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Assignment 3: Graded Weekly Assignment: Ira Mendelson v. Jose Servantes: Character Evidence

This assignment addresses the evidentiary concepts of character and habit. You will be writing a memo addressing those two concepts in the context of the rules of evidence. Please be sure to research and cite the appropriate rules.

During deposition, Jose Servantes said that it was impossible that he missed any "irregularities" in his bus. If any of the windows were open, he would notice it because he checked the door, windows including the emergency exit, and lights at least six times a day, after every stop. He had been driving a bus for over eight years now and had been driving on the Irvington–Newark route for nearly five years.

In addition, you learn from the medical reports that your client, the plaintiff, suffered from claustrophobia. Whenever he was in closed places, such as an elevator, small rooms, or even crowded buses, he would try to open either a window or a door. He used anything he had at hand if he could not open the door or window by regular means.

Your lawyer asks you to research rules of evidence referring to character and habit. In a memo of 300-500 words, address the following questions raised by your lawyer:

  • Is Jose Servantes' habit of checking his bus a few times a day an argument in his defense? How?
  • How will the fact that your client suffers from claustrophobia influence the case?

Support your argument with case law.

On a separate page, cite all sources according to Bluebook format.

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