MBE Simulator Exam 3
A motorist was in a fierce head-on collision with another vehicle at an intersection. The other driver was negligent and caused the collision. The motorist sustained a fractured back along with a severe head injury that caused her to have brain damage and paraplegia. She was adjudicated incompetent and placed in a nursing home. A guardian was appointed who sued the other driver and the manufacturer of the motorist’s automobile. The other driver settled early for policy limits of $100,000. The case then went to trial against the auto maker. The claim was for strict liability in tort charging that the seats, dash and assist grip installed in the vehicle were defectively designed, unreasonably dangerous and caused the plaintiff enhanced injuries. The manufacturer claimed that it did not cause the accident and that it was not the cause of any enhanced injuries. It argued that the plaintiff had to prove precisely what injuries he sustained that were caused by the manufacturer. Based on the traditional Restatement rule, what is the causation standard that the court will instruct the jury to use in its decision?
A state law required that whenever a newspaper prints an editorial criticizing a candidate for office, his character or personal record on the issues, it must provide space for the opposing candidate to reply to the criticisms. A failure to do so is a second-degree misdemeanor. A candidate demanded space for responding to an editorial in a local newspaper that was critical to his character and his candidacy. The newspaper refused to comply. The candidate brought an action seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, and requesting actual and punitive damages. Based on U.S. Supreme Court precedent, what did the court likely decide?
A small business owner was sued for breach of contract. In his answer, he claimed that he acted upon advice of his prior counsel to return the truckload of widgets that were delivered by the plaintiff company. He later repeated that contention in a deposition but refused to elaborate on the details because of the attorney-client privilege. At trial, the plaintiff company called the business owner’s prior attorney to question him on what advice he gave his client regarding the shipment and refusing to perform on the contract. The business owner objected on the basis that the conversations with his former lawyer were privileged. What is the most likely decision of the trial court regarding the objection to the evidence?
A female condominium owner was concerned about security lighting in the large condo complex at night, and more particularly, about the lack of lighting in and around the entrances to the units, including her unit. There had been numerous prior robberies and rapes reported by condo owners in the past several years. She demanded that the homeowners’ association install security measures, including lights and security patrols, to protect the residents. The association took it under advisement but ultimately voted to take no action. She installed her own lighting system and the association demanded that she take it down or suffer costs and penalties, because only the association could control the common areas and how they looked and were lighted. She complied, and shortly thereafter she was robbed and brutally raped one evening as she entered the dark, deserted contours of her front hallway after unlocking her front door. She sued the homeowners’ association for negligence. The association countered that it had no duty to the owner, and that it was not similar to a for-profit landlord who did owe a duty for the security of common areas. The trial court dismissed the complaint as failing to state a claim and she appealed. Will the appellate court recognize that the association had a duty to use due care to protect the homeowners?
A former regional manager of a life insurance company sued the parent company for terminating him without cause. He asked the attorney to make sure that he got a jury trial. If a proper demand is not made, the trial will be presided over by the judge without a jury. At the last pretrial conference, well after discovery had closed, the attorney filed for a jury trial. Did the attorney properly preserve the right to jury trial and why or why not? Yes, the plaintiff does not have to ask for a jury trial until the discovery is completed and the last pretrial conference is held.
Three seven-year-old boys crawled through a hole in a fence at the end of a school playground, and entered an active railroad switching yard. They climbed on top of a freight car and one of them was electrocuted by a high voltage wire. The fence they crawled through was owned and maintained by the local school district, which owned the playground. The rail yard was owned by the Penn Central Co. The deceased boy’s father brought a wrongful death action against both the city and the railroad company. There were several holes in the fence that were used by kids to come and go from the railroad yard. There were four prior incidents at the railroad yard where young children were electrocuted or seriously injured by high-tension wires. Both defendants filed motions to dismiss as a matter of law because the children were trespassers to whom they asserted that they owed no duty of care. The trial court agreed and dismissed the claim against both defendants. An appeal was filed. Will the appellate court affirm the dismissal?
A woman asked a male friend to hold her valuable antique jewelry in safe storage for her while she traveled in a foreign country. He owned a jewelry store and graciously offered to store the collection for free. He also volunteered to get the jewelry insured at his own expense. She relied on the promises, and turned over the collection to him without the payment of monetary consideration. He forgot to get the jewelry insured, and the collection was stolen in an armed robbery of the jewelry store. When she returned, he refused to compensate her for the stolen collection. Which one of the following legal principles would be her strongest and most accurate claim for remuneration under these facts?
A regular customer left his car at an auto mechanic’s shop with instructions to: check the engine and tune it up; make sure the brakes were all in good working order; examine the tires; and, to otherwise check and repair all major systems because the customer was going on a long driving tour through other states. No discussion of price or words of agreement were spoken between the parties. When the customer picked up the car, there was a bill for $5,000 left on the seat to his attention. All of the services and parts listed pertained to the areas stated in the customer’s instructions. He refused to pay, claiming that there was no agreement and that the mechanic didn’t get advance approval for all of the repairs. Can he be held responsible for contractual service performed?
