A client consults your office and relates the following facts.

Henry Strasser was a customer at Rick’s Café Americain. Mr. Strasser began drinking beer and liquor at 5:00 pm, ordering fourteen bottles of beer and two drinks of hard liquor and drinking at least one other drink that was purchased for him.  Mr. Strasser stopped drinking at about 10:00 pm that evening and left, but returned about forty-five minutes later and ordered three more bottles of beer and a shot of tequila.  After being served the tequila, Mr. Strasser was informed by his server that he was not going to be served any more alcohol. An employee of Rick’s offered to call him a cab. He refused.  Mr. Strasser left in his vehicle and was involved in an accident that injured one of the client’s daughters and caused the death of a second daughter.

The client wants to bring an civil action seeking damages from Rick’s Café Americain.

Your supervising attorney has heard of the term “Dram Shop” action and thinks it may be relevant.  She asks you to prepare a memorandum indicating if the client can pursue a Dram Shop action.  The attorney would like you to locate relevant state and federal authority.  You are also asked to locate relevant secondary authority. If there is no authority in your state the attorney would like you to find authority regarding how other states have handled this situation.

The memorandum should be no more than eight pages in length and should be double-spaced. Use Bluebook citation.

This is the hypothetical scenario to be used:

  1. A client consults your office and indicates he owns a house on a small tract of land.  His neighbor owns a 100 acre farm.  For the past fifteen years he has been farming on land that recently he has come to learn belongs to his neighbor.  He has harvested various crops throughout the years.  He indicates there was no fence so he did not realize he was on the neighbor’s land.  He has expended large sums of money over the years, clearing the land and planting crops.  He and neighbor have never discussed his farming.  He believes the neighbor was unaware of his activities.  He has heard about adverse possession and wants to know if he can claim this land as his as he has put so much money into it and the neighbor obviously does not use it.