Officer Speedy of the Saint Leo police department was patrolling in her cruiser around midnight last night. A black sports car came careening around the corner and almost hit the cruiser. Officer Speedy pursued the sports car at a rate of speed in excess of 100 mph through downtown Saint Leo. The bars were closing and a number of people were in the area. Officer Speedy lost control of
the cruiser, jumped a curb, and hit and killed a pedestrian on the sidewalk. The sports car driver looked back to see what happened to the cruiser and drove into a telephone pole, killing him. The family of the pedestrian is threatening to sue the Sheriff and the city of Saint Leo. The family of the sports car driver is threatening to sue the Sheriff and the city of Saint Leo. The sheriff wants to know if either party has any legitimate claims, and if so, what are they? The department does not have a “hot pursuit” policy. Is that going to hurt the Sheriff’s case against any lawsuits? The Sheriff wants to know if she should discipline Officer Speedy and, if so, what are the arguments for and against.
Instructions for paper:
The Sheriff wants to read your legal memo, not a bunch of text citations, so put them in footnotes. APA provides for this. This does not mean you should not have a well-researched memo, with abundant citations; rather, it simply means you should put your citations in footnotes.
You are the Special Assistant to the Saint Leo Chief of Police (or, Saint Leo County Sheriff, as you prefer). As such, you are a very trusted and dependable aide. The chief relies on you for your good judgment, experience, and analytical abilities.
The Chief/Sheriff is fairly new to the Saint Leo Police Department (SLPD/SLCSO). There are many problems in the department, not all of which are the fault of this chief. However, the Chief/Sheriff wants to address some of the more pressing problems and resolve them, without litigation if possible.
The Department’s General Counsel is involved in ongoing litigation and is not available to provide guidance, and outside counsel is expensive and premature at this point. The Chief/Sheriff knows you are not an attorney. Therefore, the Chief/Sheriff needs your analysis of the facts and the relevant law on the problems presented.
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