CASE NAME: Draco Malfoy v. Harry Potter
Example 1: Malfoy’s Pre-Trial Brief
MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES
Plaintiff Draco Malfoy, an outstanding student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (“Hogwarts”), suffered a needless physical injury at the hands of a fellow student, Defendant Harry Potter. More particularly, Potter viciously rammed his flighted broom into the back of Malfoy’s flighted broom, causing Malfoy to lose control and tumble to the ground. As Malfoy lay helpless, Potter gleefully proclaimed his happiness that the accident occurred in the manner that it did. Given Potter’s malice, and that there is no colorable argument that Potter was not at fault for this standard rear-end collision, this Court should find in favor of Malfoy and award him both compensatory and punitive damages.
II. Statement of Facts
Malfoy is a student at Hogwarts and an esteemed member of the Slytherin House. Declaration of Draco Malfoy (the “Malfoy Decl.”), ¶ 2. He also is skilled in the art of broomery, which has earned him the coveted position of “seeker” on the Slytherin quidditch team. Id. On or about May 17 [year intentionally omitted], Malfoy was traversing the skies above Hogwarts with two other students, Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle. Id. At all relevant times, the trio were following the applicable air and speed regulations. Id. Additionally, Malfoy was driving a state-of-the art Nimbus broom, which featured the maximum safety devices and charms, all of which were operable and functioning at the time of the collision. Id.
The collision occurred at approximately 3:30 in the afternoon, marking a half-hour after the completion of regular classes. Malfoy Decl., ¶ 3. Malfoy, along with Crabbe and Goyle, flew in triangular formation when Potter violently slammed into the back of Malfoy’s Nimbus. Id. Malfoy was ejected, falling approximately 50 feet to the ground. Id. Calling on his exceptional talent as both a broomster and a student wizard, Malfoy was able to utilize a cushioning charm to soften his fall. Id. at ¶ 4. Yet Malfoy could not completely avoid injury. Id. While his descent was slowed, he still tumbled hard onto a steel bench. Id.
Crabbe and Goyle immediately came to Malfoy’s aid. Malfoy Decl., ¶ 5; see also Deposition Transcript of Vincent Crabbe (the “Crabbe Depo.”), 27:11-28:18; accord Deposition of Gregory Goyle (the “Goyle Depo.”), 16:1-17:7. Potter also descended to the ground – albeit safely – where he all but ignored Malfoy and instead immediately ran to two other Hogwarts students, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. Id. Even worse, as Malfoy lay on the ground, Goyle overheard Potter express gratitude that the accident occurred in the manner that it did. Id. at 21:4-11. This account was confirmed by Granger, Weasley, and even Potter himself. Deposition of Harry Potter, 79:17-25; Deposition of Hermione Granger, 35:1-6; and Deposition of Ron Weasley, 42:2-18.
Directly following the collision, Malfoy presented to the Hogwarts Infirmary. Malfoy Decl., ¶ 6. Malfoy then reported the incident to the Hogwarts Police. Id. At that time, Malfoy was informed that the cause of a rear-end broom collision almost always is attributable to the flier of the rear broom. Id. at ¶ 7; see also Deposition of Officer Joseph Zimrang, 14:1-15:9.
PLEASE WAIT TO SCROLL TO THE SECOND EXAMPLE UNTIL YOU ARE DIRECTED TO DO SO.
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Example 2: Harry’s Pre-Trial Brief
MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES
Defendant Harry Potter has done no wrong. Harry was airborne practicing quidditch with his team directly above the playing field of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (“Hogwarts”) when Plaintiff Draco Malfoy violated school policy by entering the reserved airspace with two companions. The trio – led by Malfoy - targeted Harry with a “lunge and halt” maneuver designed to box in Harry and force him to decelerate at a dangerous rate. The resulting collision plummeted both Harry and Malfoy to the ground. Of course, they both were protected by automatic cushioning spells emanating from their respective brooms. Yet Malfoy overrode the charm at the last minute, targeting and narrowly missing crashing directly into two of Harry’s schoolmates, Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasley. In fact, but for a quick counter-charm by Granger, Malfoy would have pinned both Granger and Weasley against a steel bench.
The evidence demonstrates that Malfoy – and not Harry – is to blame. And even had Harry been negligent, the assumption of risk doctrine bars Malfoy’s claim because the collision occurred during a sporting practice. Moreover, Malfoy’s self-inflicted injuries were deemed de minimis at best by physicians at the Hogwarts Infirmary. More particularly, Malfoy was summarily discharged without medication or instruction. Accordingly, for all of these reasons, Harry respectfully requests that this Court find in his favor at trial.
II. Statement of Facts
A. Malfoy and Two of his Slytherin Quidditch Teammates Violated School Policy by Entering the Airspace Reserved by the Gryffindor Quidditch Team
Harry is a Hogwart’s student and a member of the world-class Gryffindor quidditch team, playing the vital position of “seeker.” Declaration of Harry Potter (the “Potter Dec.”) ¶ 2. Just prior to the collision, both the Gryffiindor and Slytherin teams were slated to play in the Hogwarts finals, with the winner advancing to the World Cup. Id. at ¶ 3. Harry was directly pitted against Malfoy, who was and is the seeker for the Slytherin team. Id.
