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1) Name
2) Email address
3) Date of submission
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9. Assignments must be formatted and saved as one document per subject. For example, all case briefs for a course must be in one document, with each brief starting on a new page. Do not submit 12 separate documents with one case brief in each for the case briefs assignment.

[Student Name] 1L

[student email address] Torts

[date] Midterm Mini Thesis Paper


Tort law is, to me at least, one of the most mysterious branches of the law. Not

only is it a broad category, it is also an ambiguous one: until you spend time studying

tort law comprehensively, it is hard to pin down exactly what it entails. For this reason,

studying tort law as a law student is one of the most interesting and rewarding activities

I’ve undertaken. The historical evolution of what constitutes a tort is a fascinating

illustration of the common law as a whole (its ability to, over time, both broaden and

make narrow the meaning of terms and concepts into understandable legal

proceedings). Moreover, once one understands what a tort is, the ability to counsel

others on their rights and possible remedies for injuries becomes very valuable. As

such, in this paper I attempt to lay out my understanding of tort law in general (clarifying

what ties many different types of actions together under one common umbrella term),

clarify some of the important historical developments that have led to the modern tort

law in the common law tradition, and finally look at a few specific examples of possible

tort claims I have seen in the past year while studying tort law.

What is tort law, anyway?

If contract law is a subset of the law that first-year students feel like they

“intuitively understand” (rightly or wrongly!), tort law is the exact opposite. Unless you’re

a lawyer, you’ve probably never heard the term “torts,” and even if you have, you

probably have no idea what it means. This is not altogether terribly surprising: “tort law”

is really a collection of a few very different types of legal wrongs that have been

collected under a common name more to distinguish them from other branches (such

as criminal, constitutional, or contract law). In short, torts are a collection of some of the

most common aspects of civil law, and cover intentional torts, torts of negligence, strict

liability and product liability, and defamation.

What these areas have in common are a few things. For one thing, they are all

“wrongs” – they are actions (or inactions) that have caused damage of some kind.

Indeed, this is the root of the wort “tort” (from the French “tort,” meaning “wrong” or

“injury.”) But while many behaviors are wrong, not all wrongs are torts. Some wrongs

are criminal wrongs, other wrongs are moral wrongs. What makes torts torts are a

collection of attributes they have, which can be summarized as having “Civil, Injurious,

Relational, Legal” qualities.

Page 1

“Civil” means that torts are not criminal, and not moral or religious. This

distinction matters both historically and contemporaneously. In a historical sense, “civil”

is a reminder that the earliest courts in England were religious (clerical) and involved

judgments based on religious principles, usually administered by officials from the

Catholic church. As tort

[Name] Midterm Mini Thesis Paper
[Date] Criminal Law
[Email] Page 1

Crime. We are seemingly inundated with it every day. From the morning news to the late time
dramas on television. For many of us, if we are lucky, that will be the only exposure to crime that
we have to endure. Unless of course you happen to be a willing participant in the criminal justice
system. Other than those of us absorbed in the law, or consumed with breaking it, how many of
us actually know what crime is?

We could start of by saying that a crime is an act that is defined by the law as wrong. However,
that would be an over simplification. We can’t really say that crime always involves conduct
when someone with a legal duty to act, who chooses not to could be convicted of a crime.
Furthermore, there are also different kinds of “wrongs,” some of which are criminal and some of
which are not.

The fact of the matter is that the study and practice of criminal law is as much as an art as it is a
science. It is the art of communication combined with many sciences such as medicine, forensics,
and psychology just to name a few.

Most of us will never even stop to ponder why there are criminal statutes let alone ask what
actually constitutes the commission of a crime. Before getting into the different aspects of
criminal law, however, it is important to define its purpose.

Quite simplistically, one can say that the purpose of criminal law is to prevent people from doing
things that are considered undesirable by society as a whole. It is essentially a deterrent to
committing acts that are harmful to society and individuals. Obviously it is the punishment
component of the law that is meant to act as the deterrent. Punishment serves several purposes.
One of which is incarceration. If the criminal is detained in a facility under the watchful eye of
his captors, then he or she is unable to commit further acts against society. Many also argue that
the time spent in prison under the current system should include methods which serve to
rehabilitate the incarcerated.

