Assignment Part One:
Go the the Texas Supreme Court website: http://www.supreme.courts.state.tx.us/
Use the “case search” feature to find a case called “Del Lago Partners, Inc. and Del Lago Partners, L.P., d/b/a Del Lago Golf Resort & Conference Center, and BMC-The Benchmark Management Co. v. Bradley Smith, No. 06-1022.:”
This case involves a wedding party and the second night of a three-day college fraternaty reunion that were held at the same time in the same bar. As you can imagine, this didn’t end well for anybody except the lawyers. Read the majority opinion, and the three dissenting opinions by judges who disagreed with this 6-3 decision.
How much responsibility does a restaurant or bar have to prevent fights? The owner has some duty to customers, and a somewhat greater duty than other business owners because he holds a license to serve alcoholic beverages. On the other hand, shouldn’t we blame the fighters, rather than the owner of the establishment where the fight occurred?
Write an essay explaining the basic facts of the case and who was suing whom. Explain who won (the court case, not the bar fight) and why the majority decided that way. Explain why three judges disagreed. Finally, if you were a Texas Supreme Court justice, how would you rule in this case?
Assignment Part Two:
Now, go to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals website:
Read about the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, then use the “Hand Down List” to find a list of the court’s recent orders and opinions, which are organized by the date of issue. Find a decision issued on March 3, 2010, involving Ronald Lee Wilson (PD-0307-09), who was convicted of shooting Amos Gutierrez in 2006. Turns out, the detective used a fake forensic report to bluff Wilson into thinking his fingerprints were on an ammo clip found near the body, which convinced Wilson to confess to the crime.
Write a short essay about the case. Make sure your essay tells your reader:
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