Analysis of a Jurisdictional Split: Social Host Liability

You are a law clerk for the chief judge of the Setonia Supreme Court. The court has just heard a case brought by a pedestrian who was severely injured by a drunk driver. Among the defendants in the case are a couple that was hosting a party attended by the diver before the accident. The driver of the car was clearly drunk when he left the party, a fact that was obvious to everyone, including the hosts. Yet, no one made any effort to prevent him from driving away.

The issue of social host liability has never been resolved by the Setonia courts, so the judge has asked you to consider the implications of decisions from other jurisdictions. Your research has uncovered two competing cases, one from North Carolina (Hart v. Ivey) and another from Delaware (Shea v. Matassa). Both of the decisions are posted on Blackboard with the materials for week 2.

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Please write a memo (about 1300-1500 words double-spaced pages) for your judge explaining the decisions and analyzing the factors that led the courts to reach contrary results. Your memo should include your own advice on whether the court should recognize a common-law duty of social hosts to prevent drunken guesbcqts from getting on the road.

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