Law School Discussion

Law Students => Current Law Students => Topic started by: cmedici on June 01, 2006, 08:55:23 AM

Title: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: cmedici on June 01, 2006, 08:55:23 AM
HI guys!  Ok, I am starting Law School in the fall, and I was wondering what cases really stood out (or traumatized you so much) that you still remember the name today.  Also, does anyone here go to Hofstra? :)
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: phosita on June 01, 2006, 09:28:34 AM
There are a couple of cases that standout (e.g. Marbury v. Madison, Palsgraf v. Long Island R.R., World Wide Volkswagen v. Woodson, the Erie line of cases, etc.) but I think it's the basic principles that will stick with you the most.



Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: racheles05 on June 01, 2006, 10:45:18 AM
Palsgraf.
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: DeltaTauKyle on June 01, 2006, 11:25:07 AM
Pennoyer
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: J D on June 01, 2006, 03:34:55 PM
The Head Cut off by the Elevator case from Torts; I never did catch the name, and with facts like those, you don't have to.   :P
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: phosita on June 01, 2006, 04:17:02 PM
The Head Cut off by the Elevator case from Torts; I never did catch the name, and with facts like those, you don't have to.   :P

Damn, we didn't cover that case. Sounds like a good one though.

Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: J D on June 01, 2006, 04:28:24 PM
The Head Cut off by the Elevator case from Torts; I never did catch the name, and with facts like those, you don't have to.   :P

Damn, we didn't cover that case. Sounds like a good one though.



It was actually just mentioned briefly in the notes following a one of the cases we read on emotional distress (I believe the principle case we read was Portee v. Jafee, the My-kid-got-stuck-in-the-elevator-and-I-listened-to-him-moan-in-agony-until-he-died case).  The cases on emotional distress were just awful in general; ome of my sectionmates had nightmares.   :-\
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: phosita on June 01, 2006, 05:05:27 PM
The Head Cut off by the Elevator case from Torts; I never did catch the name, and with facts like those, you don't have to.   :P

d**mn, we didn't cover that case. Sounds like a good one though.



It was actually just mentioned briefly in the notes following a one of the cases we read on emotional distress (I believe the principle case we read was Portee v. Jafee, the My-kid-got-stuck-in-the-elevator-and-I-listened-to-him-moan-in-agony-until-he-died case).  The cases on emotional distress were just awful in general; ome of my sectionmates had nightmares.   :-\

My fav. had to be in contracts, although I can't remember the name. It involved  what should have been a standard home sale except that, after the sale was complete and the buyer moved in, the seller started promoting the house as being haunted. The buyer then sued, claiming his wife was now too scared to sleep in the house and that not disclosing the haunting was fraud. The opinion was full of puns, said that the seller was estopped from claiming the house wasn't haunted, and pointed out that there was a good, although unmade, argument for the seller having breached the clause in the contract requiring the house to be unoccupied when the buyer took possesion. Kind of a silly case, but it was a nice note to end fall semester on - I guess that's one of the pluses of having a professor that writes his own casebook.

Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: ttbt on June 01, 2006, 06:26:44 PM
Leonard v. Pepsico (the Harrier Jet case)
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: racheles05 on June 01, 2006, 07:10:31 PM
The flaming rat case and the one where the dude survived a plane crash, but died when a volcano erupted on the island he crash-landed on.
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: J D on June 01, 2006, 09:14:30 PM
Leonard v. Pepsico (the Harrier Jet case)

That's a great one!

According to my Contracts professor, Lucas v. Hamm (CA Supreme Court: "Y'know, this Rule Against Perpetuities sh!t is just too damned hard for it to be malpractice if the lawyer messes it up") is considered a kind of "inside joke" among lawyers.
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: phosita on June 01, 2006, 11:08:15 PM
One of my T.A.s sent this quote out.

