Assignment 2: Midweek Production Assignment: Drafting Assignment—Complaint Defamation Suit
The Complaint is an important part of the law suit because if it is done correctly, the rules of the court will be followed and the ethical rules will also be met. The facts must be identified and the law must also be in the Complaint in individual and separate paragraphs. Each paragraph should contain one fact or one law, so each paragraph may be responded to individually. In the end, the person being sued must have a fair understanding of the reasons the defendant is being sued.
At this stage, you should be able to answer the following basic questions:
- Why is it so important to break down the elements of the claim in a Complaint?
- Why is it so important to format the Complaint according to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure?
Drafting documents is one of the top duties of a paralegal. Much of a paralegal’s time might be spent writing legal documents and reports. It is absolutely necessary that the paralegal have a firm grasp of the law and good written communication skills, including grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
Refer to the project scenario given in Week 1: Final Project Overview.
Upon execution of the retainer agreement and the establishment of the billing schedule, Harper is ready to commence suit. Your supervising attorney, Harper’s representative, is in the middle of a toxic tort trial and does not have time to draft documents but will have time to review them. It is your responsibility to draft the following documents, under the supervision of your attorney:
- A complaint, to be filed in the appropriate jurisdiction and alleging a cause of action, causation, and damages
- A summons for service of process on the defendant
Compile your letter in a Microsoft Word document.
On a separate page, cite all sources using the Bluebook format.
This is the scenario for this assignment:
Your client, Bradley Harper, a university football coach, has been accused of making his players shoot steroids. A student newspaper reporter, Sheila O’Fay, hears a rumor that Harper has been giving the players steroids. O’Fay happens to sit next to two football players in one of her classes and asks the players whether they know anything about it. They say that they don’t take steroids but that they have heard the rumor and think there might be some truth to it. O’Fay does no other investigating nor does she attempt to contact your client before publishing a story in the university-funded newspaper, in which she affirmatively states that Harper makes his players shoot steroids. In the story, she cites the two football players as sources but does not mention their names.
The rumor turns out to be false. Harper has never given any players steroids, and all the players, as well as the other coaching staff, testify to it. Harper now comes to your firm, Scott and Free, P. A., hoping to file a defamation suit against the student.
Will he win?