Learning Goal: I’m working on a law discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.
With this topic, I want to challenge you to begin the methodical analysis of a legal problem.
In the very first week of law school all students are introduced to the IRAC acronym as the framework for analyzing legal problems. This approach becomes so embedded in an attorney’s way of thinking and is so useful in breaking down very complex legal problems with many separate legal issues into smaller, manageable parts, that it remains with most, if not all attorneys throughout their careers. Here it is:
Using these IRAC headings the legal problem is analyzed as follows:
This is the identification of the legal issue being analyzed. For example, if the question is whether the tort of fraud exists, next to this heading would be: “Is there fraud?”
R: (Rule of Law)
Next to this heading, the applicable rule of law is stated , setting out the required elements. If the issue is fraud, I would state: Fraud requires (1) a misrepresentation; (2) of a material fact; (3) made with knowledge of the falsity; (4) intention to deceive; (5) actual and reasonable reliance on the misrepresentation by the victim; (6) and resulting injury.
A: (Analysis of the law and facts)
Under this heading I analyze the facts to make sure each element of the tort stated under “R” exists in the situation being analyzed. If any element of the tort is missing, a claim to recover for that tort fails.
Here the conclusion of your analysis is stated. In our example, there is or is not the tort of fraud.
Most legal problems involve several separate IRAC analysis of each legal issue. For example, there may be a separate analysis of whether there was reasonable reliance, or a defense (like consent in a battery case).
This approach has the advantages of forcing analysis of each element, avoiding jumping to a conclusion without proper analysis, and breaking down the problem into small, manageable parts.
Using your new approach do and post a brief IRAC analysis of the following:
Bob went to a car dealership to buy a new car. He gave the used car manager his keys to the car he planned to trade in to buy the new car so that the manager could place a value on the trade. Negotiations continued for hours. Tiring of the process, Bob said that he wanted his keys returned so he could leave and go home. Instead of giving the keys to Bob so he could leave, the car salesman smiled and threw the keys on top of the building housing the car dealership. The salesman said: “It will take about 2 hours to retrieve your keys, so lets discuss buying the new car while we wait.”
Bob, in frustration, agreed to buy the new car, paying a bit more than he wanted.
Using the IRAC analysis approach very briefly answer this: Does Bob have claim of the tort of False Imprisonment against the car salesman.?
Here is “I:” Does False Imprisonment exist.
Here is “R” (the elements of false imprisonment): False Imprisonment is (1) intentional (2) confinement of a person (3) without legal privilege (4) for an appreciable length of time.
You need only complete the IRAC analysis by doing the A and C sections of the analysis.
A: You do the analysis, evaluating whether each element exists.
C: You state your conclusion based on your analysis.