Quote from: United States v. Murphy, 406 F.3d 857

On the evening of May 29, 2003, Hayden was smoking crack with three other folks at a trailer park home on Chain of Rocks Road in Granite City, Illinois. Murphy, Sr., who had sold drugs to Hayden several years earlier, showed up later that night. He was friendly at first, but he soon called Hayden a "snitch female dog hoe" n1 and hit her in the head with the back of his hand.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - Footnotes - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


n1 The trial transcript quotes Ms. Hayden as saying Murphy called her a snitch female dog "hoe." A "hoe," of course, is a tool used for weeding and gardening. We think the court reporter, unfamiliar with rap music (perhaps thankfully so), misunderstood Hayden's response. We have taken the liberty of changing "hoe" to "ho," a staple of rap music vernacular as, for example, when Ludacris raps "You doin' ho activities with ho tendencies."

Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: Highway on June 02, 2006, 06:19:58 AM
I also liked the one about the guy who sued Satan for interfering with his right in the pursuit of happiness.

The court dismissed the case because they weren't sure they would have jurisdiction over a foreign prince like Satan and, at any rate, the plaintiff had not provided a valid address where they could serve proper notice to Satan.
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: bella112 on June 07, 2006, 02:54:26 AM
lol ;D
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: Italian2L on June 07, 2006, 04:53:50 AM
The Crim Law rape case where the Doctor convinces his patient that she has some fatal disease that can only be cured by this medicine that has to be vaginally inserted and that the only tool that could be used to properly insert it was his penis. If I remember correctly the guy got away with it because the fraud was in the inducement of sex, not the act itself. The court explained this by distinguishing it from a case where another Doctor had told a patient to turn around so he could insert some inanimate medical device into her, but the only device he inserted was himself. The difference being that the woman did not actually consent to the act of sex itself.

...The best part of the whole experience was that as we left the classroom and while everybody was talking about how funny the case was the janitor's radio was playing "sexual healing" pretty loudly. True story.
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: CamField on June 22, 2006, 06:57:01 PM
Walter v. Wal-Mart - The classic P.I. lawyer's dream case.

Village of Euclid v. Amber Realty Co. - The beginning of zoning as we know it today.
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: CamField on June 22, 2006, 07:00:30 PM
Almost forgot.

Tinker v. Des Moines Community School Board - famous case dealing with student's First Amendment rights. "students do not shed their Constitutional right to freedom of speech at the schoolhouse gate." Justice Fortas
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: eray01 on June 22, 2006, 07:50:06 PM
This is excellent advice, so definitely read the whole post. Or not. Whatever.

This is the #1 standout case from my first year, and it wasn't even in the casebook. In fact, this is such a helpful case, you should definitely not share it with any of your classmates. ;)

Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor co., 374 F.3d 797

When you deal with personal jurisdiction in civil procedure, which is always a challenge for most first year students, do yourself a favor and remember to look at this case. It won't be in your casebook, so retrieve it yourself. If you read no other case for personal jurisdiction, at least read this one. Relying on this case is definitely one of my top five first year tips.

This case is a template for a personal jurisdiction analysis. The court carefully and thoroughly walks through every step. A major issue on our exam was personal jurisdiction. I used this case almost fill in the blank style on the exam, and I got an A. I really didn't even understand personal jurisdiction going into the exam. I just hope your exam is open book like mine was.

On a side note, and I may get argued with on this advice, but don't labor over Pennoyer v. Neff very long. It's probably the first case you'll read for personal jurisdiction, and at its one of the most confusing. The bottom line is it's no longer good law, and other cases like Worldwide Volkswagen will be more relevant. The way our professor approached personal jurisdiction was to walk us through the entire development of the law in that area. In hindsight it was a major waste of time. In the end, the Schwarzenegger case gave me everything I needed, and it relies on the most current law.

The funny thing is, now that I've had some real world experience, I've found out personal jurisdiction is rarely an issue in most cases. Unless, of course, you're suing Satan. But, I would bet he has minimum contacts in most states. :)
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: jippyjappa on June 22, 2006, 08:16:52 PM
"On a side note, and I may get argued with on this advice, but don't labor over Pennoyer v. Neff very long. It's probably the first case you'll read for personal jurisdiction, and at its one of the most confusing. The bottom line is it's no longer good law, and other cases like Worldwide Volkswagen will be more relevant."

