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Core Negligence Approach
posted on in Torts by BarProse

Negligence is implicated when the facts of a prompt indicate that an individual did not act with due care. Negligence is a very broad category on the bar, so be sure to watch for facts that indicate special sub-rules such as professionals (doctors, lawyers, engineers etc.) or products liability. The following post will review the basic rules and outline for negligence. Later posts will address each sub-issue.

Core Approach

Actual Cause
Proximate Cause

P v. D for Negligence


Recite the parties to the negligence action along with the word Negligence. If negligence was implicated in the call of a numbered question, cite to that number.

February 2011 #4 Model B Paula v. Gayle
February 2011 #4 Model A 1. What theories may Paula bring [in] an action for damages against the following defendants:
(a) Paula v. Gayle
July 2011 # 1 Model A Patron (P) v. Homeowner (H)
The issue is under what theories P might bring an action against H.


Most law students are familiar with the elements of negligence. We recommend that you find a way to state them that is quick, understandable to you and the reader, and that will prime you for further analysis.

July 2014 #6 Model A In a negligence case, the plaintiff must show duty, breach, causation, and harm.
July 2011 #1 Model A Negligence is an action where a plaintiff asserts that a defendant breached a duty and caused damages. In order to prevail on a claim of negligence, the plaintiff must prove (1) Duty; (2) Breach; (3) Actual Causation; (4) Proximate Causation; and (5) Damages.
February 2011 #4 Model B To make out a prima facie negligence case, [P] must show that [D] (1) owed a duty to [P], (2) breached that duty, (3) the breach was both the cause-in-fact and proximate cause of [P’s] injuries, and (4) that [P] sustained damages.
July 2014 #6 Model B In all negligence actions, the plaintiff must establish a prima facie case for negligence, which generally is composed of four elements:
(i) defendant owes a duty to plaintiff,
(ii) that duty is breached,
(iii) the breach is the actual and proximate cause of the injury, and
(iv) damages to the person or property.

All four elements must be established to succeed on a negligence claim.
February 2011 #4 Model A In a negligence case, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. They also must show that the defendant's conduct breached the standard of care owed to the plaintiff and the breach was the actual and proximate cause of the injury to the plaintiff. The plaintiff must be able to show damages to recover in a negligence case.
Analysis & Conclusion

State the rule under the general heading and proceed without analysis.

Next: Duty

Please note: The model answers often contain errors of law, spelling and grammar. We provide them as starting points to craft your own responses.

Model answer materials The State Bar of California, used with permission. All other materials BarProse LLC