On July 3, 2019, Thomas Boysen took his dog, Scout, to a dog park in Winter Park, Florida. This particular dog park has ample room for dogs to roam, and even swim, as it is situated on a large piece of lakefront property. Other than a fence surrounding the property, the dogs are not separated by size or otherwise penned in. Most of the folks who use the park believe it is one of the most beautiful dog parks around.Cindy Lou Foote was also visiting the dog park on July 3, 2019, with her grandmother, Marge Foote, and her dog, Lilye, at the same time Thomas was there with Scout. Cindy Lou Foote is a 3 year-old girl. She loved going to the park. It was a beautiful day and the park was fairly crowded with both humans and dogs.Cindy Lou’s grandmother was sitting at a picnic table keeping an eye on Cindy Lou, and her dog, Lilye. Cindy Lou was carrying a leftover piece of her peanut butter and jelly sandwich around in her hand. Cindy Lou was mainly playing in the dirt and throwing leaves, while Lilye darted around the park. Cindy Lou was knocked over and bitten in the face by a medium sized, brown, mixed breed dog. It all happened very fast. Cindy Lou’s back was to her grandmother. Marge saw the dog knock Cindy Lou over. She immediately thought the dog may be fighting with Cindy Lou to get the remnants of the sandwich. The dog ran off quickly. By the time Marge got to her, she could see that Cindy Lou had significant facial injuries. She tried to comfort Cindy Lou, and shouted for someone to call 911. A crowd started to gather. As Marge was attending to Cindy Lou and relaying what happened, the bystanders tried to locate the bad dog’s owner.Thomas Boysen was sitting on bench looking at his phone. He had been watching videos and lost track of where Scout had gone. A man approached him and asked if he had a brown medium sized mixed breed dog. Thomas replied that he did, and started to focus on where Scout may be. He called for Scout, who came out of the water, shook himself off, and sauntered over to him. The man told Thomas that Scout had just bitten a little girl and it looked pretty bad. Thomas was shocked to hear this but followed the man over to where Marge was standing with Cindy Lou. (Marge had moved Cindy Lou outside the fenced area to avoid another attack.) Thomas, still in shock and horrified by seeing Cindy Lou’s injuries, secured Scout to a post on a leash. While they were waiting for the ambulance to arrive, Thomas called his girlfriend and said in a disbelieving tone “Scout just bit a girl’s face off at the dog park.”Cindy Lou’s parents have filed a negligence suit against Thomas Boysen. Cindy Lou’s injuries were on right side cheek area under her right eye, extending down to the right side of her mouth. The initial photographs taken at the emergency room look terrible. She has already undergone two reconstructive surgeries, and her doctors believe she will need to two more. All the physicians agree that she will have some degree of permanent scarring.During discovery, the parties learned that there was more than one brown, mixed breed medium sized dog at the dog park that day. Marge has testified that Scout is the dog that attacked Cindy Lou. Another witness has been identified who did not see the attack, but did see another unknown man load another medium sized brown dog up in his pick up truck and leave the park shortly after all the commotion. Thomas did not see anything because he was glued to his phone. He says, however, that Scout came from the water when he called him, and was not agitated. The water is in the opposite direction from where Cindy Lou was attacked, but the time frame between the attack and Thomas calling for Scout is unclear.A senior partner at your law firm wants to know if Thomas’ statement to his girlfriend (“Scout just bit a girl’s face off at the dog park.”) will come into evidence at trial. There is no question that the statement falls into the hearsay exception laid out In Fla. Stat. 90.803(18) for admissions against interest. She would like you to research and prepare a memorandum of law on whether or not the probative value of the statement outweighs the prejudicial effect of it.In drafting your memorandum, you are to do the following:1. Follow the format we have studied.2. Cite appropriate statutes, case law, and rules where applicable.3. FIRAC at least one case as part of your analysis.4. Use Bluebook format. The memo should be addressed to your senior partner (Christy L. Foley, Esquire whose office is at 528 Livingston Street, Suit 430F, Orlando, FL 32801).
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