For each fact pattern, specify the essential legal issue(s) involved, describe the legal concepts from the text, decide which side should win, and explain your reasoning and how you used the legal concepts to arrive at your decision. See the Case Analysis Instructions for further information about completing this assignment.
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- Chris Rock v. Larry the Cable Guy
Larry the Cable Guy and Chris Rock decided to go on a “laugh tour” together. They believed that with Larry’s redneck humor and Chris’ urban jokes, they could pack the venues with twice as many fans. They made millions of dollars. Soon thereafter, they split up as an act; however, Larry continued to use some of the material that was written by Chris. While they were a duo act, they had contractually agreed that if they ever broke up, they would not use each other’s material without payment. Larry has not paid Chris anything for the use of his comic material, so Chris is suing him in civil court for breach of contract and asking the court to award him $500,000 in unpaid fees for the use of his material. To notify Larry that he is a defendant in a breach of contract lawsuit, the court has twice attempted to serve a summons and complaint at Larry’s permanent residence. Because Larry frequently travels with his act, he was not found at home. The process server petitioned the court for alternative service and it was granted. Larry was thereby sent the complaint and summons by certified mail, and notification of the suit was also published for two weeks in the local newspaper. Larry knows he has been violating the contract with Chris, and that sooner-or-later he would be sued; therefore, he never accepts certified letters or reads the local paper. Needless to say, Larry never responded to the suit. After six months have elapsed, Chris motioned for a default judgment in his favor for $500,000 and court costs, and this motion was granted. Now Larry is appealing this default judgment because he was not properly notified of the suit against him. In your analysis, discuss whether you would you affirm or reverse the default judgment?
- W.R. Reeves v. Central of Georgia Railway Company
W.R. Reeves filed suit under the Federal Employers Liability Act against his employer, Central of Georgia Railway Company, seeking damages he allegedly suffered when the train on which he was working derailed near Griffin, Georgia. The liability of the defendant railroad was established at trial, and the issue of damages remained to be fixed. Several physicians testified, as did Reeves. On the witness stand, he said that an examining physician had told him that he would be unable to work because of a weakness in his right arm, a dead place on his arm, stiffness in his neck, and nerve trouble in his back. Is the admission of this testimony reversible error (i.e., the testimony should not have been allowed)? In your analysis, be sure to include legal reasoning as to why the testimony should or should not be used.
- Paris Hilton v.Lindsey Lohan
Paris Hilton, a resident of Beverly Hills, and Lindsey Lohan, a fellow Californian, had an agreement. Lindsey agreed to give Paris the right to party in the VIP lounges of any club in California on Saturday nights. In exchange, Paris would give Lindsey the same right, but on Friday nights. This way, the two would not have to compete for the attention of the paparazzi. Earlier this year, on a day when Lindsey was scheduled to appear in court and possibly be sent to jail, Paris decided to party in California on a Friday. She figured Lindsey could not party due to her court troubles and probable incarceration. Lindsey in fact went to the clubs on Friday, but many of the photographers were already covering Paris and did not have the time to take photos of Lindsey. Lindsey has filed a lawsuit against Paris alleging breach of contract. She heard the kind folks in Texas really liked her, so she filed her lawsuit there to get a favorable jury. The sheriff, a huge fan, was nice enough to drive out to California to deliver the summons and complaint to Paris. Unfortunately, Paris was not home, so he placed it in the mail box, and went on a tour of the stars’ homes. When Paris found the lawsuit, she read it and ripped it into small pieces. Paris has not responded to the lawsuit, and Lindsey has moved for a default and default judgment. The judge doesn’t like Paris, and thinks she is a spoiled brat, so he granted the default judgment. He awarded Lindsey damages in the amount of $100,000. Is he correct? If Paris hires an attorney to respond to the lawsuit, what arguments should she make?