You are unlikely to be asked to draft proposed legislation very often, but having gone through the exercise is a good way to sharpen your sensitivity to possible errors and omissions in proposed legislation drafted by others.
November 2, 2022
Nature of assignment: You are unlikely to be asked to draft proposed legislation very often, but having gone through the exercise is a good way to sharpen your sensitivity to possible errors and omissions in proposed legislation drafted by others. Accordingly, this Short Paper assignment asks you to draft a bill to address the following situation.
Situation: You are a member of the staff of a State Senator in your state. There are many lakes and ponds on private land throughout the state. From time to time, children or adults are injured or killed when they fish or swim in such lakes or ponds after having entered without the land owner’s permission. In some such instances, the injured person or the family of the deceased person brings tort suit in state court, claiming that the land owner’s failure to take steps to prevent people from entering onto the land to fish or swim was a failure of care, entitling the plaintiff to recover damages for the injury or death. The decisions of the courts have been highly inconsistent. Some courts have held for the plaintiffs. Others have held for the land owners on the ground that the injured or deceased person caused the problem by trespassing onto the property. Your Senator feels strongly about this issue and has asked you to draft a bill (which the Senator will then introduce) to deal with this matter. The bill should prescribe a clear rule to govern future law suits of this nature.