News and information useful to Cleveland State College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Take a Fun & Festive Break

Have an hour or so to relax during finals week? Here are some suggestions for a fun and festive break in and about downtown –


This House Is Haunted – How to Prove Your Case Using Am Jur Proof of Facts

When your client comes to you complaining of blood seeping through the floorboards and unexplained knocking sounds in her recently purchased Victorian house, you know you are in for an interesting case. Investigating further, you discover that the original owner was murdered on the premises and his ghost is said to wander the halls at night generally making his presence known in unpleasant ways. It’s  definitely a creepy house. The seller never got around to telling your client about the murder, the ghost, or the messy floorboards.

You’re thinking you might have a case against the seller for failure to disclose the “stigmatized” nature of the property – knowing that a notorious murder happened in the house should probably have been part of the real estate transaction. But the haunted part? Turns out, you may have a case.

American Jurisprudence Proof of Facts 3d, which is available in print and through Westlaw, is the perfect trial guide to show you how to prove the facts of your case in court, or to defend them. Each article in Am Jur Proof of Facts includes “proofs”—a series of sample questions and answers to witnesses—that you can use to establish the factual evidence in your case. Along with the proofs, in each article you’ll find a discussion of the substantive law, checklists of elements, references to primary and secondary sources, hypothetical factual situations, and helpful tips.

Your spooky legal research leads you to an Am Jur Proof of Facts article right on point – Liability to Purchaser of Real Property for Failure to Disclose That Property is Haunted, or Was Scene of Murder, Suicide, or Other Notorious Death (149 Am. Jur. Proof of Facts 3d 1). You’re in luck, as the article covers both the nondisclosure of the murder as well as the haunting. It walks you through the legal background of the issue, discusses the elements of proof, offers model pleadings and discovery, and provides numerous proofs based on the testimony of the plaintiff, experts and other witnesses.

About the haunting specifically, there are some pretty awesome details. Since not everyone believes in ghosts as grounds for liability, you’re advised to choose jurors who “at least have an open mind on these issues.” The proofs about the haunting are the best. Some sample ghostly proofs include –

  • Have you always believed in ghosts?
  • What makes you think that your house is haunted?
  • Have the ghosts tried to drive you out of the house?
  • Have they ever tried to harm you physically?

Ghosts are just as likely to turn up in court as they are in a haunted Victorian house. For information on how to use Causes of Action to bring a similar case, see our earlier blog post.

Happy haunted research!

Get Out and Enjoy Cleveland

Cleveland has lots of outdoor offerings in the warm weather—take advantage of them as a break from working and/or studying. Do you like to ride a bike or hike for exercise and fresh air? Check out all the trail options in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.

A recent article offers some great suggestions for getting on your bike in the Cleveland area. Traillink has a great website for biking and hiking trails all over Ohio.  Finally, our Cleveland area Metroparks are fantastic and offer all sorts of activity options.

Summertime Wellness Outdoors in the CLE

It’s no surprise that spending time outside in nature can promote wellness. According to the USDA Forest Service, being outside in nature can boost your physical and mental wellness, as well as promote wellness in the community. And when thinking nature, that doesn’t necessarily have to mean a vacation to a majestic national park – spending a nice evening in your backyard or a local park counts, too.

Here in Cleveland, we’re fortunate to have many great outdoor opportunities right in our area. As we stroll into summer, here are some suggestions to get yourself out and about in the CLE and NE Ohio –

As William Shakespeare wrote, “Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” So make the most of it!


5/20/2022 OpenCon Cleveland Conference

OpenCon Cleveland logoThe OpenCon 2022 Conference will take place virtually on Friday, May 20, 2022.  Hosted by the CSU Michael Schwartz Library and Law Library, this FREE Conference is open to students, faculty, instructional designers, librarians, and administrators.  The theme of OpenCon Cleveland 2022 is “Collaboration in Open Education,” and the Conference will celebrate the benefits of open education to student learning.  During the week of May 16th, registrants will be able to view several asynchronous lightning talk presentations and participate in asynchronous discussions via Slack.  On May 20th, the Conference shifts to live synchronous presentations – three panel discussions and the keynote address by Anita R. Walz, Associate Professor and Assistant Director for Open Education and Scholarly Communication Librarian at Virginia Tech.  Register here, and the registration deadline is Friday 5/13/2022.