for the benefit I lost. 

The basic idea, as I recall, was that in the old days (long before our reformed civil procedure system abolished all forms of action except for the "civil action") you could risk having your whole case thrown out for good if you sued under the wrong writ.  Also, there was a certain formality to each writ and certain language you had to include in the corresponding complaint.  All this is largely irrelevant now, however. 

That's the difference as best I can remember it.  I could, of course, be incorrect so doublecheck that against what your prof says.  hth  :)
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