Provided below is a hypothetical fact pattern that can be used as a basis for writing an essay. A typical law school fact pattern would be much longer and more issues would be presented to spot and IRAC. This hypothetical and the below analysis is provided as an example of how to use the IRAC formula and what an organized essay would look like.

Hypothetical: Paul is walking down the street minding his own business. Don spots Paul and runs up to him. Don starts screaming at Paul stating “I hate you. You ruined my life. You are the reason I lost my job at the local theater.” Right after Don made this statement to Paul he proceeded to punch him in the face and ran off down the street laughing. Due to the punch Paul had a black eye.

What causes of action may Paul assert against Don?

Paul v. Don


In order for Paul to prevail against Don for battery he must establish act, intent and causation.

The act element requires a volitional movement by defendant that results in harmful or offensive contact to plaintiff’s person. The volitional movement is met because Don on his own free will punched Paul in the face. Punching Paul was harmful because it hurt and he sustained a black eye. Therefore, the act element is met.

Intent is established by defendant’s desire or knowledge to a substantial certainty that harmful or offensive contact will occur. Don desired to harm Paul because he was mad at him evidenced by the statement “I hate you. You ruined my life. You are the reason I lost my job at the local theater.” Don wanted to hurt Paul because in his mind he was the reason Don lost his job, thus his desire was to harm him by punching him in the face. Therefore, the intent element is met.

Causation is established by showing but for the act the harmful or offensive contact would not have occurred. But for Don’s act of punching Paul in the face Paul would not have been hurt and received a black eye. Therefore, the causation element is met.

Paul will prevail in his battery action against Don since he is able to establish all the elements as addressed above.