Method for Briefing Cases
The IRAC method for briefing cases: INSTRUCTIONS: You are a regional manager tasked with investigating an incident that occurred at one
of your Chili’s restaurants located in southeast Florida. You must read the fact pattern below and
answer the questions that follow the fact pattern.
On the evening of March 20, 2014, Brenden Bosse (“Bosse”) and Michael Griffin (“Griffin”) were part
of a group of four teenagers ordering and eating a meal at the Chili’s Restaurant on Federal
Highway (U.S. 1), in Pompano Beach, Florida. The tab for the meal came to $56.00. They decided not
to pay. They went out of the building, got in their car (a gold-colored Camry), and headed
northward on U.S. 1.
A regular patron of the restaurant saw them leave without payment. He followed them in a white
sports utility vehicle. They saw him following. They drove into a parking lot at a nearby Best Buy
electronics store. The pursuing patron followed them into that lot. He got out of his SUV and
yelled words to the effect that he had seen them skip out on their bill at Chili’s and that they
would not get away with it. The patron’s car was unmarked; it bore no Chili’s insignia. He wore
civilian clothing and no uniform or other insignia of employment at Chili’s.
The teenagers then drove out of the Best Buy lot. The patron pursued them. A high-speed chase
ensued through Pompano Beach side streets.
By cell phone the patron was communicating to a male employee at Chili’s a description of the
teenagers’ car and the path of the chase. The male employee, in turn, was giving this information
to the outlet manager, Frank Conway. Conway called 911 and informed the dispatcher (a) that the
teenagers had run out on their bill, (b) that some of “our regulars were leaving and they . . .
they followed them and they just phoned back saying that they were down by the CVS and the high
school.” Conway described the teenagers’ gold-colored Camry to the dispatcher.
As Conway’s call was in progress, the 911 dispatcher was receiving multiple calls from observers
reporting a crash of an automobile in the vicinity of Pompano Beach High School. In the course of
the high-speed chase, the teenagers had collided with a cement or brick wall. The plaintiffs, Bosse
and Griffin, suffered the injuries generating the present lawsuit against Chili’s. The Chili’s
patron continued past the crash scene and left the area. He remains unidentified.
The plaintiffs sued Chili’s upon the theory of respondeat superior. They contend that the Chili’s
patron converted himself into a Chili’s servant; that he conducted his chase as an agent of the
restaurant; and that the restaurant should be liable for the consequences of his negligent or
The report must be in the following format: Using the I.R.A.C. writing format (four separate,
titled paragraphs), and single spaced.
This is the Issue: Under the laws of Agency, is the restaurant patron who engaged in the high-speed
chase an agent of Chili’s? Is Chili’s liable to plaintiffs under the theory of respondent superior?
I.R.A.C. Format and Substance
Please fallow the format below for this report:
Issue –The question(s) ABOVE are the issues—do not deviate, rewrite, reformat, combine, or in any
manner change the questions. Title the first paragraph “Issue” and cut and paste the questions
directly into the first paragraph of the report.
Rule – What is the rule(s) or law(s) that applies to the facts in this case? Specifically, what is
the law that governs this situation, including all of the elements of that law?
Analysis – This is where you perform an analysis of the incident by applying all of the elements of
the law to the facts in the case. Fully explore all elements of the law and explain your reasoning.
Avoid conclusory statements unsupported by the law or facts. The analysis section must thoroughly
consider all facts and all elements of the law and will be the largest part of the paper (it should
be approximately 2/3 to 3/4 of an entire page).
Conclusion – State your conclusion/answer to the issue questions posed above in one to two
sentences. Your conclusion must be supported by the analysis.
Here is an example of the case:
ISSUE: Under the laws of Agency, is the restaurant patron who engaged in the high-speed chase an
agent of Chili’s? Is Chili’s liable to plaintiffs under the theory of respondent superior?
RULE: This case involves the laws surrounding and including the doctrine of respondent superior.
The doctrine of respondent superior states that the principal holds vicarious liability, which is
liability assigned without fault, for any harm the agent causes while working for the principal. To
establish principal liability, the third party must show that the wrongful act occurred within the
scope of employment. The laws of agency formation are involved in this case, specifically agency by
implied authority and agency by estoppel. The elements for agency relationship formation applicable
to this case is: 1) They are being created for a lawful purpose. Several types of agency
relationships exist, and the one corresponding to this case is agency by estoppel, in which the
principal falsely leads a third party to believe another individual serves as his or her agent.
ANALYSIS: Before establishing if the doctrine of respondent superior applies, it is imperative to
establish if the patron himself is in fact an agent of Chili’s. Agency exists if and only if the
agency relationship was created for a lawful purpose. The regular patron who followed the
plaintiffs had the intent to catch the plaintiffs and turn them over to the police for failing to
pay their Chili’s restaurant bill. I do not find any reason to believe the creation of such agency
was made under unlawful terms. The patron pursuing the plaintiffs did so on his own accord after
noticing them not paying their restaurant bill, without the consent or desire from Chili’s. Chili’s
became involved once the patron began communicating with a Chili’s employee who, in turn, was
relaying the information to a member of the management team, Conway. One of the responsibilities
for any representative of a restaurant employee can reasonably be said to answer a telephone call,
in which this call had to do with one of their regular patrons. It could have been possible that
Conway or the employee on the phone with the patron could have requested to have the patron
withdraw from the pursuit. However, in these rapidly occurring events, that facts show that the
manager simply took this information and contacted 911 to inform dispatchers of the situation. I do
not believe that by not instructing the patron, that any kind of conduct on the principal was
committed to suggest a principal-agent relationship. There had not been any prior communication
between Conway and the patron and judging by the amount of the bill, I do not believe the
restaurant would have escalated the situation on their own even if the patron himself was not
chasing the teenagers. Restaurants often install surveillance systems and they just as well could
have taken action against the teenagers without being involved in the situation with the patron
voluntarily being in pursuit. The patron pursued individuals who had committed petty crime whereas
Conway reported petty crime to the police. It would be unreasonable to suggest that an agency
relationship exists due to these two occurrences. Thus, I cannot find evidence of agency by
estoppel nor the doctrine of respondent superior to be in effect as there was no existence of
employment or agency relationship from what the facts show between Chili’s and the patron pursing
CONCLUSION: Under the law governing agency formation and the doctrine of respondent superior, the
Defendant, Chili’s, is not vicariously liable for the consequences of the patron’s negligent or