You are to assume that you are taking a business law class.
You have a friend who has had a situation develop. He is confused and has several
questions. Please explain things to him, in writing, so that he can make an
informed decision. His name is Bob Lilly.
Rhoda Dendrum is the proud owner of a terrific plant
store. She and her partner, Kris
Anthemum, opened the store in 1998. They sell plants and other accessories for
In July of 2011 Bob went into her store and was browsing in
the plant food area. He slipped and fell. He has a serious injury, a concussion
with resulting brain dysfunction. The case may be worth millions of dollars if
the plaintiff prevails. Since this is a lawsuit based upon a slip and fall, it
is a very difficult one and the odds of prevailing are less than 50/50.
Bob wants your advice. By the way, you are to assume that
the hourly rate for an attorney in a case like this is $400 per hour.
How can he find a lawyer and how should he hire him or her?
What about the rate, court costs? What are his options? Please discuss the
methods of finding an attorney for this type of a case and the means by which
he or she is hired or placed on retainer.
What will the owners of the plant shop do? If they do not
have insurance and have to hire their own attorney what will they do or what
should they do to hire an attorney?
What is the process by which a lawsuit is filed? What is a
lawsuit? What does it contain? Make sure that you explain where or how lawsuits
are filed, and why, and further what the process is to get the lawsuit and the
defendant’s pleadings into court and into the other party’s hands.
He has heard about discovery in a civil suit. What is that?
What types of discovery can happen in a case like this? Please fully explain
the tools of discovery. Why are these significant? Please detail all of the
forms of discovery and why they may or may not be important in a case like
this. There were several witnesses to the fall in the store. Can they have
discovery done in regards to their testimony? What if any discovery can be used
to preserve this information?
What are the discovery issues for the owners? Should the
owners think about costs and damages? If so, what are the bases for the
balancing of the costs and the benefits.
Bob also wants to try and avoid a trial. Is there any way to
resolve this without a trial? What is the concept of ADR and how does it work?
What are the ADR options? Please fully advise him. He is concerned about the
pretrial motions which will be heard at the In Limine
conference. What is this about and why is it significant.