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Practice Makes Perfect: Examples and Explanations

  He got the blower up to the level of the roof, but as it rose above the roof a sudden gust of high wind started the blower swinging back and forth. Archer, fearing that the blower would smash against the building, quickly swung the crane away from the building. Unfortunately, as it swung out, the blower hit the edge of the roof, tipped, snapped one of the cables, and tumbled to the pavement below.

  To make matters worse, a ChemHaul Company truck was delivering a large cylinder of potentially explosive acid to the hospital at the time. The acid should have been delivered the night before—state law required all hazardous chemicals to be transported outside of “normal working hours.” The truck had just finished depositing the cylinder in the acid storage area, and hooked it up for service, when the blower landed. The concussion from the blower hitting the pavement caused the cylinder, some 70 feet away, to explode. The force of the explosion threw McGee to the ground, puncturing his eardrum and causing a concussion.

  Alas, McGee’s wife, who was recovering from serious heart surgery, was watching out the window and witnessed the accident. Several minutes later, she suffered heart failure and died, without moving or uttering a word. Her sister Maria was in the room at the time and thought she had fallen asleep. A few minutes later she went to wake her, realized she was dead, and suffered extreme emotional distress.

  Please evaluate the personal injury claims that might be brought based on this unfortunate chain of events, and the defenses you would expect to be asserted. Discuss the problems you see in establishing the various claims and defenses. Explain your reasoning fully; this is more important than your “bottom-line” conclusions as to who will win or lose on particular issues.

    Sir Galahad Gretsky

3.   After taking the McGee practice question, go off and do other things. Then, a few days later perhaps, try your hand again at this process, focusing on the Gretsky question below. It tests much the same material as the McGee question, so you should be able to focus on the process itself. Once again, start by reading the question and taking a few minutes to list the issues you see, noting the ones that you think will require more time to discuss.

4.   After doing your issues list, answer the exam question in the time allotted. I know, it’s bad enough to take exams once, without doing it multiple times. All I can say is that this exercise will help you more than anything else you can do to prepare for the Big Day.

Sir Galahad Gretsky (90 minutes)

  It all started when Suffield University decided to build a building on Ridgewood Lane. The site was small and the excavation had to be deep.

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