Depending on the nature of the crime, the offender can be subject to an array of punishments. For
the harshest of crimes, a significant loss of freedom will be the end result. The term “criminal” in
and of itself carries a great burden on the offender even after her time has been served. From the
loss of voting rights, to the ability to secure employment, once one has been tarnished with the
scarlet letter of “criminal,” the ability to lead a gainful an fruitful life becomes all the more

With so much at stake for the offender, it is important to have a criminal justice system that
includes a plethora of safeguards, definitions and procedures that maintain the integrity of the
law at every step.

Toward that end, this paper will attempt to discuss some of the more important aspects of

[Name] Midterm Mini Thesis Paper
[Date] Criminal Law
[Email] Page 2

criminal law that not only aid in the process of

[Student Name] 1L
[student email address] Criminal Law
[date] Midterm Mini Thesis Paper

The Crime of Murder and the Hillside Strangler Case

In the City of Los Angeles, countless crimes are committed on any given day. To date,

121, 241 crimes have been reported with in the Los Angeles city limits. These reported crimes

include 25,608 crimes that have been classified as “violent” and 95,633 crimes that have been

classified as “property” related. Of the violent classified crimes reported in 2016, 283 crimes

were that of the crime of murder (Location Inc., 2016). It can be noted that this data only

encompasses crimes that have been reported and it can be rationalized that there are countless

additional crimes that have been committed in the large city of close to 4 million residents that

have gone unreported. Many people, including residents of Los Angeles, do not realize how

common crime is.

Crime comes in many forms and the term can include various definitions depending on

the individual you ask. The Merriam- Webster dictionary defines crime as “an act or the

commission of an act that is forbidden or the omission of a duty that is commanded by a public

law and that makes the offender liable to punishment by that law” (Merriam-Webster, 2016).

Crime is further defined by the jurisdiction, which includes jurisdictions on a local, federal, or

state level that apply criminal law. The Merriam- Webster dictionary defines criminal law as

“the law of crimes and their punishments” (Merriam-Webster, 2016). Criminal law is used to

define crime and outlines the legal procedures that will occur when a crime is committed. In Los

Angeles, there have been multiple landmark cases that became known to the world for their

severity and outrageous nature. The City of Los Angeles has hosted landmark and infamous cases

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of murder including the Elizabeth Short case in 1947, the Hillside Strangler case in 1977, the

O.J. Simpson case in 1995, and the Robert Blake case in 2002. Although each case involves

various surrounding facts, these facts all lead up to the crime of murder. This paper will attempt

to use one of these landmark cases to illustrate the various aspects and factors of criminal law, to

include the application of criminal law inside the justice system. The Hillside Strangler case

involved two men, Kenneth Bianchi and his cousin Angelo Buono, and proved to be one of the

most controversial cases in Los Angeles history. This essay will analyze this case and apply

various aspects of criminal law. Additionally, this essay will focus on how this particular case

impacted an entire community in the Los Angeles area and the entire nation

Overview of the Hillside Strangler Case

The Hillside Strangler case involved two serial killers, Kenneth Bianchi and his cousin

Angelo Buono. Between October 1977 through February 1978, ten young women were brutally

raped and killed in the hills of Los Angeles. Additionally, Bianchi move

[Name] Midterm Mini Thesis Paper
[Date] Contracts
[Email] Page 1


Contracts impact every person in society on a daily basis. In fact, the only way to avoid them is to
live completely outside society. If a person takes a hard look at their activities on any given day,
it’s fairly certain they’ve entered into a small handful of contracts without even thinking about it.
Daily purchases of food, gasoline and similar items represent agreements with the previous
owners of those goods, and if purchased on a credit card represent small loans. All of these things
are governed by contracts. The simple task of eating eggs for breakfast may be the result of
numerous contracts with such diverse parties as the supermarket, the manufacturers of plates and
silverware, and perhaps even a Tabasco sauce bottler. If the morning breakfast goes horribly
wrong, you may be dealing with homeowners insurance for the fire you started, or perhaps a local
farmer regarding salmonella poisoning. And in the worst of circumstances, you may even need to
deal with an attorney or two.

