4.23.2008

Res Ipsa Loquitur

Another Lesson from "Law for the Little Guy"

Res ipsa loquitur
is a legal term from the Latin meaning literally, "the thing itself speaks" but is more often translated "the thing speaks for itself". It signifies that further details are unnecessary; the proof of the case is self-evident. The doctrine is applied to tort claims which, as a matter of law, do not have to be explained beyond the point where liability is established.

Mnemonic Device:
Rest easy you cheater,
I don't need any more proof
Res Ipsa Loquitur,
Your crime speaks for itself.

Explaining it to the kids:
Its the "no scalpel left behind" term. Say daddy goes in to a doctor for stomach pains after having his appendix removed. X-rays determine that daddy has a metal object the size and shape of a scalpel in his stomach. It requires no further explanation to show the surgeon who removed the appendix was negligent, as there is no legitimate reason for a doctor to leave a scalpel behind in an appendix operation. That surgeon would automatically be found guilty because we wouldn't need any more proof than that to drag his butt into court and sue him for every penny. Then you could have that Nintendo Wii you've wanted for so long.

1 comment:

larry said...

that was snap-orific!