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 2019. They sell plants and other accessories for indoor gardening.
In July of 2020 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 he 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. Please do not analyze the components of the injury case rather simply assume what I have presented here. We will discuss this type of a cause of action in the next class.
Bob wants your advice. By the way, you are to assume that the hourly rate for an attorney in a case like this is $350 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. In other words should he consider a contingency fee or a flat fee (piece meal) or an hourly fee? Why?
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 parties’ pleadings into court and into the other party’s hands. How do those issues arise and how should they be handled in this particular case?
He has heard about discovery in a civil suit. What is that? What types of discovery can and should happen in a case like this? Be specific 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 do some discovery to preserve 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.
Have fun and please be creative and thoughtful.For more information on terrific plant store check on this : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_nursery
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