Courtroom Observation Paper

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201220 SPRING 2012 BUSI 301-C05 LUO
Kevin Studer

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA

Hammond Division

DEBORAH WHITE,)
)
Plaintiff, )
)
v.) Civil Action No. 82A04-8876-CV-285
)
PATRICK GIBBS; and STAND)
ALONE PROPERTIES, L.L.C., )
d/b/a O’MALLEY’S TAVERN,)
)
Defendants.)

Courtroom Observation Review of the 2008 2L Moot Court Tournament at the Liberty University School of Law

INTRODUCTION
This case between the plaintiff, Deborah White (Appellee) and the defendants, Patrick Gibbs; and Stand Alone Properties, L.L.C., d/b/a O’Malley’s Tavern (Appenllants) was the subject of a Summary Judgment Motion filed on behalf of the Appellants in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division.

The lawyers in this case for the Appellant are Benjamin Walton and Jordan VanMeter.

The Lawyers for the Appellee are Jackson Welch and Amanda Babot.

The Appellant’s lawyers filed this Motion for Summary Judgment asking the Court to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the Appellee based on the fact that there is evidence which shows that the “the defendant’s had no actual knowledge of visible intoxication” by Mr. Edward Hard, Mrs. Whites former fiancée. This would be the standard required in order for the plaintiff to recover under Indiana Law (Ind. Code Ann. § 7.1-5-10-15.5). Furthermore, they stated that the act of crashing into the White’s car was not the “proximate cause” of the injuries to the plaintiff and the death of her husband but rather the result of a criminal act by Mr. Hard. The defendants believe there are no disputes of the material facts in the case and ask that the Court grant their motion

The Appellee’s lawyers in this case, believe that Mrs. White was injured and her husband, Bruno White was killed when the vehicle driven by her ex-fiancée, Edward Hard, crashed into their vehicle. They believe the evidence showed that Mr. Hard was served and had consumed several alcoholic beverages at O’Malley’s Tavern and that the defendants had actual knowledge that Mr. Hard was intoxicated and that his actions were the “proximate cause” of the injuries to Mrs. White and the death of her husband.

The plaintiff, believes that she is entitled to recover for damages for personal injury or death for the defendants’ actions pursuant to Indiana law (Ind. Code Ann. §7.1-5-10-15.5, 2006 ) (hereafter “Dram Shop Act”). A claim under the Dram Shop Act would require that the claimant satisfy two elements in order to apply. The first element the plaintiff needs to prove is that there was actual knowledge of visible intoxication. The element is satisfied when:

“the person furnishing the alcoholic beverage had actual knowledge that the person to whom the alcoholic beverage was furnished was visibly intoxicated at the time the alcoholic beverage was furnished. “ Fast Eddie’s v.Hall, 688 M/E/ 2d 1270. 1274 (Ind. Ct. App. 1997).

The second element requires that: “the intoxication of the person to whom the alcoholic beverage was furnished was a proximate cause of the death, injury, or damage.” Id.

The plaintiff believes that she has satisfied both these elements and that there are disputes of material fact that would prevent the Court from granting the defendants’ motion and request the Court deny the same and allow the case to go to trial..

REVIEW
I knew that prior to giving a review on the Moot Trial, I had to have an understanding as to what the definition of a Summary Judgment Claim and Proximate Cause were. First, what is a Summary Judgment Claim? According to the Free Dictionary by Farflex, a Summary Judgment Claim is: “A procedural device used during civil litigation to promptly and expeditiously dispose of a case without a trial. It is used when there is no dispute as to the material facts of the case and a party is entitled to judgment as a Matter of...
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