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Spring 2015
7397 WRC: Practice-based Legal Writing - TABOR- 22569

Professor(s): Tobi Tabor (DEPARTED)

Credits: 3

Course Areas: Practice Skills - (Research and Writing) 

Time: 6:00p-7:30p  TTH  Location: 213  BLB

Course Outline: Students will have varied opportunities to write and receive feedback on their writing in transactional and litigation contexts. Writing assignments may include short articles, letters (e.g., demand, opposing counsel, client, court), pleadings, motions, policies/procedures (e.g., promotion, protection of individual rights, discipline), and contracts or contract excerpts. Each student will complete three to five practical writing assignments, with total production of at least twenty-one pages, based on an average of 250-300 words per double-spaced page. Some assignments may require research. Each assignment will require the student to submit a first draft, which will be returned with written feedback, a second draft, for which feedback may be written or oral, and a final version that is rewritten to incorporate the second-draft feedback. In addition to any conference scheduled for second-draft feedback, each student will be offered opportunities to meet in conference with the professor for individualized assessment of the student’s writing. No text is required.

Course Syllabus: Syllabus

Course Notes:   Quota=12


First Day Assignments: Practice-based Legal Writing 1st day assignment Spring 2015
Source-Selection Strategies
Objective/Informative Memo Analysis
Write as a Memo Discussion Section (unlabeled)
Maximum 2 pages analysis & 1 page source-use explanation

Shopkeeper’s Privilege- Pennsylvania. Our client, BigBox Retailer is being sued in Pennsylvania state court by Wendy Ryder for false imprisonment and battery. As you know, BigBox Retailer is a local megastore, similar to Target and Wal-Mart, carrying a wide variety of retail products.

On August 22, 2014, Wendy was apprehended and detained by BigBox store security for suspected shoplifting at one of the BigBox outlet stores. According to the store manager, a BigBox security guard witnessed Wendy picking up a DVD from the floor of the store and placing it in her purse. As Wendy was leaving the store, this security guard stopped her and asked to search her purse. Wendy obliged. When the security guard found the DVD, he asked Wendy for a copy of her receipt, but she could not produce one. Without any further questioning, the officer placed Wendy in handcuffs (in accordance with BigBox store policy) and escorted her to a holding room where she sat alone for thirty minutes until the police arrived.

As it would turn out, Wendy was actually innocent of the shoplifting charges. After a brief interrogation in the store holding room, the police officers discovered that Wendy had purchased the DVD earlier at a nearby Best Buy. Apparently, the DVD was still in her purse when she entered the BigBox store and it fell out while she was shopping. The Best Buy receipt was in her car. Also, the police discovered that the DVD had a Best Buy price tag.

Now, Wendy is claiming that she suffered emotional damages as a result of this incident. We want to know if BigBox is immune from liability under Pennsylvania’s Retail Theft Statute. More specifically, we want argue that the actions of the store employees were reasonable under the circumstances and that they had probable cause to detain Wendy for shoplifting. Can we make these arguments? Does any specific case law support our position?

You will need to access and review the listed authorities with the proposed arguments in mind. Select the best of the authorities to cite in support of each argument, and make a separate list on a third page to briefly explain why you selected that or those authorities rather than the others.

18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 3929 (West 2010)

Karkut v. Target Corp., 453 F. Supp. 2d 874 (E.D. Pa. 2006)

Angelopoulos v. Lazarus PA Inc., 2005 PA Super 304, 884 A.2d 255 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2005)

Ginyard v. The Gap, Inc., No. 96-7112, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12775, at *1-2 (E.D.Pa. Aug. 20, 1997),
Ferdinand v. Save-A-Lot/Supervalu, CIV.A.07-3305, 2008 WL 1734187 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 14, 2008)

Walker v. May Dept. Stores Co., 83 F. Supp. 2d 525, 528 (E.D. Pa. 2000)

Final Exam Schedule:    

This course will have:

Satisfies Skills Course Requirement: No
Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: Yes

Experiential Course Type:

Bar Course:

Course Materials (1/12/2015 1:48:33 PM)

No book required for this course