A group of women employed by a state government recently sued the state under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, on the basis of allowing the creation of a hostile work environment against them. An amendment to that act extends coverage to the states as employers. The federal district court allowed an injunction to prevent further discrimination but refused to allow money damages and legal fees against the state on the basis of 11th Amendment sovereign immunity. The plaintiffs appealed. What should the Court of Appeals decide based on the established jurisprudence regarding sovereign immunity?
The manager of a franchise restaurant had authority to deposit the cash earnings in the bank each day. She also had the authority to sign checks under $500 without a co-signature. Over a three-year period she skimmed about $100,000 in cash from the cash deposits and from the checking account by writing cash withdrawals to herself a few times each month. A new management firm took over and audited the books, finding the irregularities. They reported the matter to the police, and after questioning the manager admitted to her skimming of the account. The police had evidence to arrest her for which of the following?
A married couple own a residential premises. They received a foreclosure action from the first mortgage lender in a state that has judicial foreclosure procedures. The state also statutorily extends the right of redemption both prior to the sale, and for a period of one year after the sale. The sale took place; the property was sold to the lender. The lender then filed a deficiency judgment action. The couple received a loan from family members about six months after the sale. It was sufficient to pay the balance on the mortgage plus interest and costs. The couple notified the lender and the court of their intent to exercise their right of redemption. What is the likely outcome?
Two women, a cashier and an accountant, worked closely together in the accounting department of a large retailer. Both were defrauding the company by separate schemes. The cashier was issuing checks to certain persons and then splitting the proceeds with them. The accountant was making certain expense vouchers that she would issue to persons not entitled to reimbursement, and then she would share the proceeds with them. Both women assisted each other in the making and processing their respective checks and vouchers each month, but each believed that the other’s documents were legal. When things started to unwind, the police discovered both plots and arrested both women for criminal fraud and theft. They also arrested the women for a felony conspiracy to act together in defrauding their company. They both defended against the conspiracy charge. What is the likely outcome of their defense of the conspiracy charge?
A drywall subcontractor submitted an offer to a general contractor for proposed drywall work on a small office building being constructed. The bid was for $20,000 for all drywall supplies and labor. The contractor factored the experienced subcontractor’s bid into its final bid and was awarded the contract. A few days later the subcontractor informed the contractor that it had worked on the figures and realized that it underestimated the cost of the project. The subcontractor refused to do the job for less than $35,000. The contractor hired another subcontractor to do the work for $30,000 and sued the first subcontractor for the $10,000 difference over the original bid of $20,000. Will the court likely award the $10,000 to the contractor and against the first subcontractor?
A man conveyed a large parcel of land to a friend. The deed stated that it was to “my friend as long as he uses the property to grow organic vegetables that are not genetically manipulated, and if that proper use is not maintained, the property will immediately revert to the grantor.” 11 years later, the friend was charged with using genetic engineering techniques in violation of the regulations of the state’s agricultural department. What kind of an interest, if any, did the grantor retain by the wording in the deed?
A man wearing a jacket and jeans walked along a city street at night in a high crime area known for drug trafficking and gun violence. He saw two police officers walking toward him. The officers were checking on a 911 call from a resident who observed a man in jeans and a jacket apparently selling drugs to people on the street. When the police first saw him, he was walking alone, in the area that the woman identified. As they approached, he suddenly crossed the street by jaywalking. They followed, and approaching from behind, asked him to stop. He started walking faster, away from them. The officers saw what appeared to be a heavy object bulging in his pocket as he moved. The officers, with over 10 years of foot patrol experience, stepped up and stopped him. They patted him down and found a concealed, unlicensed handgun in the jacket pocket. They then made a full search and found 50 packets of heroin. He filed a motion to suppress the gun and drug evidence. Will the court likely suppress the evidence?
A leading question is one that suggests to the witness the answer desired by the examiner. Rule 611 (c) of the Federal Rules of Evidence generally prohibits the use of leading questions on direct examination. There are, however, some exceptions to that rule. Which of the following would be a permissible instance of using leading questions on direct examination?
An elderly woman was vacationing on a cruise ship when she slipped and fell on a slippery substance negligently allowed to build up on a hallway floor. She broke her hip and had to have several operations. The ship's ticket and advertising material used the name Dreamland Cruise Ships. She turned the materials over to her counsel, who filed a lawsuit against Dreamland one month prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations. Notice was sent to the address listed by Dreamland on the ticket, and received by its agents prior to the expiration of the statute. The attorney later received a letter from a company called Power Cruises, Inc., stating that Dreamland did not exist, was a mere unregistered fictitious name, and that the owner was Power Cruises, Inc. The attorney filed an amended complaint 180 days after the expiration of the limitations period, pursuant to FRCP 15(c), listing the correct name. Power Cruises objected, claiming that the statute of limitation had expired and it did not receive notice with the two-year period. What will the court do and why?