No argument here. Every year (all two of them), I have seen first years tearing out their hair over this case. However, I doubt if you will need it for your exam and it'll make more sense after reading the modern cases anyway. So yeah, don't stress over it.
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: J D on June 22, 2006, 08:28:34 PM
"On a side note, and I may get argued with on this advice, but don't labor over Pennoyer v. Neff very long. It's probably the first case you'll read for personal jurisdiction, and at its one of the most confusing. The bottom line is it's no longer good law, and other cases like Worldwide Volkswagen will be more relevant."

No argument here. Every year (all two of them), I have seen first years tearing out their hair over this case. However, I doubt if you will need it for your exam and it'll make more sense after reading the modern cases anyway. So yeah, don't stress over it.

In our class, we were only assigned an excerpt from it, and our prof basically explained its significance in plain English.  It's a notoriously difficult case, and I agree that you should focus on the modern cases more, since that's what will be tested.  The only thing really to remember about Pennoyer is it's current status as good law: it's no longer good law for the proposition that the ONLY way to get jurisdiction over someone is to have them consent to it or to serve process on them within the forum state's borders.  These are no longer the ONLY ways to do it, but they are still valid means of getting personal jurisdiction over the defendant (See Burnham v. Superior Court); there are other means now, too, like specific jurisdiction or minimum contacts, and general jurisdiction.
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: CamField on June 22, 2006, 08:33:22 PM
Burnham = Pennoyer lives!
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: J D on June 22, 2006, 08:34:22 PM
Burnham = Pennoyer lives!

Perhaps, but it still doesn't reign!
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: CamField on June 22, 2006, 08:35:22 PM
No doubt.  International Shoe or WWVW are the most important today.
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: CamField on June 22, 2006, 08:40:14 PM
Mr. Hart, the facts of Hawkins v. McGee  :D
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: slacker on June 22, 2006, 09:13:03 PM
Hmm...sounds like you guys had better torts and crim cases than I did. I did like the torts case that was written a'la the detective stories in the 1940's, but I can't remember the parties.

I remember Scott v. Finney in patents. (Who gets to claim priority of invention on the penile implant).
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: Highway on June 23, 2006, 08:40:05 AM
This is excellent advice, so definitely read the whole post. Or not. Whatever.

This is the #1 standout case from my first year, and it wasn't even in the casebook. In fact, this is such a helpful case, you should definitely not share it with any of your classmates. ;)

Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor co., 374 F.3d 797

When you deal with personal jurisdiction in civil procedure, which is always a challenge for most first year students, do yourself a favor and remember to look at this case. It won't be in your casebook, so retrieve it yourself. If you read no other case for personal jurisdiction, at least read this one. Relying on this case is definitely one of my top five first year tips.

This case is a template for a personal jurisdiction analysis. The court carefully and thoroughly walks through every step. A major issue on our exam was personal jurisdiction. I used this case almost fill in the blank style on the exam, and I got an A. I really didn't even understand personal jurisdiction going into the exam. I just hope your exam is open book like mine was.

On a side note, and I may get argued with on this advice, but don't labor over Pennoyer v. Neff very long. It's probably the first case you'll read for personal jurisdiction, and at its one of the most confusing. The bottom line is it's no longer good law, and other cases like Worldwide Volkswagen will be more relevant. The way our professor approached personal jurisdiction was to walk us through the entire development of the law in that area. In hindsight it was a major waste of time. In the end, the Schwarzenegger case gave me everything I needed, and it relies on the most current law.

The funny thing is, now that I've had some real world experience, I've found out personal jurisdiction is rarely an issue in most cases. Unless, of course, you're suing Satan. But, I would bet he has minimum contacts in most states. :)

Great...NOW you tell me about that case! CivPro is done. Thanks.

