Slip and Fall Practice.Charles E. Turnbow James Publishing Inc., P.O. Box 25202, Santa Ana Santa Ana, city, El Salvador
Santa Ana (sän'tä ä`nä), city (1993 pop. 129,873), W El Salvador. It is the second largest city in the country and the commercial and processing center for a sugarcane, coffee, and cattle region. , CA 92799. 400 pp., $99.
Reviewed by Gilbert H. Deitch
Slip & Fall Practice is a practical guide to handling slip and fall cases. This manual uses an exhaustive "checklist" approach with explanations on virtually every issue and element that might arise in these cases. Its three-ring notebook format allows easy updating with promised supplements.
The author, a professional engineer and an attorney, has been retained in a prodigious pro·di·gious
1. Impressively great in size, force, or extent; enormous: a prodigious storm.
2. Extraordinary; marvelous: a prodigious talent.
3. number of slip and fall cases over a period of 27 years. He advises both plaintiffs' trial lawyers and defense attorneys.
The book's topic well deserves the intensive coverage it gets. The book is divided into Case Evaluation and Litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.
When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation. . Evaluating claims requires rigorous investigation because of the inherent difficulties. Practitioners in the area are well aware of this need, especially in states with the common law's favored status to landowners and proprietors.
Chapter 1 provides a survey of the basic legal and factual elements and the nature of slip and fall claims. It notes the special problems and defenses that attorneys must consider during evaluation, and the evidence they must gather about the incident.
Chapter 2 surveys the law and by necessity is only a summary. This is a refresher course for lawyers and puts them on the trail of their own state's law. The book is almost too glib in its references to California cases and the "majority rule." I and many other attorneys must daily face the common law "minority rule" and its adherence adherence /ad·her·ence/ (ad-her´ens) the act or condition of sticking to something.
immune adherence to the importance of plaintiffs' "status." However, this does not detract from detract from
verb 1. lessen, reduce, diminish, lower, take away from, derogate, devaluate << OPPOSITE enhance
verb 2. the practical guidance that the manual offers.
In chapter 3, the author examines differences in the way people walk, the various surfaces on which they walk, and the variety of surfaces and obstacles where they walk.
Chapter 4 examines the details of experts' functions in measuring and testing of surfaces, shoes, and lighting; chapter 5 covers building codes. In chapter 6, the author provides a long list of types of premises, and the variety of defects that cause falls at those premises. Specific fact situations serve to illustrate each defect defect - bug .
Part Two: Litigation covers the preparation and conduct of a lawsuit lawsuit: see procedure; tort. , with specific information on pleadings pleadings: see procedure. , depositions, and other discovery. There are also helpful and detailed chapters on damages, evidence, and trial. Defending a slip and fall case is covered as well. This part of the book also discusses alternatives to litigation, such as settlement and arbitration arbitration
Process of resolving a dispute or a grievance outside a court system by presenting it for decision to an impartial third party. Both sides in the dispute usually must agree in advance to the choice of arbitrator and certify that they will abide by the .
Not surprisingly, given the author's background as an expert, there is a very useful chapter on selecting and using experts. Practitioners know that not all slip and fall cases require an expert, but when one is necessary, proper use can be critical.
The manual is logically laid out with issues and sub-issues that make it easy to find a particular item for review. Indeed, the thoroughness on so many points at times becomes overly elementary. For example, advice that clients should be warned not to discuss the case with opposing parties and their investigators would seem obvious to most attorneys and not of special importance in slip and fall cases.
However, this is a small fault, one easy to overlook in view of the manual's excellent index. So much of law practice is taken up with trying to find needed references. Turnbow's detailed and comprehensive index eliminates this problem.
The manual also alerts the practitioner to other possible claims and to defendants other than the proprietor proprietor n. the owner of anything, but particularly the owner of a business operated by that individual.
PROPRIETOR. The owner. (q.v.) of the establishment where the incident occurred. For example, we are alerted to consider shoes themselves as a potential defective defective adj. not being capable of fulfilling its function, ranging from a deed of land to a piece of equipment. (See: defect, defective title) product and their manufacturer a defendant of a products liability claim.
Slip & Fall Practice is an ideal choice for a new practitioner's library of practical handbooks. The book provides a valuable checklist of issues, as well as a source of ideas, for any attorney.
Gilbert H. Deitch, a lawyer and an engineer, practices in Atlanta.