Description of a Brief in Law

Appellate Brief

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Appellate Brief

Introduction

 A brief in law gets defined as a legal document laying out the argument for various motions and petitions that are presented to the court to counter the arguments brought up by the opposition and present the judges with explanations why the matter should get ruled in the party that drafted the brief’s favor. A brief of appellate nature or an appellate brief, therefore, is a document that is written and presented to the Supreme Court explaining the reasons why a superior court made a mistake in deciding the matter in the manner in which it did. The appellate brief gets presented to the appeals court by the appellant’s lawyer explaining the reasons why the case should have been decided in favor of the appellant. The aim of this brief is to convince the judges to decide the matter in favor of the appellant, and as such, the lawyer, in this case, needs to have sufficient legal grounds for filing for such an appeal. This paper will entail a look into the legal terms in relation to the law of agency and drafting an appellate brief to be presented in the appellate court to the state of Florida.

Employee and independent contractor

            In legal terms, an employee gets defined as an individual who gets hired for a salary, wage, payment, or a particular fee to carry out some work for an employer. In the law of agency, an employee gets described as an agent while the employer is referred to as a principal. The law of employment is responsible for the regulation of relationships between employees and employers in such a way that it establishes the rights of employees in the course of carrying out their employment responsibilities and duties, it governs the expectations that employers can have of employees and sets limitations to what employers can ask employees to do. An independent contractor is an entity or individual that gets contracted to deliver services or goods to an organization under a contract that is written but is not an employee of that particular employer Loewenstein, 2016). What differentiates an independent contractor from an employee is the fact that an employee works on a regular basis while an independent contractor delivers services and goods during the specific times or period stipulated in the contract (Dubal, 2018). Also, independent contractors pay their own healthcare taxes and social security while employee’s costs of healthcare and social security get paid by the employer as provided by the employment contracts and the agency laws.

Vicarious liability

The law of agency defines vicarious liability as to the liability that a person in charge of supervision, for instance, an employer, bears for the actions of a subordinate, like an employee, and is based on the nature of the relationship they have (Sharkey, 2018). For example, if the actions of an employee cause harm to another employee during the operation of certain equipment that required the supervision of the employer, then the employer will be held liable for negligence on the part of the employee who negligently inflicted the harm on another. Under the doctrines of common law, for instance, a member of a conspiracy can also be held liable for the actions of the other members of the conspiracy if the actions that got committed were aimed at furthering the particular conspiracy. In reference to the case above involving Mathews, vicarious liability gets brought out in such a way that the employer was negligent in failing to supervise the work of the employees, and as such, the accident happened to result in a physical injury of another employee that was innocent. An example of a case where vicarious liability was brought out is the 1871 case of the Great Chicago Fire. In the Chemco case, therefore, the employer should be held liable for damages for the injury suffered by Mathews caused by the negligent acts of the employees who the employer was supposed to supervise.

The concept, “to act within their employment scope” means a worker carrying out activities that will reasonably be undertaken as part of the job. If a third party gets injured by an employee in the course of carrying out her duties as an employee, the employer will be held liable for her actions if she caused the injury in the course of her employment duties to the organization. The liability can be placed on the employer for the employee’s conduct. My actions in the Chemco case would be to represent Mathews in filing for compensation for the employer to provide financial, insurance, and medical assistance. The employer should also be obliged to establish the right measures for safety in the company in order to avoid such accidents in the future.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA

SUPREME COURT CASE NO:

5D14-7680

FIFTH DISTRICT CASE NO: 5D14-7680

MATTHEWS ANDREW, EMPLOYEE,

Appellant,

Vs.

CHEMCO COMPANY, WEAST PALM BEACH,

FLORIDA,

Respondent.

APPELLANT MATTHEWS ANDREW,

INITIAL BRIEF ON COMPENSATION

MARK MICHEL & JOE BENDON, P.A.