Seriously, Pennoyer v. Neff isn't really a difficult case conceptually. It's just a damn difficult read due to the way it's written. I had already heard it was supposed to be difficult, so I pulled a few briefs online and read those first. They gave me a good overview, and I found that I was able to muddle through the case without getting overly confused.
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: blawg on August 19, 2006, 03:35:45 PM
if you want a concise explanation of pennoyer and most 1st year courses, check out the following: http://www.audiocasefiles.com/cases/detail/case/8683/

Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: blawg on August 26, 2006, 10:23:58 PM
you can download it from the home page www.audiocasefiles.com. right click on pennoyer.
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: Nowhere Man on August 29, 2006, 09:20:19 PM
The Crim Law rape case where the Doctor convinces his patient that she has some fatal disease that can only be cured by this medicine that has to be vaginally inserted and that the only tool that could be used to properly insert it was his penis. If I remember correctly the guy got away with it because the fraud was in the inducement of sex, not the act itself. The court explained this by distinguishing it from a case where another Doctor had told a patient to turn around so he could insert some inanimate medical device into her, but the only device he inserted was himself. The difference being that the woman did not actually consent to the act of sex itself.

...The best part of the whole experience was that as we left the classroom and while everybody was talking about how funny the case was the janitor's radio was playing "sexual healing" pretty loudly. True story.

Can i get the name of the case?
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: Italian2L on August 30, 2006, 08:37:56 AM
The Crim Law rape case where the Doctor convinces his patient that she has some fatal disease that can only be cured by this medicine that has to be vaginally inserted and that the only tool that could be used to properly insert it was his penis. If I remember correctly the guy got away with it because the fraud was in the inducement of sex, not the act itself. The court explained this by distinguishing it from a case where another Doctor had told a patient to turn around so he could insert some inanimate medical device into her, but the only device he inserted was himself. The difference being that the woman did not actually consent to the act of sex itself.

...The best part of the whole experience was that as we left the classroom and while everybody was talking about how funny the case was the janitor's radio was playing "sexual healing" pretty loudly. True story.

Can i get the name of the case?

BORO v. SUPERIOR COURT, 163 CA3d 1224 (1985)
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: robmelone on August 30, 2006, 12:25:13 PM
We are reading Cetacean Community v. Bush in Con Law.  Whales suing Bush.. .it's a classic!

Rob
http://www.cafepress.com/lawthug (http://www.cafepress.com/lawthug)
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: Highway on August 30, 2006, 01:57:39 PM
The Crim Law rape case where the Doctor convinces his patient that she has some fatal disease that can only be cured by this medicine that has to be vaginally inserted and that the only tool that could be used to properly insert it was his penis. If I remember correctly the guy got away with it because the fraud was in the inducement of sex, not the act itself. The court explained this by distinguishing it from a case where another Doctor had told a patient to turn around so he could insert some inanimate medical device into her, but the only device he inserted was himself. The difference being that the woman did not actually consent to the act of sex itself.

...The best part of the whole experience was that as we left the classroom and while everybody was talking about how funny the case was the janitor's radio was playing "sexual healing" pretty loudly. True story.

Can i get the name of the case?

BORO v. SUPERIOR COURT, 163 CA3d 1224 (1985)

You can find it at: http://online.ceb.com/calcases/CA3/163CA3d1224.htm (http://online.ceb.com/calcases/CA3/163CA3d1224.htm)

This is why people hate lawyers.
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: Italian2L on August 30, 2006, 02:38:36 PM
The Crim Law rape case where the Doctor convinces his patient that she has some fatal disease that can only be cured by this medicine that has to be vaginally inserted and that the only tool that could be used to properly insert it was his penis. If I remember correctly the guy got away with it because the fraud was in the inducement of sex, not the act itself. The court explained this by distinguishing it from a case where another Doctor had told a patient to turn around so he could insert some inanimate medical device into her, but the only device he inserted was himself. The difference being that the woman did not actually consent to the act of sex itself.

