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Topics - Burning Sands

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Current Law Students / NYC Biglaw Raises to $160k
« on: January 23, 2007, 07:12:16 AM »

Breaking: Simpson Thacher Raises Associate Base Salaries!!!

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has raised associate base salaries across the board, by $15,000 for every class. You heard it here first, people -- less than ten minutes after the memorandum was sent.


This Simpson Thacher memo was emailed to us by multiple sources. So we do not doubt its authenticity. It was sent out today by email, at 4:28 PM, by STB executive committee chairman Philip T. (Pete) Ruegger III, to all associates and non-senior counsel at the firm.

We are seeking additional comment from STB representatives -- namely, Pete Ruegger, who sent the memo, and Susan Bussy, who handles media inquiries. We will let you know if and when we hear back from them.

Without further ado, the memo:



The Firm has been very busy and we expect the high level of activity to continue. We are proud of the results we are helping our clients achieve.

We believe we have the finest legal team of any global law firm. In appreciation of your efforts, we are pleased to increase associate base salaries as follows, effective January 1, 2007:

Class of 2006 - $160,000

Class of 2005 - $170,000

Class of 2004 - $185,000

Class of 2003 - $210,000

Class of 2002 - $230,000

Class of 2001 - $250,000

Class of 2000 - $265,000

Class of 1999 - $280,000

Class of 1998 - $290,000

We are also raising the base salary for the members of the Class of 2007, who will arrive in the fall, to $160,000.

Counsel and classes senior to 1998 will be addressed on an individual basis.

Again, on behalf of the Firm, thank you for your commitment and hard work.

January 22, 2007

Pete Ruegger

Other firms will surely follow suit and match this base salary increase. As the various firms match, please note their moves in the comments. THANKS!!!

Current Law Students / Con Law anybody?
« on: April 24, 2005, 05:01:25 PM »
So...1000 concurring and dissenting supreme court opinions later here we are at Finals and I'm still not sure what at the hype is around the "trigger stage" of analysis.  Somebody give me a rational basis for this class b/c its not passing the strict scrutiny test.

How's everybody else finding it?

Current Law Students / DAMN APPELLATE BRIEF
« on: March 28, 2005, 08:16:06 AM »
Mulitple all nighters, and its finally over.  It might be good, it might be bad, but it's done and at this point that's all that matters.

Current Law Students / Con Law Puzzle
« on: January 14, 2005, 05:54:31 PM »
For those of you who are or have taken Con Law I pose a question.

We all know that Article 3 outlines the Judicial Branch and says that Supreme Court Justices have life tenure so long as they are in good behvior...but it never says any more than that, nor does it outline how or IF a supreme court justice can be impeached.  Article 2 says the President appoints Supreme Court justices but says nothing regarding thier removal.  And Article 1 outlines the impeachment process for the President, but not for anybody else.

So my question is Can a Supreme Court Justice be Impeached? 

Current Law Students / March Madness
« on: January 11, 2005, 07:03:59 PM »
Since I have a serious case of the madness, let me start off by recognizing my alma matter, The University of Kansas and congratulate them on the win against Kentucky this weekend!!!  Go Jayhawks!!!

Who's your team and who do you have in the final four?

Current Law Students / 1L Exam Mistakes
« on: December 17, 2004, 10:48:29 AM »
If any of you have read the E&E for Torts by Glannon then skip this post, b/c I'm pulling the following bad examples out of that book for things you should avoid doing on your exam.  I wish I had found them earlier b/c I've been guilty of doing a couple of them a little bit on some of my exams already!  But I guess its good I discoverd it before I take my Torts exam.  So here goes, the 6 biggest mistakes 1L's make when writing exams:

These 6 mistakes are all in response to the following question: Please discuss the claims that the J, H, and G might assert against the possible defendants.  What problems do you see with the plaintiff's claims and how do you think the court is likely to rule on them?

This fact pattern raises issues of negligence liability. Tort law provides that parties can be held liable for their negligence under certain conditions.  However, defendants are not always held liable simply because they cause injury.  Sometimes they are not liable even if they negligently cause injury.  In order to recover, the plaintiff must establish that the defendant owed her a duty of care, breached that duty of care, that is, was negligent, and that the defendant's negligence caused resulting injury to her.  If all these elements are satisfied, the plaintiff may recover in tort from the defendant...

HOW THE PROFESSOR SEES IT - The sky is blue and the grass is green and cat starts with the letter *&^%! This student has wasted time on an exam writing an entire paragraph on what tort law is instead of answering the question.  Nothing said here is wrong, but at the same time, this student isn't talking about anything important.
In this case, J will argue that A was negligent for failing to inspect the stands after the repairs were completed.  A will argue, however, that he had no duty to inspect the stands, and that even if he had, he would not have discovered the defect that caused the collapse.  J will argue that G was negligent, because he replaced the wooden beams with the metal "I" beams.  G will argue, however, that he was not negligent because the beams were the same as the ones that had been used before.  J will also argue...

