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Legal Research and Writing - Fall 2019

Fact Pattern

Professor Chester Greenburg, an extremely thrifty coffee connoisseur, loves 7-11 coffee. On the first day of classes at King Hall, Professor Greenburg stops at the local 7-11 on “L” Street for his daily cup of “Joe.” Unfortunately, that is the precise day that Brody Broheim and Guy Friend, upset that they were not admitted to King Hall and worried about covering the costs of attending Hastings College of the Law, decided to commit an armed robbery to help defray their tuition and rent expenses.  Disguised in Donald Trump masks, Brody and Guy enter the store. They immediately demand all the money in the register from Charles Carmichael, the clerk on duty. (Charles is a King Hall 1L working part-time).  As Charles removes the cash from the register, he pushes a secret alarm button which alerts the Davis Police Department.  When Charles stalls for time, the police arrive with their firearms drawn. 

Brody and Guy immediately start shooting at the police.  The police return gunfire while Brody and Guy flee through the back door, signaling to their getaway driver, Alexis Ami, to meet them at a pre-appointed spot.  Alexis believes she is just providing transportation for her classmates. Brody and Guy scale a backyard fence and run through the residential neighborhood behind 7-11.

Running a circuitous route, Brody and Guy eventually reach Mishka’s Coffee house where they plan to hide until Alexis arrives with the getaway car, a snazzy black BMW SUV.  Unfortunately, Professor Greenburg has also arrived at Mishka’s to seek sanctuary after his harrowing ordeal. A skilled duck hunter who never leaves home without Glock 26 concealed in his ankle holster, Professor Greenburg attempts to take stock of recent events and recover his senses. Glancing around, Greenburg is distracted by the movement of a person near the cash register: it is Brody, drawing his weapon and pointing it directly at Greenburg. At the precise moment that Greenburg draws his Glock 26, Alexis pulls up outside, her BMW unexpectedly backfires loudly. The explosive cracking sound, timed with Greenburg’s apprehension of Brody aiming his pistol directly in his direction, immediately prompts Greenburg to fire. Greenburg’s shot is accurate, but Brody ducked in response to the backfire. Greenburg’s shot misses Brody but strikes Guy, standing just behind Brody. Guy dies instantly.

The District Attorney has asked you to evaluate the likely success of Brody’s conviction for first degree murder, (but not for robbery), and the appropriate theory.