...The best part of the whole experience was that as we left the classroom and while everybody was talking about how funny the case was the janitor's radio was playing "sexual healing" pretty loudly. True story.

Can i get the name of the case?

BORO v. SUPERIOR COURT, 163 CA3d 1224 (1985)

You can find it at: http://online.ceb.com/calcases/CA3/163CA3d1224.htm (http://online.ceb.com/calcases/CA3/163CA3d1224.htm)

This is why people hate lawyers.

For giving citations without links or for arguing that fradulent inducement to sex isn't rape? Seriously though, I agree that what the defendant did was morally reprehensible, a clear abuse of his fiduciary duties to the patient, and should result in him being barred from practicing medicine at the very least, but rape? I don't know, maybe I'd be inclined to agree if you can convince me that a clear line can be drawn between this incident and any other situation in which a girl consents to the act of sex because of a lie, but right now I just don't see it. Even if you can draw such a line I still don't see the connection between unwanted penetration by force and what happened here. Maybe it should be criminal, but I just don't think its rape.   
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: Highway on August 31, 2006, 06:17:56 AM
I'm not saying it was rape under the statute. What I am saying, though, is that people hate lawyers for drawing such technicalities when it was clear that this guy should be locked away.

The lawyer is doing his job, but the lay public probably doesn't see it that way.
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: Italian2L on August 31, 2006, 09:06:21 AM
I'm not saying it was rape under the statute. What I am saying, though, is that people hate lawyers for drawing such technicalities when it was clear that this guy should be locked away.

The lawyer is doing his job, but the lay public probably doesn't see it that way.

What I'm saying is that the prosecutor should have gone for a lesser offense because what this guy did clearly isn't rape under any statute or the common law. Maybe he actually did and the opinion just doesn't mention it because the conviction for the lesser included offense wasn't appealed.

And as far as the lay public goes, you're statement assumes that the lay public will see the difference between forced, unwanted penetration and lying to obtain consent as a 'technicality'. Personally, I think there is a huge difference between the two and I think a lot of the lay public could see that as well.

Do you think that most lay people would support a murder conviction for somebody who assaulted somebody but didn't actually kill them just because the prosecutor was too incompetent to charge him with the right crime? 
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: Highway on August 31, 2006, 09:26:24 AM
You give the lay public a lot of credit for being intelligent. I'm not so giving.

The prosecutor is going to go for anything and everything they can, rape included. That is their job. They don't have to make everything stick - just one thing.

Do you really think the public knows, or even cares, about the statutory definition of rape? The public, at large, is going to hear about this crime and think the guy that did it is a scumbag. They don't care if he "raped" her as defined by a statute. They want him put away. His lawyer is going to argue against the charges (which is his job), but I would venture to guess that all the public sees is the injustice of another scuzzy lawyer gets his client off.

My original post was not meant to say that the outcome of the case is wrong, or the lawyer was wrong to contest it. Merely to say that people don't like lawyers because of stuff like this. They don't understand the intricacies of the law.
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: Italian2L on August 31, 2006, 09:38:41 AM
You give the lay public a lot of credit for being intelligent. I'm not so giving.

The prosecutor is going to go for anything and everything they can, rape included. That is their job. They don't have to make everything stick - just one thing.

Do you really think the public knows, or even cares, about the statutory definition of rape? The public, at large, is going to hear about this crime and think the guy that did it is a scumbag. They don't care if he "raped" her as defined by a statute. They want him put away. His lawyer is going to argue against the charges (which is his job), but I would venture to guess that all the public sees is the injustice of another scuzzy lawyer gets his client off.

My original post was not meant to say that the outcome of the case is wrong, or the lawyer was wrong to contest it. Merely to say that people don't like lawyers because of stuff like this. They don't understand the intricacies of the law.

