trial brief is typically prepared and provided, law homework help

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A trial brief is typically prepared and provided to the Judge and the opposing party, which sets forth various aspects of the case and what will be presented at trial. Different jurisdictions have different rules as to when the brief must be filed and what it must contain.

APA Format

Your supervising attorney, Janie Lynch, has prepared a portion of a trial brief for an upcoming trial; she has entered the case law and her analysis of the law, attached here.

However, she would like for you to prepare the factual section of the brief from her notations below (which are rather unorganized), and to format a section regarding the names of the witnesses to be called. She would like to include all witnesses who are named in her notes below, or in the analysis section of the brief.

  • In August of 2014, Mr. Smith was terminated, and contained in the termination notice were numerous false allegations.
  • As a result of the false allegations, the surrounding circumstances of harassment of Mr. Smith and his termination, Mr. Smith filed suit against Apple Pie, alleging defamation.
  • Smith was employed (for the second time, and the time period pertaining to this matter), by the Apple Pie Company as a Counselor, on or around May 18, 2008, until his termination on August 25, 2014.
  • During his employment with Apple Pie, Smith witnessed numerous ethical violations and concerns.
  • He followed correct procedure by filing four complaints over his concerns.
  • Included in the termination notice were numerous false statements pertaining to Smith.
  • The complaints pertained to ongoing issues with Ms. Brown, Smith’s supervisor, and issues with the Apple Pie.
  • Mr. Smith was accused of engaging in a personal relationship with a client.
  • Mr. Smith did not engage in any personal relationships with clients outside of work.
  • As a part of his employment, Smith attempted to act in the best interest of the clients of Apple Pie; when clients were concerned that their grievances against other Apple Pie employees were not being responded to or handled, Mr. Smith obtained signed releases from those clients to aid them by further looking into their complaints.
  • Each release was obtained as the result of a concerned client.
  • On August 6, 2014, a meeting was held where Ms. Richards, Apple Pie President, falsely accused Mr. Smith of failing to respond to a rumor of a client bringing a gun onto Apple Pie property; Mr. Smith was not even working on the day in which he allegedly knew of the gun.

You should also review the entire brief for spelling and grammar issues, as well as correct instances in which names are misspelled, the Defendant’s name is in all capitals, etc.

Your supervising attorney, Janie Lynch, has prepared a portion of a trial brief for an upcoming trial; she has entered the case law and her analysis of the law, attached here.

IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS

JOE SMITH

Plaintiff,

vs.

APPLE PIE, INC.

Defendant.

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Case No.

Judge

Plaintiff’s Trial Brief

Janie Lynch

Lynch, Lynch and Lynch

521 Mockingbird Lane

Blackacre, 45795

Attorney for Plaintiff

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NOW COMES Plaintiff, by and through its undersigned counsel, and hereby files Plaintiff’s Trial Brief.

Respectfully submitted,

_______________________

Attorney

Attorney for Plaintiff,

I. Statement of Facts

II. Argument

The elements of a claim for defamation are : “(1) a false and defamatory statement, (2) about the plaintiff, (3) published without privilege to a third party, (4) with fault of at least negligence on the part of the defendant, and (5) that was either defamatory per se or caused special harm to the plaintiff. Gosden v. Louis, 116 Ohio App. 3d 195, 206 (1996). Truth is a well established and complete defense to a defamation claim. Scaccia v. Dayton Newspapers, Inc., 2009 WL 440948, *2 (Ohio App.) (citing O.R.C. Section 2739.02).

Apple Pie did not conduct an adequate investigation into the false statements asserted in Mr. Smith’s termination letter, the statements were not privileged, and even if they were, APPLE PIE exceeded the scope of its privilege.

The statements were published without privilege, and with at least a certain level of negligence. The Defendant argues that it has a qualified privilege for the statements in the termination notice. Under Ohio law, a party has a qualified privilege between an employer and employee, or between two employees, concerning the conduct of a third employee.Washington v. Cent. State Univ., (Ohio Ct. of Cl. 1998), 92 Ohio Misc.2d 26, 699 N.E.2d 1016. The statements in Mr. Smith’s termination letter were discussed between Brown, Smith, and Richards, but Mr. Smith was also forced to self publish the documents. Defendant knew that Plaintiff would be forced to disclose the allegations contained in his termination letter to future employers. The alleged “investigation” performed by Brown was not reasonably calculated to discover the truth. Mr. Smith did not “pray[ing] to cast out demons.”

Furthermore, stating that Mr. Smith held a prayer to “cast out demons” is not a simple mischaracterization. Prayer sessions were regularly held at APPLE PIE—in fact, Richards was known to lead prayer sessions before monthly staff meetings. Prayer being held at APPLE PIE was nothing out of the ordinary—however, being accused of holding a prayer to “cast out demons” and “conducting a ritual” has a completely different connotation, which APPLE PIE is aware, otherwise the commonplace practice of praying would not have been included in Mr. Smith’ termination letter.

Furthermore, Mr. Brown could not have investigated the August 6, 2009 “threat” to a reasonable level. Mr. Smith was present during the August 6, 2009 meeting, and did state his intention to file a complaint. Mr. Smith furthermore did draft the complaint sometime between August 6, 2009 and August 9, 2009. However, there is no indication that Mr. Smith filed or intended to file the complaint in response to allegations against him, and in no way was his informing Richards and Brown of his intent to do so, a threat.

APPLE PIE further defamed Mr. Smith when it stated that Mr. Smith “continued to conduct his own unauthorized investigation which involved confronting clients who were released…even though he was told not to and acknowledged that it was unethicalIf a reasonable investigation has been done, APPLE PIE would have discovered that Mr. Smith did not “confront clients” at any time. Mr. Smith did discuss with clients complaints that they had filed but to which had not been responded. As a part of his employment, Smith attempted to act in the best interest of the clients of APPLE PIE; when clients were concerned that their grievances against other APPLE PIE employees were not being responded to or handled, Mr. Smith obtained signed releases from those clients to aid them by further looking into their complaints. Each release was obtained as the result of a concerned client.

Furthermore, the following allegations and statements against Mr. Smith are untrue and defamatory:

  • “he [was]…failing to work in the best interest of the clients to resolve problems”;
  • “he has potentially harm clients by involving them in his investigation leading them to distrust the program and leading them to believe they may have been “wronged” and due compensation.”; and
  • “it is clear that he has harassed his supervisor and has not acted in good faith to resolve problems and concerns.”

None of the above mentioned statements are true. In fact, Mr. Smith brought issues to the attention of his superiors on multiple occasions, and acted in the best interests of the APPLE PIE’s clients at all times.

As a proximate cause, Plaintiff has suffered the loss of his job position, diminished earning capacity, lost wages, benefits, pension benefits, liquidated damages, great mental and emotional distress, anguish, humiliation and embarrassment.

III. Witness List

a.

b.

c.

Respectfully submitted,

_______________________

Attorney for Plaintiff,

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

A copy of the foregoing was served this _____ day of ordinary prepaid U.S. mail, to:

Marcus Wingfield

Wing, Wingfield & Fields

43356 Acme Ct

Blackacre, 45745

Attorney for Defendant

_______________________

Attorney for Plaintiff,

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