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LPC Legal Research Resit

Hi guys,

Could someone please assist me with the below:

You are a trainee at Jones Lyder LLP, 3, High Street, Solihull, B91 1DG. You have received the following memorandum from your supervising solicitor, a partner at the firm.


To: Trainee
From: Carly Jones
Reference: CJ/1056/1
Client’s name: Charlotte Turner
Client’s matter: Accident involving cattle
Date: [Today’s date]

I act for Ms Charlotte Turner (CT), who attended this office today seeking advice about personal injury she suffered caused by cattle belonging to Mr Jason Wallace (JW). At the time of the accident CT was walking with her dachshund Milly, on a public footpath that crossed a field that belongs to JW. CT has only recently moved to the area, but CT has used the footpath a couple of times when walking Milly as it conveniently links a country lane outside her house to a neighbouring village.

The accident happened on 23rd April 2023. Essentially what happened is as follows:

1. Around in the morning CT decided to walk to the next village with her dog to visit a friend for coffee. She walked along the lane outside her house and entered JW’s field using a small stile. The footpath is signposted as a public footpath and runs along the boundary of the field until it reaches another stile at the other end of the field. Milly is a small dachshund and was wearing a harness which was attached to a short lead. CT picked Milly up to go over the stile and then the pair of them proceeded to walk along the footpath.

2. A few minutes into the walk CT became aware that there was a herd of cows and calves some distance from the footpath. She told me that when she entered the field, she had not seen any cows but admits she was not really concentrating as she was on her mobile phone at the time. The cows were mooing at this point and to her horror several of them started moving in her direction at some speed.

3. CT tells me that she tried to go back the way she came along the footpath but was still a little distance from the stile when the cattle arrived at her position and formed a semicircle around her and Milly essentially blocking off her escape route. CT told me the cattle were lowering their heads in what CT perceived to be an aggressive manner. One of the cows then attempted to trample on Milly.

4. At this point CT was panicking and started screaming at the cows one of which started butting her with its head. CT then was pushed over by the cow which continued to butt her with its head. CT is a little vague on what happened next, but she remembers that, she had let go of Milly’s lead and Milly bolted away from the cows and ran across the field. This appeared to distract the cows who started to follow Milly rather than pay attention to CT.

5. Miraculously CT was able to make her way out of the field and back home. Milly also managed to escape the field and return home a little later. Milly was checked over by a vet and suffered no injuries. CT was not so lucky as she suffered bruising and a broken arm in the encounter which required hospital treatment. Fortunately, she will suffer no long-term physical damage. CT tells me she is completely traumatized about what happened to her as she thought the cows would kill her.

6. CT has reported the incident to the police but has not had any communication so far with JW.

7. I asked CT whether she saw any signs near to the stile giving access to the footpath in relation to the fact there were cattle in the field. She told me that she had not seen any signs, but she was on her mobile phone and had not been paying attention. She said she did not know if there were any signs but would confirm the position to me. She also confirmed to me that she had kept to the public footpath at all times.

I’m meeting CT next week to give her some detailed advice. I will be looking at any potential liability of JW in negligence, so you do not need to research this. I have also ascertained from checking the relevant definitive map that the public footpath is a public right of way and has been so for many years.

What I would like you to look at is whether JW is liable for the personal injuries caused by the cattle to CT under the relevant Animals Act. In addition, I would also like you to look at whether there are any defences available to JW and whether JW might be successful in raising any of these to avoid liability. Finally, I would like you to check whether JW is liable under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957. If any further information is needed, please let me know.

Please research the issues addressing the questions that arise in a report using our standard format report and send it with a covering email to me in advance of my meeting.

I have the legal issues written down, but don't know where to start in terms of the law? Does anyone have any tips?
(edited 1 year ago)

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