Well, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. Personally, I'd say a very large percentage of the 'lay public' that I know understand rape as a violent crime and are capable of seeing the difference between violent rape and lying to/taking advantage of somebody to get them to have sex with you. On the other hand, I'll admit that I hang out with a very educated crowd, and that even my friends who didn't go to college tend to be very smart, so I probably do give the lay people in general too much credit.
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: J D on August 31, 2006, 02:01:00 PM
I'm not saying it was rape under the statute. What I am saying, though, is that people hate lawyers for drawing such technicalities when it was clear that this guy should be locked away.

The lawyer is doing his job, but the lay public probably doesn't see it that way.

What I'm saying is that the prosecutor should have gone for a lesser offense because what this guy did clearly isn't rape under any statute or the common law. Maybe he actually did and the opinion just doesn't mention it because the conviction for the lesser included offense wasn't appealed.

And as far as the lay public goes, you're statement assumes that the lay public will see the difference between forced, unwanted penetration and lying to obtain consent as a 'technicality'. Personally, I think there is a huge difference between the two and I think a lot of the lay public could see that as well.

Do you think that most lay people would support a murder conviction for somebody who assaulted somebody but didn't actually kill them just because the prosecutor was too incompetent to charge him with the right crime? 

One thing you have to take into account is whether, under the laws of that jurisdiction at the time, there was a lot of grading of various levels of sexual offenses.  The creation of different and progressively more serious sexual assault crimes in the criminal law is a relatively recent phenomenon in many places.  It's possible (don't know for sure) that there wasn't any kind of lesser offense besides rape that he could be prosecuted for (maybe assault/battery, but you run into the same problem as with rape: she technically did consent to the touching, though under false pretenses).

And generally, the revocation of a license to practice medicine is an administrative proceeding undertaken by the Medical Board, and is entirely independent of criminal prosecution.  I wouldn't be surprised if the guy got his license revoked notwithstanding the fact that he wasn't criminally liable under the rape statute; the board could decide to pull the license anyway, even if he's acquitted.
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: Italian2L on August 31, 2006, 02:27:51 PM
One thing you have to take into account is whether, under the laws of that jurisdiction at the time, there was a lot of grading of various levels of sexual offenses.  The creation of different and progressively more serious sexual assault crimes in the criminal law is a relatively recent phenomenon in many places.  It's possible (don't know for sure) that there wasn't any kind of lesser offense besides rape that he could be prosecuted for (maybe assault/battery, but you run into the same problem as with rape: she technically did consent to the touching, though under false pretenses).

And generally, the revocation of a license to practice medicine is an administrative proceeding undertaken by the Medical Board, and is entirely independent of criminal prosecution.  I wouldn't be surprised if the guy got his license revoked notwithstanding the fact that he wasn't criminally liable under the rape statute; the board could decide to pull the license anyway, even if he's acquitted.

You're right. I shouldn't have been so quick to blame the prosecutor without more contextual information or without considering the fact that the same underlying conceptual problem would probably apply to LIOs just the same as it applies to rape. However, that doesn't change the fact that dude simply did not commit rape.

Regarding the revocation of the license to practice medicine, I wasn't implying that it was a matter relevant to criminal prosecution, I was merely establishing the fact that I personally think that the defendant's actions were morally reprehensible and that he should have been subjected to any sanctions that fit the crime, whether criminal or not, so that I couldn't be attacked later on in the argument for defending his actions from any kind of moral standpoint.
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: robmelone on September 03, 2006, 07:49:04 AM
I love "Cetacean Community v. Bush" where the whales sue Bush over low frequency sonar being used by the Navy (the court rules that they don't have standing).

Rob
http://www.cafepress.com/lawthug (http://www.cafepress.com/lawthug)
Title: Re: STANDOUT CASES
Post by: njgal on November 01, 2006, 11:34:20 AM
I like the crim law case where a bunch of people are involved in a shipwreck and floating around on a raft. They decide to kill and eat the weakest person, but then they're saved. The question is whether their actions were excused by "necessity" and whether they should have waited longer before eating him, etc. Gross.