Hilary Case Essay
RE: Hilary Case
As a paralegal working on the Hilary Case, I am expected to undertake certain steps towards helping with the trial of this case: coordinate schedules; monitor deadlines; help with the preparation of documents and witnesses; organize files and exhibits; prepare subpoenas; as well as work with every person who offers support to this case (including other legal attorneys and assistants, outside vendors and expert witnesses, among others) (Pierce, 2004;; Eleanor, 2005). However, most importantly, working with all these documents and all these people, as well as having attended your first interview with the client (as is required of me), has given me a bird’s-eye view on the case, and I believe I do have some insight into the case. On this particular case, I believe I have some insight and in this memo I offer some way on how to settle this case.
The first step is to establish the facts. First, there is no question at this point in time that Bobby Jones did attack and beat up our client, Davis Hilary. The student accident report filled by the person in charge during the incident, Ron Clemmons, the bus driver, and viewed against the complaint as well reports by other witnesses (such as Melissa) indicates that Bobby Jones, an 11th grader, did prevent Davis Hilary from getting out of the bus at his usual stop. Moreover, Bobby Jones did attack the Hilary, pinned him down and beat him up, causing physical injuries on his body. The victim suffered bruises and cuts and was bleeding when the police arrived. Unfortunately, although the talks of a knife by another witness, Melissa, may seem true, considering the nature of the injuries, it is hard to tell the truth. This is because the arresting police did not find any knife at the scene. Moreover, nurse Danila did not find the knife on Bobby despite searching hard for it, even directing Bobby to take off his clothes. The nurse examined the clothes but did not find any knife. She does not mention looking for signs that a knife had been there (such as a cut). But then again that would be useless information as it could not stand in a court. However, the nurse’s talk of Bobby appearing docile and deflated after the incident, and his talk of not having wanted to ‘hurt nobody’ need to be firmly dismissed as nothing but personal sympathy by the nurse, who is not part of this case except for the small role of searching Bobby for the knife. Her involvement beyond that must not be allowed.
Indeed, finding the knife would have helped the case. But at the moment, we have to go with the assumption that Jones did not use a knife. Besides, unless we find the knife, that question is not admissible in court. We may hope that is found in time, but if it has not been found now we must assume it will never surface and build on what we have. What we have is that Bobby Jones did attack and beat up Davis Hilary and cause him physical injuries. This is indisputable.
Next, we look at the damages suffered by our client (Davis Hilary) as a result of the attack. The incident report shows that Hilary was bleeding when he was taken to the hospital. The key question here is whether Hilary will ever recover. The answer is not simple. According to the billing records of Hilary’s treatment released by the hospital, Hilary was declared a level II patient (Coding 99212), which cost $195. He suffered a 2.5 centimeter wound on his scalp as a result of the assault. This was sutured (Code 77777) for $250. This brings to total medical bill to$445. This implies that Hilary did not suffer major physical injuries from the beating and that he can still recover fully. This fact means that the defendants may take the easy out; plead guilty and pay the $445 and go home. It could be the reason for the subpoena for the release of Hilary’s billing records. But that is not enough.
This is not just about the physical injuries that Hilary suffered. This is also about the psychological impact this may have on Hilary. According to the doctor’s diagnosis, apart from suffering cranial abrasions and contusions, Hilary also suffers from anxiety 300.08 related to the beating. This is the psychological impact. From this, Hilary may take such a long time to recover. No one knows for sure. In fact, he may never even recover fully for as long as he is in the school, although the child may continue to suffer from anxiety if he is moved to another school.
This makes sense. Before such an incident, a child may feel safe at school and actually believe that nothing could go wrong. However, such an incident leave the child expose. The sense of security has been taken away and they now believe that they are exposed to all kinds of risks, including being beaten by a fellow kid at school. There is ample empirical research on this.
We need to keep trying to get the defendants to the negotiation table and settle this outside the courts. In this respect, we need to point to them (through their attorney) that this would be the best decision to avoid financial losses and wastage of time, but also public humiliation. If the family defendants do not agree with our suggestion, we should also file for a motion for judgment on the pleadings. To do this, we must be able to show that the facts of the case are not in dispute; that Bobby did harm Hilary, and that the harm is a lot more than just physical. We should use this ‘psychological trauma’ argument. For this case, this argument would add weight to the team. In this respect, the case should involve experts within the field of child psychology to help. First, it is important that Hilary visits a counselor, who will evaluate him and report on his psychological status. The counselor should be a witness in the case. It would also be important to involve more than one counselor for credibility. These would be the expert witnesses. The trial could also involve a children psychologist whose input would add weight to the case. If we do this successfully, the judge should be able to grant a judgment (without having to go for the trial). Having done that, the only plan from there would be to examine how the law applies to the facts.
Equally, we could ask to depose Bobby Jones. I am not sure that we would need to get to that. However, we must be prepared to do everything to prevent this case from taking us to a long trial. On this note, I have already drafted a few questions for the deponent. The plan is to get Bobby Jones to take away his statement to nurse Danila and admit that his attack on Hilary was completely unprovoked. The ‘bad look’ is flimsy in the court, but we still need to dismiss any form of justification for Bobby’s attack on Hilary. I will still need your help. You should look at the questions and advice on what changes I would need to make.
However, if they insist on having the case go on trial, the same psychological trauma argument can work. We would also still need to use the counselors and expert witnesses.
I will still need your help with a few issues of my own as a paralegal. First, I am not sure that we will go to court. But if we do, then as usual it is expected of me to comply with all the service requirements of the court where the lawsuit is handled. I ask that you let me early enough which court that may be. Secondly, the rules and service requirements of courts usually have to do with the personality and temperament of the sitting judge. You may be in a position to know these judges better than me. I will need you advice with this information. I am sure this will help the case.
I have filed all the information on this case electronically. Just use your password to enter the database and peruse through the issues I have raised. However, in the end, you are the trial attorney and the final decision regarding the approach to this rests with you.
Eleanor, K. (2005). There Goes the Monopoly: the California Proposal to Allow Non-Lawyers
Pierce, J.C. (2004). The Role of Independent Paralegals in Improving the Quality and
Delivery of Legal Services. Bellow-Sacks Project