Additional to A20160426-118

Students will complete a 2-page legal essay describing the background of a case to a non-legal audience, and then argue why the outcome was fair or unfair. The essay must describe an abundance of complex legal information and arguments; the assignment therefore exercises written clarity and brevity. Details will be discussed during class and on the Canvas pages.


The syllabus discusses late policies. You can submit the assignment early.

Assignment: Draft a 1-2 page essay arguing whether the outcome of the McDonalds hot coffee case was fair. Your audience is a non-lawyer who is unfamiliar with the case. Please 1) explain the background of the case; and 2) argue for or against the fairness of the outcome. Put differently, you should tell me whether you think the court system did a good job in this case. Your should divide your essay into (roughly) three sections:

a thesis, a roadmap, and a summary of the case background
an argument advocating for or against the outcome of the case
a counter argument and a rebuttal
You will earn points based on:


Your essay should employ clear writing and organization. Please visit,_Concise,_and_Direct_Sentences.pdf for practical tips regarding clear writing.

Proper punctuation, grammar, style, and voice25%

Your essay should follow correct grammar and utilize the writing style suggestions from the above tip sheet. Your essay should be clean and final as if it were the last iteration. Please utilize the writing workshop, as detailed in the syllabus, if you are concerned about your punctuation, grammar, style, and/or voice.

Thoughtful summary and argument25%

The McDonalds hot coffee case and the surrounding issues are complex. But you must summarize the most relevant facts and then present the best arguments and counter argumentsyou must decide which facts and arguments warrant a place in the essay.

Please do not perform any outside research. You are permitted to cite only your textbook readings and the below sources:
When directly quoting sources, referencing articles, or borrowing arguments, simply mention the source, e.g., As The Economist argued, …). You should use 12-point, Times New Roman, single-spaced font.

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