Prior to the final match, both the Gryffindor and the Slytherin quidditch teams exercised their right to reserve practice time at the Hogwart Quiddicth Field (the “Field”). Declaration of Minerva McGonegall (the “McGonegall Dec.”) ¶ 2. More particularly, following the usual Hogwart’s protocol, each team was able to reserve an equal amount of practice time at the Field. Id. This reservation included both the ground-level playing field, as well as the air space above. Id. Pursuant to Rule 2.1 of the Hogwart’s Uniform Quidditch Regulations (“Rule 2.1”), members of opposing teams flatly are prohibited from entering the playing field or air space above the Field at any time during the period when the Field is reserved by any team. Id. at ¶¶ 3-4 and Ex. A. As plainly stated in Rule 2.1:
2.1 Prohibition Against Interference During Reserved Field Time
Each team’s reserved or allocated practice time for the Field is for the sole use of the team. All members of opposing teams, including coaches and assistants, are flatly prohibited from entering the Field, including the airspace above the field, during the time reserved by or allocated to another team for official quidditch practice.
Minerva Decl., ¶¶ 3-4 and Ex. A (italicized emphasis added).
In the days directly proceeding the collision, Malfoy and other Slytherin players, specifically including, but not limited to, Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle, routinely harassed and taunted Harry and other Gryffindor players. Potter Decl., ¶ 4. On the date of the collision, this harassment escalated. Id. and ¶ 5. More particularly, and with full knowledge of Rule 2.1, Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle deliberately flew their quidditch brooms in the airspace above the Field for the exact purpose of disrupting the Gryffindor team practice. Id. and Deposition of Draco Malfoy (the “Malfoy Depo.”), 17:3-25. Malfoy led the intrusion, accompanied by Crabbe and Goyle. Id. As frankly admitted by Malfoy at his deposition:
Q. When you entered the air space above the Field, were you aware that the Gryffindor team had reserved the space for quidditch practice?
A. We had an inkling. Let’s say a little sparrow told us.
Q. So you did it on purpose?
A. Sure. They’re big boys. They can handle it.
Q. But you also were aware that the Field is off-limits to members of an opposing team during another team’s practice?
A. We were just going to buzz-through, make our presence known. A little prequel to the big match.
Q. Who made the call to do this?
A. I made the call. I always do. Crabbe and Goyle went along.
Malfoy Depo. 17:3-25 (emphasis added).
As explained below, Malfoy’s intention was not only to disrupt the Gryffindor practice, but to also target Harry for a collision.
B. Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle Target Harry for an Illegal “Lunge and Halt” Maneuver, Which Causes Harry to be Ejected from His Broom when He Tries to Avoid the Collision.
When Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle purposefully violated Rule 2.1. and entered the reserved air space about the Field, the trio immediately began to dart mid-air at Gryffindor players. Potter Decl., ¶ 6. At that time, Harry was attempting to capture the snitch, a golden ball score point that flies at its own whim about the playing area. Id. When Harry saw Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle, Harry directed the trio to exit the air space, to no avail. Id. at ¶ 7. Malfoy instead signaled to Crabbe and Goyle to congregate near mid-field, refusing to leave. Id.
As Harry resumed his quest for the snitch, Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle took off in triangular fashion, with Malfoy at the apex. Potter Decl., ¶ 8. The trio then sped just past Harry, then dropped down – directly in Harry’s path – and abruptly decelerated. Id. This tactic is referred to in quidditch as a “lunge and halt” maneuver, which is prohibited in regular play. Id. Harry immediately decelerated and attempted to raise his broom to avoid a collision. Id. at ¶ 9. In the process, Harry crashed into the back of Malfoy’s broom, causing both Harry and Malfoy to be ejected. Id.
Notably, at Malfoy’s deposition, he did not dispute that he purposefully orchestrated the “lunge and halt” move. Malfoy Depo., 39:3-19. Again, as candidly admitted by Malfoy:
Q. So you admit that you and Crabbe and Goyle were in triangular formation?
A. We like doing that. They’re my wingmen.
Q. You were in the pathway directly above Potter, flying faster than he was.
A. We got better brooms. We wanted to rev them up.
Q. Then you dropped in right after you passed Potter, surrounding him?
A. We dropped in.
Q. And slammed on your decelerators? All three of you?
A. Wanted to see what he could do.
Q. That sounds to me like a “lunge and halt.” That’s prohibited in a game.
A. Yeah, well this wasn’t a game. And it’s not like that doesn’t happen in a game. He should thank me. I was just getting him ready.
Malfoy Depo., 39:3-19 (emphasis added); accord Deposition of Vincent Crabbe, 34:9-41:6 and Deposition of Gregory Goyle 24:3-21:5.
