Law School Discussion

Real Case, Real Outcome, Logical Reasoning Question

Real Case, Real Outcome, Logical Reasoning Question
« on: July 29, 2011, 06:16:40 PM »
I was at the district court today. While in the "small claims" court session, I took notes on an interesting case that came before the Judge.

Sidebar: All through the case proceeding (which was short, about 10 minutes), the Judge kept using words like "necessary", "sufficient", "insufficient" etc....

Back to the Story...
In the end, he made his ruling on the case based on what was more likely to be true than not. I thought I'd attempt to formulate the case as a LR question such as we might find on the LSAT. If you have some spare time, please give me some feedback.

Female Plaintiff: At 10 pm, I parked my car in bar-X's open parking lot and went into bar-X to meet with friends for drinks. Three hours later I came out to find my passenger side door and window damaged. Based on witness testimony and the police report, the defendant's car collided with my car which caused the damages to my car; therefore, the defendant owes me $5000 in damages to fix my car.

Female Defendant: I agree I was at the bar, at 10 pm, on the day in question. But I became a bit drunk so I had a friend drop me off at home at midnight, my neighbor checked on me at home at 12:30 AM. When I returned to the bar the next day I discovered that my car had been stolen. I filed a report with the police, the paper work of which I have handed to the Judge. My car was stolen at the time of the incident so I was not driving my car when it hit your car; therefore, I am not responsible for any damages to your car.

Rule: If Defendant was behind the wheel when collision occurred, then Defendant is liable for damages to Plaintiff.
Burden of proof: Plaintiff to prove by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) that the defendant is guilty 

Which one of the following most helps the Plaintiff's argument ? (BTW, the Plaintiff won the case)

(A) Plaintiff presented a police report (to the Judge) that clearly stated (beyond any reasonable doubt) that the defendant's car was involved in the collision
(B) The Plaintiff claimed she could provide two witnesses that saw the defendant leave Bar-X alone at 12:00 am (on day of incident)
(C) Defendant claimed that on advice of counsel, she did not deem it necessary to provide any witnesses to corroborate her story
(D) The Defendant was involved in a hit and run incident a month prior to this incident
(E) A call was made to the police at 12:30 AM, from BarX's parking lot, about a suspicious man attempting to break into the defendant's car

(Note: Answer options were not necessarily presented as evidence in the case)