Three men are trapped in a cave with no hope of rescue and no food. They roll dice to determine who will be killed and eaten by the others so that some may survive. The two survivors are unexpectedly rescued 10 days later and tried for murder. Judge A finds them guilty, saying that the unjustifiable killing of another is against the homicide laws of State X. He bases his decision solely on statutory law and case precedents interpreting the law. To which school of legal thought does Judge A belong? Explain.
2-8 Basing his decision on the same set of facts as given in Problem 2-7, Judge B rules that the survivors are not guilty because they were cut off from all civilized life, and in such a situation, the laws of nature apply, not manmade laws. To which school of legal thought does Judge B belong? Explain.
2-9 Basing her decision on the same set of facts as given in Problem 2-7, Judge C rules that the two survivors are not guilty because, according to a scientific survey of the community by a professional polling organization, the public believes that the survivors’ actions were defensible. To which school of legal thought does Judge C belong? Explain.
2-10 Imagine you are a sitting federal judge, and this case comes before you. A woman (x) charges another woman (y) with rape. Both have been partners for a five-year period. Both presently live in different states within the United States. Who would you decide the case in favor of? Explain, using one of the schools of thought outlined in this chapter.
2-11 Madison and his adult son lived in a house owned by Madison. At the request of the son, Marshall painted the house. Madison did not authorize the work, but he knew that it was being done and raised no objection. However, Madison refused to pay Marshall, arguing that he had not contracted to have the house painted. Marshall asked his attorney if Madison was legally liable to pay him.
The attorney told Marshall that, in their state, several appellate court opinions had established that when a homeowner allows work to be done on his home by a person who would ordinarily expect to be paid, a duty to pay exists. The attorney stated that, on the basis of these precedents, it was advisable for Marshall to bring a suit to collect the reasonable value of the work he had done. Explain what the attorney meant by precedent and why the fact that precedent existed was significant.
2-12 Smith was involved in litigation in California. She lost her case in the trial court. She appealed to the California appellate court, arguing that the trial court judge had incorrectly excluded certain evidence. To support her argument, she cited rulings by the Supreme Court of North Dakota and the Supreme Court of Ohio. Both the North Dakota and Ohio cases involved facts that were similar to those in Smith’s case. Does the California court have to follow the decisions from North Dakota and Ohio? Support your answer.