Short Scholarly Research Paper: This will consist of a separate legal memorandum 3-4 pages each, double spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman, 1-inch margins on all sides.  The assignment is a paper about an 1

  • Short Scholarly Research Paper: This will consist of a separate legal memorandum 3-4 pages each, double spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman, 1-inch margins on all sides.  The assignment is a paper about an important contemporary topic written for an informed audience.  You should address the question, making a strong argument on behalf of your thesis, and developing your own conclusion based on evidence from sources.  In doing so, you must use a minimum of five references (3) from the syllabus’ bibliography or other academic areas (i.e. eText, ProQuest, etc.)  Extra research beyond the specified readings will help the quality of your paper significantly.

Directions: In this project, you will be asked to review the fact patterns and apply the information learned in class to complete the assignment. I have included resources to help guide you in the drafting of the assignment. You will be required to submit a legal memorandum that follows the IRAC method. In this method, you are expected to identify the ISSUE presented to you, identify the RULE(s) that are applicable, APPLY the rule(s) to the case, and provide your CONCLUSION. This is not a short answer assignment and it will require careful analysis.  

Fact Pattern

On a dark and stormy night, in southern New Jersey, Able, age 13, and Bonnie, age 15, discussed how great it would be if they had some money to spend on their weekend trip to the beach.  They consulted Clyde, age 21, knowing that he was very sneaky and knowing he would easily come up with a plan for the money.  The three agreed that they would go to the home of their neighbor (Nelly hereafter), take a $2000 vase from the living room, and sell it for $750, leaving them each with $250 dollars.  All agreed that Clyde would get the vase.

Clyde immediately walked to the neighbor’s front door and opened the window.  Clyde crawled in and noticed that the vase was not there.  Knowing that he needed something of value, he looked around and noticed a pure gold statue.  He picked up the statue, but he was interrupted when Nelly walked down the steps and confronted Clyde with a gun.  Clyde was frightened, and he immediately threw the statue at Nelly’s head, but it missed and struck Nelly’s husband, Hank, killing him instantly.  Clyde ran out of the house, but keeping his wits, grabbed an antique candle holder as he fled the scene.  Nelly saw that her husband was dead and had a sudden heart attack as a result. 

Clyde came back to the house and told Able and Bonnie about the events.  They agreed to burn the house down to hide the evidence.  They went to their own garage and found a gas can, took some matches, and proceeded to Nelly’s home.  Able dowsed the front door with gas, and Bonnie lit the match.  Before dropping the match, the three decided together that burning the house would not solve their problems.  After Bonnie blew out the match, the three went returned the gas can to their garage. 

Able decided to sell the candleholder it to a friend named Nick, an antique collector.  Able called Nick and set up the place where Nick would meet Able and receive the stolen candleholder.  When Able arrived, he noticed that Nick was wearing a significantly expensive watch, more expensive than the candleholder.  They exchanged words for a moment, but Able was thinking how much more money he could get for his vacation if he had Nick’s watch.  He thought to himself, “I could hit Nick over the head with this candle holder and take the watch, that way we would have more money.  No one would miss Nick anyway.”  As soon as this thought raced through Able’s head, he struck Nick with the candle holder.  For good measure, he struck Nick again.  Nick died instantly.  Able left the antique candle holder at the scene.  Able thereafter returned to meet his friends.

The next day, Able noticed that Nick’s watch was a fake.  In fact, the watch was a “Polex,” not a “Rolex,” but Able scratched the “P” to look like an “R.”  He went to a pawn shop and told the dealer that he had this “Rolex” to sell.  The dealer agreed and gave a check to Able for $300.  After leaving the store, Able changed the $300 to $3000 with his pen and cashed it at a local bank. 

After splitting up the $3000, Able, Bonnie, and Clyde decided they should leave town and go to the beach, but they had no car.  Bonnie walked to Enis’ house, told Enis about the events, and pleaded with Enis to help them by letting them borrow his car (so they could leave town and avoid the police).  Enis agreed, but only if Bonnie would drop off a brown paper package at the home of Enis’ former girlfriend, who just broke up with Enis.  Bonnie took the package, which seemed to “tick” as if a clock were inside.  Enis said, “I want to kill my ex-girlfriend.”  Bonnie replied, “Yeah, I encourage you to do so.”  Bonnie did not ask any questions about the package and simply agreed to take it in exchange for the car. 

Bonnie knocked on the door and Enis’s former girlfriend answered.  Bonnie handed her the package and walked away.  On the way back to pick up Able and Clyde, Bonnie could see through the rearview that the home of Enis’s girlfriend immediately blew up after Bonnie dropped off the package.  Enis’s former girlfriend and her parents were killed.

Undaunted, Bonnie picked up Able and Clyde and headed for the beach.  Little did they know the police had found the antique candle holder next to Nick’s body.  They quickly linked that evidence to Able, Bonnie, and Clyde.  There was an immediate APB out, and a patrolling officer (O hereafter) noticed Able, Bonnie, and Clyde in the car ahead.  O pulled the boys over.  Over the loudspeaker, O said, “step out of the car, please.”  The boys, knowing they were caught, decided it was time to bone up for what they had done.  All three calmly exited the car, raised their hands, and turned to O.  O arrested all three without incident. 

  1. What substantive crimes did Clyde commit?
  2. Which crimes committed by Clyde, if any, can be imputed on either Able or Bonnie? Explain how.
  3. What substantive crimes did Able to commit?
  4. Which crimes committed by Able, if any, can be imputed on either Bonnie or Clyde? Explain how.
  5. What substantive crimes did Bonnie commit?
  6. Which crimes committed by Bonnie, if any, can be imputed on either Able or Clyde? Explain how.
  7. Did Nelly commit any crimes?
  8. What about Nick?
  9. Discuss the transaction between Bonnie and Enis. Any crimes?

**MemorandumAn informal record, in the form of a brief written note or outline, of a particular legal transaction or document for the purpose of aiding the parties in remembering particular points or for future reference.

A memorandum may be used in court to prove that a particular contract was made. For instance, in a real estate transaction, a memorandum can be used to show that the parties to a sale have entered into an agreement to sell a particular parcel at an indicated price, in addition to other details of the agreement. This type of memorandum is also referred to as a binder.

An attorney might use a memorandum to explain and summarize a specific point of law for a judge or for another attorney.

A memorandum decision is a written decision, issued by a court, which reports the ruling, and the decisions and orders of the court. It does not, however, contain an opinion, which is an explanation of the rationale upon which the decision was based.

West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.memorandumn. 1) brief writing, note, summary, or outline. 2) A “memorandum of decision,” or “memorandum opinion” are brief statements by a judge announcing his/her ruling without detail or giving extensive reasons, which may or may not be followed by a more comprehensive written decision. Such memoranda (plural) are issued by appeals courts in a language such as: “The petition of the appellant is denied for the reasons stated in Albini v. Younger,” or “The decision below is affirmed.”

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published in 1856.

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