As explained below, although Malfoy was protected by a cushioning charm, he overrode that protection at the last minute to purposefully target both Granger and Weasley.
C. Although Malfoy was Protected by a “Cushioning Charm,” Malfoy Overrode that Protection in the Last Seconds of his Descent in an Attempt to Land on Granger and Weasley; But for a Swift Counter-Spell, Granger and Weasley would have been Pinned by Malfoy Against a Steel Bench.
At the time of the collision, Harry, along with Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle, were airborne approximately 50 feet above the ground level of the Field. Potter Decl., ¶ 10. Both Harry and Malfoy’s broom were equipped with the standard “cushioning charm” that provides for a soft landing following a crash and/or an ejection. Id. The softening occurs when, e.g., the flier is approximately 10 feet above ground. Id.
While Harry was able to float safely to the ground, Malfoy apparently steered his fall and overrode the “cushioning charm” in the last seconds in order to target two of Harry’s friends, namely, Granger and Weasely. Potter Decl., ¶ 11; accord Deposition of Hermione Granger (“Granger Depo.”) 33:7-38:15. Granger, who was seated on a steel bench with Weasley, noticed Malfoy’s acceleration and recognized that Malfoy was planning on lurching forward to land directly atop them on the steel bench. Id. Granger, a top wizarding student, snapped into action with a counter-charm that diverted Malfoy’s fall. Id.
Notably, while Malfoy did not admit that he overrode the “cushioning charm,” he conceded that he had no reason to believe that his top-of-the-line Nimbus broomstick had malfunctioned. Malfoy Depo., 45:3-19. He also admitted that he did indeed fall faster than expected at the end of his descent. Id. As plainly testified by Malfoy:
Q. Your broomstick was equipped with the standard “cushioning charm,” correct?
A. I wouldn’t say “standard.” This was a Nimbus 2001 – the best broomstick around.
Q. So it had the best “cushioning charm” around, right? Went off automatically?
A. Of course.
Q. But you lurched forward at the end of your fall. You must have overridden the charm?
A. Prove it.
Q. Do you have any reason to believe your “best broomstick around” malfunctioned?
Q. And you said you were injured when you landed. That is the basis of your lawsuit. You did fall faster at the end than you expected?
A. I dunno.
Q. Isn’t it true that a skilled quidditch player almost always can safely land so long as the “cushioning charm” is triggered? Either you’re not a skilled quidditch player or—
A. Alright, alright. I fell faster than I was supped to.
Malfoy Depo., 45:3-19 (emphasis added).
As explained below, Malfoy made no attempt to check on the welfare of anyone, not even Granger or Weasely. By contrast, Harry rushed over immediately upon landing to make sure no one was injured.
D. Upon Landing and Realizing the Close Call Caused by Malfoy’s Attempt to Crash Into Granger and Weasley; Harry Expresses Gratitude that No One was Harmed.
Harry landed about 40 feet away from the spot where Malfoy had attempted to crash into Granger and Weasley. Potter Decl., ¶ 12. This was because Harry purposefully steered his fall to an isolated area just left to the bench where Granger and Weasley were seated. Id. Harry immediately rushed over to offer assistance to Malfoy, as well as Granger and Weasley. Id.; accord Crabbe Depo., 37:5-19. Similarly, Crabbe and Goyle joined Malfoy. Id. Crabbe acknowledge that he heard Harry both ask if Malfoy was alright and express thanks that no one had been hurt. Id. As acknowledged by Crabbe:
Q. So Harry did ask if Malfoy was okay?
A. Yeah, though I’m sure he cared more about Hermione and Ron.
Q. Why do you say that?
A. Because he said – expressly said – that he was glad that they weren’t hurt and that Hermione did her little counter-spell.
Crabbe Depo., 37:5-19 (emphasis added); accord Potter Decl., ¶ 12.
Malfoy did not request medical assistance at the scene. Crabbe Depo., 54:14-28.
E. Following the Collision, Malfoy Flew Himself on His Broom to the Hogwart’s Infirmary Where He was Told He Suffered a De Minimis Injury – at Best – and Malfoy was Discharged Without Medication or Instruction.
Malfoy left the Field on his broomstick without any assistance. Malfoy Depo., 57:3-18. Later that afternoon, he presented to the Hogwart’s Infirmary. Id. The physicians did not find any significant injuries other than minor cuts and bruises. Id.; see also Deposition of Dr. Mildred Avantigan, 11:1-14:19. To be clear, Malfoy was discharged “without any medication or instruction.” Id.; accord Malfoy Depo., 67:2-9. Still, Malfoy filed his lawsuit seeking redress a few months later. See, e.g., Complaint.
1. In the second example, did you feel the need to click though to the evidence (other than just seeing how this is done)?
2. Were you convinced “right here, right now”?
3. Did the headings help you scroll through and pick up on the key facts?
Please feel free to send comments / questions to: Maureen.Johnson@lls.edu.