Courtroom Obersvation

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The 2008 2L Moot Court Tournament at the Liberty University School of Law presented a case which was argued before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, case number 82A04-8876-CV-285, Deborah White vs. Patrick Gibbs and Stand Alone Properties, L.L.C., d/b/a O’Malley’s Tavern.  

The courtroom procedure’s purpose is to argue the motion of summary judgment with regards to the case of Deborah White vs. Patrick Gibbs; and Stand Alone Properties, L.L.C., d/b/a O’Malley’s Tavern.  

The plaintiff in this case is Deborah White.  Mrs. White is represented by moot court attorney Amanda Babbitt and Jackson Walsh.  The defendants in this case are Patrick Gibbs; and Stand Alone Properties, L.L.C., d/b/a O’Malley’s Tavern.  Moot court attorneys Benjamin Walton and Jordan Van Meter represent the defendants.  

“The State of Indiana requires that a plaintiff meet the following elements in order to recover damages: the defendant must have actual knowledge that the person to whom the alcoholic beverage was furnished was visibly intoxicated at the time the alcoholic beverage was furnished, and the intoxication of the person to whom the alcoholic beverage was furnished was a proximate cause of the death, injury, or damage alleged in the complaint” (Gumprecht, 1). The intent of this courtroom process is to challenge the State of Indiana law regarding material fact, while also arguing the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The plaintiff, however, desires to proceed to trial.  

On Saturday, July 28, 2007, Mr. Bruno and Mrs. Deborah White arrived at O’Malley’s Tavern, in Gary, Indiana, around 7:00 p.m. Edward Hard, a frequent patron of the bar and Mrs. Whites former fiancé, was also present that night. “Almost immediately after they walked in, Mr. Hard approached the Whites, kindly offered his congratulations regarding their marriage and returned to his stool at the bar to resume drinking” (Gumprecht, 2). As asserted by Mrs. White and the bartender John Daniels, Mr. Hard drank four to six shots of hard liquor inside twenty-eight minutes. Mr. Daniels, a licensed bartender, served Mr. Hard each of these shot of liquor and other alcoholic beverages, as Mr. Daniels was the only bartender working at O’Malley’s that evening.  

Upon finishing his last shot of liquor, Mr. Hard knocked over his stool as he stood up and then Mr. Hard fell and many other customers witnessed Mr. Hard’s fall. Mr. Hard was able to regain his composure and sit back on his bar stool, after which Mr. Daniels served him another beer. As the White’s were leaving O’Malley’s Tavern Mr. Hard shouted, “She should be my wife!” before they reached the door. The White’s ignored the comment and exited the tavern. “Mr. Hard saw them leaving, pursued them, and raised his hand in an attempt to strike one of them but he fell to the ground as he swung… As the Whites left the tavern, Mr. Hard rose and began to chase the Whites into the parking lot, shouting, ‘This isn’t over yet’” (Gumprecht, 3).  At this point Mr. Daniels agrees that Mr. Hard appeared intoxicated.  

The White’s entered their vehicle and began to drive away.  As the White’s were leaving Mrs. White witnessed Mr. Hard enter his vehicle and begin to pursue them. Mrs. White placed a call with 911 requesting emergency assistance.  

“Approximately a half-mile from the tavern, Mr. White turned left while Mr. Hard, driving on the wrong side of the street and without slowing down, slammed into the Whites’ driver-side door” (Gumprecht, 3). As a result of the collision caused by Mr. Hard, Mr. Bruno White was killed and Mrs. White sustained significant injuries. “Beyond the emotional suffering incurred by Mrs. White as the result of the death of her husband Mrs. White has sustained significant injuries to the left side of her body” (Gumprecht, 4).   

During the police investigation it was determined that Mr. Hard’s blood-alcohol level was 0.20 well in excess of the...
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