Interoffice MEMORANDUM

Facts: On June 25, 2019, sixteen year old Paula Palatic and her best friend, Flossy, bought a fifth of Captain Morgan’s Rum from Wet Yer Whistle, a Lansing party store.

After drinking almost the entire fifth herself, Paula got into a brawl with Flossy and screeched off in her dad’s Ferrari. Paula collided with a Dumpster in the parking lot of her boyfriend’s apartment complex and was killed instantly.

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Flossy told Paula’s parents that the party store clerk did not ask either of them for identification even though, as she claims, everyone said Paula had the “cutest, little baby face.”

The parties have stipulated that:

1.) Wet Yer Whistle sold the liquor to Paula;

2.) Paula drank almost the entire fifth herself;

3.) The party store clerk did not ask either Paula or Flossy for                                               identification;

4.) Paula looked unusually adolescent.

We represent Paula Palatic’s parents.  Please draft an internal memo regarding whether Paula’s parents are entitled to sue the party store, Wet Yer Whistle, for their loss. (FOCUS!–the accident was Paula’s fault, she was a minor, she was intoxicated and the Palatics want to sue the party store, a seller of alcohol, NOT THE PARTY STORE CLERK).  NOTE: This memo should not address criminal prosecution or civil liability of the party store clerk!

Provide the following information in your memo:

Step 1: Is there a relevant statute?  (Hint: when researching this issue, remember to use words that may be helpful, such as intoxicated, intoxicating liquor, minors, parent, etc. ALSO– this is VERY IMPORTANT–read the ENTIRE statute, not just portions). *Be sure to find the latest version of the statute!* Shepardize the statute to get to–Step 2: Is there relevant case law?  Use LEXIS “Easy Search” to find case law. Use proper citation form. Remember to shepardize/update your results!  The best case law is the most recent from the highest court. Try to use only published cases.

Provide an answer to the question, i.e., can Paula’s parents recover from Wet Yer Whistle for their loss? (Hint: it’s not always as easy as it looks… FOCUS! Who is suing whom?)

In the memo, provide CORRECT citation to the relevant statute and the case law that addresses the statute, then compare/contrast the statute and case law with the facts of our case to reach your conclusion.




Use Lexis

Michigan state cases, combined

Use terms and connectors in the query box.

Use this search: “intoxicated minor” & parents


When you find the 1992 Mich Supreme Court case, click the link for the statute.

You will see that the statute is repealed BUT read down that page to the Notes which will tell you the new numbering for the modified statute.


Do the research! Shepardize the case to find newer cases. Read the cases. You should find at least one PUBLISHED Court of Appeals case. DO NOT use unpublished cases.

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