While these examples show how prevalent contracts are, a true grasp of their importance is better
understood through the story of a lawsuit. Only in the depths of a lawsuit can you see the
importance of a well structured and thought-out contract, or the perils of a bad contract. This
story is about one such lawsuit of which I was a party.

Definition of a Contract

A contract is an agreement that the law will enforce. While this seems simple enough, a huge
amount of money is spent by parties arguing over whether a contract has been formed. Eight
years ago, I was involved in a two-year lawsuit, and while the case concerned many issues, I
would soon find out that contract formation was going to make a difference on whether I was
jointly liable for a $2,000,000 obligation.

Brief Background on Case

I was a 12-year employee of a 120-person accounting firm when I was offered a promotion to a
position of “probationary partner,” to which I verbally agreed. I signed a “probationary partner”
agreement shortly thereafter. I was informed the probationary partner position was temporary,
with an implicit understanding that an equity position would be available one year later. The
probationary partner agreement referred to my position at the firm as that of an at-will employee.

Four days before my one-year anniversary of becoming a probationary partner, I was informed of
a firm restructuring and that the partners would vote at the partner retreat on my promotion to
equity partner. At the retreat six months later, the equity partners unanimously “voted me in” as
an equity partner. My reaction to this news was a combination of relief and concern, as I had
become very disillusioned with the firm during the prior two years. I smiled but remained silent.
Later testimony was inconsistent on whether I said “thanks”, or said nothing and the meeting just

[Name] Midterm Mini Thesis Paper
[Date] Con

[Student Name] 1L
[student email address] Contracts
[date] Midterm Mini Thesis Paper

The words contracts and jurisprudence are very strange words to the layman.

I am of the opinion, the word contract and jurisprudence means something totally different in the
eyes of the learned man and the court, as it does in the eyes of the laymen and general society.1

Before I give examples and elaborate as to my opinion of the learned and the layperson holding
these different meanings pertaining contracts and jurisprudence, I think it is important to define
jurisprudence and contracts. I will also look at the sources of contract law.

Jurisprudence; and Sources of the Law of Contracts

Jurisprudence – 1. in the United States is the study of the general legal system and
or the fundamental elements of such legal system as distinguished from such legal
systems practical and unmistakable details. 2. Original view (18th century), the
philosophy or science of law; jurisprudence is the analytical tool of which positive
law is dependent.2

When discussing contracts and its many dependent rules, that distinguish a contract from an
agreement; stating the elements necessary to contracts such as offer, acceptance and
consideration; stating defenses related to the legal principles of formation; stating excuses as a
defense related to the legal principles of performance; addressing third party rights; that layout
the remedies available to a plaintiff, one must take in to consideration the sources of the law of

The sources of the laws of contract are many and vast. It is important to have a basic
understanding of the many sources of contract law and to have a general understanding on the
weight that should be given each source as you apply the law to any given scenario involving
contracts or the elements thereof.

The Constitution of the United States is the foundation of law in the United States no other
laws can be in conflict with the Constitution. Federal statutes and treaties fall under the
Constitution. No state can enact or pass effective state legislation that is in direct conflict with
federal law. In-fact state law is subordinate to federal law including federal agencies. The United

1 Layman. a person who is not a member of a profession or an expert on a particular
subject. Black’s Law Dictionary, Seventh Edition, Bryan A. Gardner.

2 See Black’s Law Dictionary, Seventh Edition, Bryan A. Gardner – Jurisprudence.

Page 1

States Constitution puts forth a Supremacy Clause to this effect.3

The Constitution of Individual States are the next layer of source, we should look to as each
state has a state constitution as a foundation. Under each state’s constitutional foundation are
laws passed by its state legislative body including state regulatory agencies. The rules and
regulations of local municipalities make up an additional layer of law.

That covers the legislation that governs certain rule of law, we must now move to the courts that
govern c

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