Welcome

Welcome to my Law blog specifically intended as an aid to law students. I will post comments and white papers, from time to time, and I am happy to carry on conversations with students who are in need of help in law school.


I am most conservative and appropriate in my approach so if you comment and/or have questions to ask, please do so with an equal degree of appropriateness.



I am a Professor of Law at Concord Law School, an Internet Law School located in Los Angeles, though I live, teach and otherwise work out of Lakewood, Colorado, resting up against the foothills just west of Denver.

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I have no set schedule of posting, but I hope you will check in from time to time.

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Friday, July 2, 2010

2 - Special Duty Rules – (Common Carriers)

2 - Special Duty Rules – (Common Carriers)

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FOLLOWING IS TAKEN FROM SOME OF MY CLASS NOTES, SOME OF WHICH IS MY OWN PERSONAL WORK AND SOME OF WHICH BELONGS TO CONCORD LAW SCHOOL.  IT IS POSTED TO HELP MY IL STUDENTS IN PARTICULAR.  IT CANNOT BE DISSEMINATED WITHOUT EXPRESS, WRITTEN PERMISSION.

A common carrier is a bus company, airline company, passenger railroad company, shuttle service company and the like – those who transport people. These common carriers owe a duty of “highest care.” In other words, the duty of a common carrier is higher that the customary or general duty of care – a duty to act with reasonable care to any foreseeable plaintiff (that is, persons within the zone of danger).

One who car pools to work and drives co-workers is not normally considered a common carrier since it is usually an arrangement as a “not-for-profit service,” that of the before-described common carrier. Common carriers usually carry passengers "for hire." Watch out, though, for situations where the driver of a car pool receives something of value, generally in addition to a trade off in driving. If other value is received, the driver might be considered “for hire.”

One quick comment regarding guest statutes. A guest statute precludes guests in a car from holding the driver liable for injuries resulting from the negligence of the driver. In such case, the standard of care would be lower than the general duty/standard. However, a driver will be liable if she engages in wanton, reckless or intentional conduct. Today, guest statutes are in an extreme minority. Nearly all states allow passengers to sue drivers.

Next: Special Duty Rules – Owners and Occupiers of Land (Licensees)

Professor Doug Holden
© 2010. Douglas S. Holden. All Rights Reserved.

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