Counsel for MATHEW ANDREW

2830 Hollywood Blvd

4th Floor

Hollywood, Fla. 33021

Telephone (954) 324 1652

Facsimile (954) 263 2780

Email, [email protected]

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TABLE OF CITATIONS…………………………………………………………………………….5

INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………………………….6

STATEMENT OF THE CASE AND FACTS…………………………………………………..6

ARGUMENT……………………………………………………………………………………………….7-9

CONCLUSION…………………………………………………………………………………………. 10

TABLE OF CITATIONS

Cases                                                                                                                            Page

Fish Tale Sales & Serv., v. Nice, 106 So. 3d 57 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2013)……………8

Florida Employers Ins. Serv. V. Norco, 723 So. 2d 875 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1998)…..7

Wendt v. La Costa Beach Resort Condominium Ass’n, 4 So. 3d 1179 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2009)…………………………………………………………………………………………..8

Safe care Med. Ctr. v. Howard, 670 So.2d 1020, 1022 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996)…………………8

Meister v. Fisher, 462 So. 2d 1071, 1072 (Fla. 1984)………………………………………….9

Weber v. Porco, 100 So. 2d 146, 149 (Fla. 1958)………………………………………………9

INTRODUCTION

            This initial brief on jurisdiction is filed on behalf of Matthews Andrew, an employee, most specifically an office worker in Chemco Company. The matter has been brought to the Florida Supreme Court on appeal for the purpose of reversing or setting aside a judgment from the previous court to be decided in favor of the appellant. The appellant is seeking compensation from the company in terms of financial, insurance, and medical assistance for the injury suffered in the course of employment by the negligent acts of the employees who the employer was supposed to supervise. The point on appeal in this matter is that the previous court decided in favor of Chemco and did not award any damages for the injury caused to the appellant.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE AND FACTS

            This appeal arises from the fact that the previous court did not grant the appellant any damages from the injury caused by the negligence of the defendant’s actions and actions of the employees under their supervision. Chemco defended itself against claims of vicarious liability by stating that it was only accountable for the employees’ actions and that the individuals accountable for the accident were not employees, but individual contractors contracted for a specific period of time. As such, Chemco argued that the person liable for the damages is the individual that caused the damage. Their argument was based on the fact that the company did not cover insurance for independent contractors and that it was not liable for the injury suffered by the appellant, and thus, it could not compensate him.

ARGUMENT

            The basis for this argument is the provision of statutes, s. 440.10 of the statutes of Florida that establishes the concept of vicarious liability in agency law. This statute establishes the liability of the employer for the conduct of the employee, restricted to actions that happen in the course of employment, and while carrying out duties to further the course of the employer. Statute 440.11 of the statutes of Florida provides that an employee who has been injured in the course of employment by the negligent acts of the employer directly or indirectly can sue the employer if he fails to compensate him for the damages. The appellant was a third party, carrying on his employment duties in the company when he got injured from the negligent acts of the employees who had just been hired. The employer was under an obligation by law to supervise the work of his employees, whether they were permanent or just contractors, as, despite that, he was still responsible for their actions as the principal.

            The basis of my appeal is also in reference to some previous court decisions in cases relevant to vicarious liability. The Court in Florida Employers Ins. Serv. V. Norco, 723 So. 2d 875 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1998) established the basis of recovery of damages in an agency. The court stated that for the plaintiff to recover damages from an injury caused in the course of employment, he must first establish that he did not contribute or be part of the reason for the injury, he must prove that he was not at fault in any way at the time the injury was incurred. In this case, therefore, Matthews was in the office carrying out his official duties as usual when he got hit by the debris that was flying. It was not his fault in any way since he was injured in the course of employment. Based on the decision in the case above, there is simply no reason why Matthews should not be compensated for the injury he suffered at his lace of work.

