EB shares updates on previously discussed cases and his gratefulness for freedom and democracy. The Weekend Update concludes with two new law library terms, scintilla of evidence and res ipsa loquitur.


Hey there Premium Members, True Sunlight listeners, Cup of Justice listeners, EB here for our weekly update. Not a lot has happened legally in South Carolina this week, a lot nationally that we’ll talk about. You know, we have the O’Keefe trial going on in Massachusetts. And one of the women who was with Karen Read when they discovered her boyfriend dead in the snow drift in the morning, she testified this week, and she did a really good job on cross examination. The defense I think, lost some ground by putting her on. 

We have the Gregor trial going on in New Jersey, which is the treadmill trial and it came out this week, two days after his son died he was in Arkansas and taking a circuitous route to look like he was going to cross the border with a girlfriend. Just a really, really bad guy and he’s showing his true colors. He is defending and saying that, you know, the mother was the cause of this, that she was a drug addict. The real sad part is that it was a five year old kid that was the recipient of some really bad parenting evidently by the mother and definitely by the father. And that’s why we’re such victim advocates. This is why we advocate for victims on Cup of Justice and on True Sunlight. This is why Luna Shark Productions exists: to be the voice for those that can’t be a voice for themselves, this five year old boy. 

We also have the conclusion of the Trump hush money trial coming on in New York next week, we’ll be jury charges by the judge and then closing arguments. That’s a trial that I think never should have happened. I disagree with the charges that were brought and if it was to be brought the right way it should have been brought in federal court. But I do want to talk a minute about what this election is for our country. You know, it’s easy to say, well, let’s leave everything up to the states. But at the same time, I like that we have a federal government that supervises the airplane industry, I don’t want to leave the safety of airplanes  just to the companies like Delta, United, and American Airlines. I like the fact that the FAA has to make sure that their airplanes are safe. I like the fact that the EPA makes sure that I have safe drinking water and the fish that I get out of Lake Murray isn’t polluted by, you know, environmental contaminants. I like the fact that when I get on a train, the National Transportation Authority has certified that the trains are safe. So let’s think about what type of government that we want. 

I love being an American, I can’t imagine living in any other country. I can’t imagine that I would have the life that I have in any other country. And so I am for democracy, I’m not talking about one candidate or the other. For me, it’s about democracy. So it’s an important election, everybody needs to educate themselves on that. 

We also are moving into the summer season. So when we get into the summer season, that means sitting by the beach or in the mountains or by your pool, and start reading a good book. I’m reading The Demon Within by Erik Larsen. He’s one of my favorite authors. He has written my favorite book, which is called the Devil in the White City. It’s about a serial killer at the turn of the 1900s at the Chicago World Fair, you will absolutely love that book. I heard that Leonardo DiCaprio got the rights to that movie and it’s a great book. He also has written a book called The Splendid and the Vile in the Garden of Beast, which is about the ambassador to the United States in Germany, right before the Holocaust. So those are really, really good books that you can sink your teeth into this summer. 

My daughter just came home; first time we’ve seen her in about five months, so excited to get about four days with her. During Memorial Day weekend I want everybody to be healthy. Enjoy their families, take a respite from work and the stress of life and just take a minute to be thankful how great it is that we live in a country that we fight for our freedoms and democracy. And let’s take time this weekend to think about those that have served, those that have given their life and families that have lost loved ones who have served in the military. I think I’ve said it before, the greatest lament that I have in my life is that I have not served my country and my hat’s off and every time I walked by a soldier or somebody in uniform, I say you know, thank you for your service. I learned that from Ross Perot in 1992, when he ran for president, and they do appreciate it. So let’s take a minute this weekend or two and think about all those that have sacrificed so that we can live in peace. 

So with that, I’m gonna put my legal cap on, we’re going to move over to the Law Library, and we’re going to talk two terms: scintilla of evidence and the other is res ipsa loquitur.  Scintilla of evidence is how the court would describe what you must show to prove your claim in order to avoid what’s known as summary judgment. So you bring your case, by filing a written complaint. And in that complaint, you set forth the facts on why you’re suing and then you sue based on certain causes of action: negligence, trust, pass, defamation, assault and battery. Things of that nature, different kinds of claims that you may have heard about. And then what happens is you go through the discovery process, usually there’s a motion to dismiss, but they’re not granted, that’s a motion to dismiss is when the court looks at your complaint and just make sure that you’ve alleged, the necessary facts, and you’ve alleged the causes of action correctly, they won’t pass on the merits of what you’re alleging, at that point in time. Then you go through the discovery process: you take depositions, you exchange documents, and interrogatories, which you ask questions of each other in writing. And then you get to the point, right before you’re going to come to trial. And the defendant, or the plaintiff files a motion for summary judgment, which means they want the court to actually look at all the discovery that has been done and determine that there are no triable issues of fact and no material facts in dispute. And so, that is called a motion for summary judgment. And in order to overcome a motion for summary judgment, you used to have to just show a scintilla of evidence to prove that there are material facts in dispute and if there are material facts in dispute, then the court will send it to the jury for your jury trial. Well, last year, about a year and a half ago, they changed that scintilla of evidence. A scintilla means just a little bit, a slim amount. Now the court wants you to have more than just a scintilla of evidence so scintilla of evidence is just a slight bit that you have to show to show that there were material facts in dispute. So it’s a neat little concept. You hear that term, now you guys know what it means. And you can tell everybody that well now you got to show more than just a slim piece of evidence, you gotta show a pretty good bit of evidence to withstand summary judgment.

 The next is called res ipsa loquitur. And what that means is the thing speaks for itself. So in a lot of cases, products, liability cases and defective highway cases where you say the road was not constructed properly or designed properly, it’s too much of a turn where the speed limit was going 40 miles an hour or they didn’t have the right guardrails, you have to have an expert witness in that particular discipline to come in and say that to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty, this was designed improperly or to reasonable degree of scientific certainty or medical certainty that the doctor deviated from the standard of care and you have an expert can say that. Res ipsa loquitur means you don’t even have to come forward with an expert. it means that the thing speaks for itself, like if you’re on a train and the track just you know, Gateway you’re going over a bridge and the bridge collapses or you’re walking on a driveway and the driveway just collapses or you’re in a street and you go into a sinkhole, that you don’t even have to prove the negligence, that you don’t have to prove the negligence that the court will take notice. So the burden of proof when you bring a negligence claim is always on the plaintiff. And you have to show by a preponderance of evidence more likely than not just a little more than 50% that the defendant was negligent in res ipsa loquitur, it means you don’t even have to prove that that the court will take notice that it’s absolutely open and obvious what had happened. And all you would have to prove would be that you were injured proximate cause from that negligence, and then it costs you damages. So it just takes away the burden of proving liability in certain situations. That’s what res ipsa loquitur, the thing speaks for itself, means. 

So with that said, everybody have a great weekend. EB out.

Please sign into your Premium account then refresh this page to view this content.