Anything I can do, you can do better

In Uncategorized on February 11, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Where I’m at: Chicago (t-minus 44 days)
What I’m doing: getting ripped off by 7/11 (who doesn’t put egg on a breakfast sandwich?!)
Why I’m posting: because you’re smarter than I am (in other words: Quiz yo’self, foo!)
Studying for the bar exam can be tedious, but mostly because it’s so lonely. Even those other folks taking the bar exam at the same time can’t exactly relate because (a) they’re probably freaked out, and (b) there’s a lot of posturing that goes on (e.g. “How’d you do on that practice test yesterday? Yea…I got like 105% or something. I mean, I KNOW evidence law cold.”). So I thought I’d share. Below is an actual practice multiple choice question I did this morning. I think I may post a new one each morning for the next few days, each in a different topic. I’ll randomly choose one I got wrong. See if you’re better than me (I know you already thought you were). I’ll post the answer and a brief explanation in the comments section. No peeking!

And good luck!

A company that owned a tract of land believed to be rich in mineral deposits contracted with a licensed excavator for the removal of soil from the property and delivery of the soil to the company’s lab. While of the excavator’s trucks was on the way to the lab, the rear gate broke loose, dumping three tons of soil onto the highway. A motorist who was driving a short but safe distance behind the truck was unable to stop in time and collided with the soil, causing her serious injury. The rear gate had been negligently secured by one of the excavator’s employees. If the motorist sues the company for his injuries and does not prevail, it will be because:
a) The rear gate was secured by the excavator’s employee
b) The excavator had a license to transport soil on the highway
c) The company’s duty in respect to the movement of its soil on the highway was delegable
d) The transportation of soil on the highways was a common practice in the area where the accident occurred

  1. Best answer: c
    Agency law (which intersects with lots of other areas of law, including torts (usu. personal injury negligence cases)) generally allows employers to be held liable for the actions, including negligence, of their employees. [For those keeping track at home, that’s usually called respondeat superior.] Thus, a company’s driver that runs into a pedestrian while making a delivery will cause the company itself to be liable, though some states would allow the company to seek indemnity from the employee (i.e. “You did it, you pay for it!”). However, when a company properly delegates a duty to an independent contractor, like the company did here with the excavator, that basically lets the company off the hook. All of the other answers present real legal rules, but they’re not the right ones for this kind of case. Tricky, huh?

    Come back tomorrow for more!

  2. I peeked, mostly because it was impossible not to since the only way to comment is to view the previous comments first, which is where we find the best answer. But even after peeking, I still feel very good about myself, because I would have picked C anyway. No really, I swear! …but really, it would have been C. This law school thing is a breeze, bring on question 2.

    Also, I think it’s pretty important to know more about this motorist. First we learn that the motorist hits the soil “causing her serious injury”, and then we find that “he” wants to sue?! I’ll be honest, I am VERY suspicious that the motorist was only suing to cover the cost of his recent sex change operation.

  3. so far i am as smart as you. which is the reason i stopped playing poker against you.

  4. sorry. i mean up to this point, i am smarter than you. which is why i didn’t play poker against you.

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