A seller of residential property told the buyer that he could use his gravel road to the main highway if he purchased the property, which adjoined the seller’s property. Although the property was not otherwise landlocked, the buyer relied on the seller’s promise in making an offer. The buyer had specific uses in mind for improvements that needed the gravel road. The purchase took place but the seller did not include the easement in the deed or the other papers. The buyer built a garage that accessed the gravel road leading to the highway. The seller later decided to fence off the driveway and divert it from buyer’s use. Will a court compel the seller to open up the road and provide an easement to the buyer?
Hearsay is defined as "a statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial or hearing, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted". In a criminal trial, the prosecution wanted to prove that the defendant lived with his wife at a specified address. During a police search of the premises, the wife stated to officers that the defendant would “never come home while the police are still here.” The prosecution offered that statement into evidence at trial to prove that the defendant lived at that address. The defendant objected to admission of the statement because it was hearsay. Will the court exclude the statement under the hearsay rule?
A law student and two friends were at a mall peacefully handing out fliers protesting the country’s military involvement in a Middle Eastern country. The mall owner called the police, who warned them to stop or they would be arrested. They returned the next day and continued to leaflet. The police came again and issued another warning. The law student left to avoid arrest, but his friends stayed and were arrested for criminal trespass and loitering. The law student, in an attempt to get an advance ruling on the constitutionality of the criminal ordinances and propriety of police actions, filed an action in federal court asking for declaratory relief. Based on Supreme Court precedent, how should the federal district court rule?
In a case for sexual harassment, the jury entered a monetary verdict in favor of the plaintiff. She alleged that her supervisor persistently demanded sexual favors in return for promotions, that he had sent her lascivious text messages and semi-nude photos of himself on several occasions. Her complaints were ignored by the employer. The jury believed the plaintiff and returned a verdict for her. The defendants, i.e., the supervisor and the employer company, filed a motion under Rule 59(a) asking for a new trial. Without alleging specifics, the defendants asked the court to recognize that the verdict was against the manifest weight of the evidence. Under these facts, which of the following is the most likely decision and reasoning of the court?
An industrial truck sales and service center had a wide variety of rigs, trucks and tractors in its multi-acre gated main parking lot. There was a set of keys in each vehicle. The entrance gate was intentionally left open during the day for convenient ingress and egress. A gang member from a nearby gang headquarters walked into the parking lot during work hours, and drove off with a very large state-of-the-art industrial tow truck. He had difficulty managing the gear shifts and other knobs while accelerating, and was so distracted that within a few minutes he ran over and killed an elderly woman in a cross walk. The woman’s estate sued the truck center for negligence. The defendant service center filed a motion to dismiss, in which it asserted that it had no duty to third persons to protect them from truck thieves. It argued that even if it had a duty, the interceding act of the thief was a superseding cause of the accident. Will the court allow the plaintiff’s wrongful death negligence action against the truck center to go forward?
Defendants agreed to lease to plaintiffs a building that they were going to build. The lease was for a period of 10 years. The lease of the building was to commence upon the “completion of the building.” The defendants were bound in the agreement to start “forthwith” and proceed to build the building “expeditiously” after receiving all permits, and to complete the project in a reasonable time. Plaintiffs put $10,000 down on the rental agreement. Plaintiffs and defendants started arguing about other terms, such as who was to pay for an expensive sprinkler system. Eventually, plaintiffs sued for rescission and for return of the down payment. One of the main contentions of the plaintiffs was that the agreement violated the rule against perpetuities in that it was impossible to tell whether it could be performed within 21 years due to the ambiguity over when the building would be completed. What is the likely decision of the court?
A state recidivist statute made it a felony punishable by life imprisonment without parole to be convicted for the sixth time of any form of criminal theft involving goods or money in excess of $500. A man’s record showed five prior convictions for different forms of theft, each one for property or cash in excess of $500 but usually not in excess of $1,000. On the sixth conviction for a similar violation, he was sentenced to life without parole. He challenged the sentence based on the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. He appeals all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Is the Supreme Court likely to invalidate the sentence on these facts?
A husband applied for a life insurance policy for $50,000 on his life, listing his wife as the beneficiary. He paid the insurance company an initial amount of $100 at the time of submitting the application. The agent accepted the down payment, which represented two months of the premium payment. In exchange for this payment, the agent gave the husband a "conditional receipt." A few days later the husband died in an auto accident. The wife as beneficiary demanded payment despite the fact that the insurance company had not officially issued a policy and the husband had not taken a required medical examination required in the wording of the application. The company denied liability, asserting that certain conditions contained in the application and in the conditional receipt (namely the taking of the medical examination) had not been fulfilled by the applicant. The insurer claimed that the condition precedent (the medical examination) was never performed and the contract was not formed. What is the most likely decision of the court?
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