            The decision in Fish Tale Sales & Serv., v. Nice, 106 So. 3d 57 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2013) established the motion for leave with regard to the filing of third party complaints by plaintiffs. It established that despite the limited availability of the common law indemnity under GML, an in-individual or employer who was not negligent could seek protection by filing damages against the manufacturer of the faulty equipment that caused injury upon a third party, whose injury the non-negligent employer may be held liable for. In the argument by Chemco, the company argued that the injury was due to the defectiveness of the equipment, the crane for loading and that it had nothing to do with the actions of the employees. This is the basis upon the case concluded.in this case; therefore, the plaintiff has a right to file a negligence suit against the company, Chemco. He was injured while performing his duties to the organization. Chemco can then sue the crane company for selling them equipment that was faulty. The employer’s duty is to the employees to ensure that they are safe. Mathews cannot sue Chemco for damages because he is not the one who entered into a contract for sale with the company. The appellant, Matthews, has sufficient ground for suing Chemco for compensation of injury caused in the course of employment. The employer should be held vicariously liable for the employees’ actions and compensate the appellant for the injury he suffered at his place of work.

            In Wendt v. La Costa Beach Resort Condominium Ass’n, 4 So. 3d 1179 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2009), it was a classic example of when a party can be held vicariously liable for the injury caused to a third party in the course of employment. It also explains how the party being held liable can seek damages from the party who actually caused the damage. This is relevant to the Safecare Med. Ctr. v. Howard, 670 So.2d 1020, 1022 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996) case in which the directors failed to allege that they had discharged a duty that was supposed to be discharged by the association. They failed to disclose that they were exposed to liability caused by the unjust acts of the association. They also failed to allege the vicarious liability claim that had been brought against them by a third party for injury caused by the association. If they did, the association would have been the one held vicariously liable for such actions. This, to this case, Matthews brought a suit against Chemco, it was their duty to prove to the court without reasonable doubt that the injury caused to the appellant was due to the negligent acts of the manufacturer of the crane in manufacturing equipment that was faulty.

            In Meister v. Fisher, 462 So. 2d 1071, 1072 (Fla. 1984), with regard to the issue of vicarious liability on the part of the employer. It was held by the court that the doctrine of vicarious liability is applicable on the basis that, “the fact that is practicable that the owner of the particular instrument or equipment that has the capability of inflicting injury and placing the person who is using it and those around him in danger, should be held liable for the equipment misuse by anyone operating it with his knowledge.” Also, he is under an obligation to ensure that the instrument gets used in the right way by supervising. In the Matthews case, therefore, the manager that was on site was under an obligation to supervise the workers and ensure that they use the equipment was being used as he had instructed.

            The doctrine of dangerous instrumentality in Florida was created by the judiciary out of the principles of agency and the doctrine of respondeat superior. A study of the application and origin of the vicarious liability doctrine on the part of the employer in this case clearly shows that despite the limitations in its application, liability still arises from the relationship between the agent and the principal as implied in the law of agency. It was stated in Weber v. Porco, 100 So.

2d 146, 149 (Fla. 1958) that in recognizing zing the issues if liability under the doctrines of vicarious liability, the court has applied the respondear superior rule. When an employer gives authority to an employer to use certain equipment, then he becomes the principal, and the employee becomes his agent. As such, when the manager left the employees and instructed them to use the smaller crane, it was assumed by the employees that they could choose which one to use as he only gave an opinion that the smaller crane would be faster. The principal-agent relationship got implied by the law automatically the moment the workers were hired by the company.

CONCLUSION

            Therefore, on the basis of the authorities and facts presented in the argument, the appellant, Matthews Andrew, an employee of Chemco kindly makes a request that this honorable court should reconsider the decision and hold that the respondent is liable for the injury caused to the appellant and thus compensation should be awarded under Florida statute 440.11.

Dated on this 9th day ofApril 2020

References

Dubal, V. B. (2018). Employment Law: Employee vs. Independent Contractor Dichotomy. The Judges’ Book, 2(1), 10. Retrieved from https://repository.uchastings.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1025&context=judgesbook

Loewenstein, M. J. (2016). Agency law and the new economy. Bus. Law. 72, 1009. Retrieved from https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/busl72&section=68

Sharkey, C. M. (2018). Institutional Liability for Employees’ Intentional Torts: Vicarious Liability as a Quasi-Substitute for Punitive Damages. Val. U.L., Rev., 53, 1. Retrieved from https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/valur53&section=5

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