Varcoe v. Lee
Supreme Court of California
181 P. 223 (Cal. 1919)
A car driven by Nichols, Lee’s chauffer, ran over and killed Varcoe’s child on Mission Street in San Francisco. Varcoe (plaintiff) brought a negligence suit against Lee and Nichols (defendants). At trial, the judge instructed the jury that if Nichols was driving faster than 15 miles per hour, he was violating a state law that prohibited anyone from driving faster than 15 miles per hour in a business district. There was no evidence presented to show that where the accident occurred on Mission Street was a business district. Rather, the judge simply stated that the relevant section of Mission Street constituted a business district. The trial court ruled in favor of Varcoe. The defendants appealed on the grounds that the trial court improperly took judicial notice of the question of whether the pertinent section of Mission Street constituted a business district, thus taking the question out of the hands of the jury.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Olney, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 168,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.