ContractsProf Blog

Editor: D. A. Jeremy Telman
Valparaiso Univ. Law School

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Limerick of the Week: Gorton v. Doty

After a long hiatus from Limerick posting, I have decided to share with the blog's readership a selection from Volume II of my collection of Limericks for Lawyers.  Volume II summarizes cases covered in my Business Associations course, but many of the cases for that course raise contractual issues, so I figure that's a sufficient hook to permit me to post them here.

I teach the course using Klein, Ramseyer and Bainbridge's casebook, so those of you familiar with that book will know the cases.  Volume I of the Limericks for Lawyers series was based on my first-year contracts course, in which I used Knapp, Crystal and Prince's casebook. For the coming year, I am switching to the Conracts: Law in Action book, which means new cases, and yes, new contracts Limericks coming in the Fall.  This is not a knock on the Knapp book, of course, which I have enjoyed using.  I just need to use some new materials so as to awaken from my dogmatic slumbers.

So, without further ado.  The first case I teach in Business Associations is Gorton v. Doty, in which a high school teacher (Doty) is repaid for her patriot efforts on behalf of her school (Soda Springs) football team with a tort claim.  She loaned her car to Coach Garst so that he could drive the team to a game.  The Gorton boy was injured when Coach Garst got into an accident, but Ms. Doty was held liable as the principal since the court found that she had effectively made Coach Garst her agent by conditioning the loan of her car on his agreement to be the sole driver.

Gorton v. Doty

The court made Ms. Doty the heavy
When Coach Garst demolished her Chevy.
When Soda Springs lost the game,
Coach accepted the blame,
But the principal pays the tort levy.

[Jeremy Telman]

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