April 1, 2020

Martin v. State | Case Brief - 31 Ala. App. 17 So. 2d 427 (1994) - Alabama Court of Appeals

Facts: Martin was intoxicated. Officers of the law arrested him at home and then took him onto the where he appeared to be drunk. Martin was loud and used profane language.

Procedural History: Trial court found martin guilty.

Issue: Was Martin in violation of the statute on public drunkenness if he did not voluntarily appear in public?

Holding: No

Rationale: The terms of the statute presuppose a voluntary appearance in public.

Disposition: Reversed and rendered.

March 31, 2020

Hess v. Pawloski | Case Brief Law Student - 274 U.S. 352, 47 S.Ct. 632, 71 L.Ed. 1091. (1927) - U.S. Supreme Court

Facts: Plaintiff, a resident of Pennsylvania, drove a vehicle on a public highway in Massachusetts. The vehicle struck and injured the plaintiff who is a resident of Massachusetts. 

Issue: Does the Massachusetts enactment contravene the due process clause of the 14th Amendment? 

Holding: No 

Rationale: The enactment is not discriminatory against nonresidents and intends to make them equal to residents. It requires that he shall actually receive and receipt 

Disposition: Judgement affirmed. 

Interesting Dicta: "The mere transaction of business in a state by nonresident natural persons does not imply consent to be bound by the process of its courts."

Garratt v. Dailey | Case Brief - 46 Wash.2d 197, 279 P.2d 1091 (1955) - Supreme Court of Washington

FACTS: Ruth Garratt was going to sit down in a chair.  Before she sat down, Dailey (5 years of age) moved the chair and sat in it himself.  Garratt continued to sit down and fell when the chair was not where she thought it would be.

HISTORY: Trail court ruled in favor of Dailey.

ISSUE: Is intent a necessary component of battery?


RATIONALE: For intent to exist the person must have some knowledge of the victim's intended action so that they have some level of certainty that their battery will inflict damage.  With that knowledge there is no wrongful act.

DISPOSITION: Sent back to court to determine in Dailey knew with substantial certainty that Garratt would sit in the chair.

United States v. Fleming | Case Brief Law Student - 739 F.2d 945 (1984) US 4th Circuit 1984

FACTS: Defendant was driving his car at speed between 70-100 mph and weaving in and out of oncoming traffic. At one point he lost control of his car hit the curb and crashed into the victim's car which was coming in the opposite direction. The victim died and the Defendant was found to have blood alcohol level (BAL) of .315 percent. 

HISTORY: Defendant convicted of 2nd degree murder. 

ISSUE: Did the facts establish malice aforethought required for a murder conviction? 


RATIONALE: "Malice may be established by the evidence the conduct is reckless or wanton and a gross deviation from the reasonable standard of care." (461) The jury needs to find there was, inferred from the evidence, the Defendant knew the risk of death or serious bodily harm. In this case the Defendant's actions were so severe it indicates the "depraved disregard of human life." (462) 


March 30, 2020

Commonwealth v. Malone - 354 Pa. 180, 47 A.2d 445 (1946)

FACTS: D got a gun and took it along when he went to the movie theater. D placed one bullet in the gun and shen the 2 went to a restaurant they decided to play Russian Roulette. The D put gun next to the decedent's head and on the 3rd pull of the trigger the gun went off.

HISTORY: Judgement and sentence under a conviction of murder in the 2nd degree.

ISSUE: Did the facts justify a conviction for any type of murder?


RATIONALE: Malice is what distinguishes murder from manslaughter. Malice doesn't have to be "malevolent to the deceased particularly" but "any civil design in general; the dictate of a wicked, depraved and malignant heart." The gross recklessness of the reasonable anticipation the gun could go off exhibits that "wickedness" characteristic of malice. 

DISPOSITION: Assignments of error are overruled and the judgement is affirmed.