In the legal system, dissenting opinions, i.e., opinions delivered by one or more judges who disagree with the decision, play a crucial role in shaping the interpretation and application of the law. They provide valuable insights into alternative viewpoints, often sparking discussion and debate and ultimately leading to the evolution of jurisprudence. One such notable dissenting opinion can be found in the case of Christopher Blanchard v. Demetrius J. Hicks et al., authored by Justice Cooks. In this blog post, we look at the case, the arguments made in the dissent, and the importance of dissent in the legal landscape.
The case of Christopher Blanchard v. Demetrius J. Hicks et al. arose from an incident in which Officer Blanchard’s patrol car was struck by a stolen truck. The plaintiff, Officer Blanchard, alleged that the defendant, Demetrius J. Hicks, was negligent in leaving his vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition and the engine running, thereby facilitating the theft that led to the accident.
The majority of the court relied on the precedent set by the Supreme Court’s decision in Racine, which held that leaving keys in a vehicle does not create liability for the motorist if a thief steals the car and causes injury to a third party. However, Judge Cooks dissented from the majority’s opinion, arguing that Racine does not dispose of the factual matter at hand.