Part One: Essays
a) Explain New York’s surrogacy law and explain how you might change it, if at all.
b) Explain the difference between comparative negligence and contributory negligence. What is New York’s negligence standard? Explain how you would change it, if at all.
c) Research and describe whether you support the Pregnancy Fairness Act. How would it change current Supreme Court case law standards?
Part Two: Multiple Choice:
1. The Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution says that “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States; and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.” Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8
Pursuant to its interpretation of this clause, Congress has created a law requiring the President to report every 60 days to Congress on any holdings of the President that do business during his/her administration. The President believes that the law is unconstitutional. To settle the dispute between the President and Congress:
a) the President’s position carries the most weight over Congress because the President was elected by all the people in a direct election.
b) the courts will decide. It is the province and duty of the courts to say what the law is.
c) Congress’ interpretation counts the most unless the courts say otherwise because the Constitution gave Congress the power to make laws.
d) the President prevails because President Trump, and Presidents of his caliber, always win.
2. During a trial to determine if the Smiths stole a secret pie recipe from one of their retailers, Mrs. Smith testified that she never stole anything in her business career. The plaintiff’s lawyer would like to introduce testimony from their earlier deposition where Mrs. Smith admitted to stealing recipes from her chef school classmates and getting expelled for it.
a) cannot be introduced because evidence from discovery is only useful for negotiations to settle a case.
b) cannot be introduced unless Mrs. Smith agreed to use the deposition for the trial
c) can be introduced because deposition testimony can be used to impeach witnesses during a trial.
d) can be introduced as long as the lawyer pays the court an extra $40/word for the extra time it is using of the public’s time.
3. After a jury verdict of $500,000 in compensatory damages against a cigarette company for fraudulently selling cigarettes without warning buyers of the addictiveness of nicotine and the cigarette’s additives, the jury awarded punitive damages of $200 million. The company’s strongest argument to reduce or eliminate the punitive damages award is:
a) that cigarettes provide a valuable public service in the workplace in reducing stress and providing alternatives to illegal drugs
b) that the ratio of the punitive damages award to the compensatory damages award of 400:1 is too excessive.
c) that similar verdicts will put cigarette companies out of business and hurt the American economy.
d) that everyone should have been aware of the dangers of cigarettes by now.
4. Tort reform is:
a) a law delineating more types of harms so that people can receive more protection from the wrongs done to them
b) any law that has the effect of reducing the harms that people suffer.
c) a law calling for a state constitutional convention to change that state’s tort laws.
d) a law limiting the amounts of damages that people can receive for wrongs done to them.
5. Della Kliebeck spilled McDougal’s hot coffee on herself while opening it between her legs In the parking lot of McDougal’s. McDougal’s coffee is 195 degrees when it is poured and is in thin white Styrofoam cups with no handles or warnings. If the accident happened in a 100% contributory negligence state, it is most likely that:
a) Ms. Kliebeck will recover 100% of her damages because McDougal’s should have been aware of the damage that McDonald’s caused to Ms. Stella Liebeck.
b) Ms. Kliebeck will recover nothing because she negligently tried to open coffee between her legs.
c) Ms. Kliebeck will recover based on the proportionate amount of her negligence as compared to the negligence that McDougal’s contributed to the coffee spill.
d) Ms. Kliebeck will recover no more than her medical expenses because of her own negligence.