HOW THE PROFESSOR SEES IT - This student sees the issues, which is good, but they don't do the analysis.  They just say A will argue, this, but B will argue that, and they never expand on either side.  Notice they never make a conclusion about anything either. They just keep pointing out what each side would argue.  This is the #1 pitfal for law students who think that they are "arguing both sides". You are not arguing either side this way, you are merely pointing out both sides.
In this case, A, the athletic director, noted the problem and hired H to inspect and repair the problem.  When B found weakened beams he ordered G to replace the beams with metal "I" beams, but G used wooden beams like tht old ones instead. Later, that section of the stands collapsed, and J was injured in the collapse...

HOW THE PROFESSOR SEES IT - Stop wasting my time telling me the facts.  I wrote the facts. I don't need to hear exactly what happened because I'm the one who made it up.  The only time you should be talking about the facts is when you are doing your analysis.  Then you NEED to talk to about the facts.  but simply reciting the facts back just to tell the story of the fact pattern all over again is a waste of time on the exam.
J might try to prove that H was negligent using the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur.  If J can prove that the accident that happened to her was the type of accident that does not ordinarily happen without negligence, and that, if someone was negligent, it was probably H, then she can recover on a res ipsa theory.  J might also try to recover from A, the athletic director, for failing to inspect the beams after the work was done.  If A owed a duty to inspect the stadium after completion of repairs, he could be liable for her injury.  B may sue H for negligent infliction of emotional distress...

HOW THE PROFESSOR SEES IT - Yes that's true, if the elements are satisfied then J might win on res what are you waiting for?  Are the elements satisfied or not?  Make your analysis already.  This student has spotted the issues, and has found the rules of law that COULD apply, but has not applied them. There's no analysis and no conclusion. They bring up a rule and move on before exploring if it applies or not, thus teasing the professor who's waiting to hear the good analysis.

J may decide to sue H for negligence in repairing the stands.  However, courts do not always hold negligent actors liable in tort.  the defendant must also owe a duty of care to the plaintiff. H will only be liable if it owed a duty of care to J to exercise care in doing the inspection and repairs.  Generally, parties owe a duty of care to others who might foreseeably be injured from conduct that creates a risk of injury to others.  For example, in driving a car we create the risk of an accident to those around us; thus we owe them a duty to drive with reasonable care.  A second source of duty arises from special relationships between the victim and the defendant.  In many situations actors assume a duty of care, as by taking a patient or a client, or by taking charge of a person in need of assistance.  In this case, H engaged in risk-creating conduct by undertaking to repair the stands.  by working on the stands, it created risks of injury if the repairs were faulty. they could foresee injury to patrons at the game if they negligently supported the stands or otherwise failed to exercise due care...

HOW THE PROFESSOR SEES IT - Everything said here is true, however, the problem is that this student has belabored the obvious, spent a lot of valuable time arguing at great length stuff we already know is true before they even started talking about the instant case. Everybody should know that J has a duty to exercise due care in doing repairs.  I can't give a student a lot of credit for recognizing that fact.  this usually happens to students on an exam when they finally reccognize something that they know and figure that they're going to talk about it and only it for as long as they can talk about it, because they don't know what to say about anything else.  don't do that.
J may try to sue H for her injuries. If H's employees had replaced the beams with smaller beams which were too weak to do the job, they would be found negligent and could be held liable for her injuries.  G may try to recover from H.  If H had been told that there was a problem, they would foresee injury to G from negligent repair and could be liable for it.  B may sue H and G for negligent infliction of emotional distress.  He would be entitled to recover for such distress under the XYZ case if he had been sitting with J in the stands and had actually seen her fall...

HOW THE PROFESSOR SEES IT - stop editing the exam with your own fact pattern.  stick to the facts.  Don't say, well IF this would have been different....its not different.  stick to the facts. Distinguish this bad idea of saying what things would have been under DIFFERENT FACTS from a good answer that points out how a case may have been decided differently under different doctrines, such as if MPC applies in Crim Law, or if UCC applies in Contracts, or if the Restatements approach to Torts is persuasive.  those are good "IF's".  changing the facts is a bad "IF".

ALSO NOTE - Often the instruction paragraph in the question will ask you to discuss a subset of possible claims. Like what can A claim against  B, C, and D.  Don't go off on a tangent about what D can claim against Z. Stick to the question.

Hope these help.  Good luck to everybody.

Current Law Students / Done With Property!
« on: December 13, 2004, 03:24:06 PM »
So I think I just completely failed by property exam.  Which makes absolutely no sense.  The class that I did the MOST reading for, pulled cases off the shelf for, kept up on all the reading for... the end it didn't matter.  I am thoroughly conviced that Property is the toughest class a 1L can take.  There's no way you can know all that *&^%!  I had a 5 hour exam that took every minute of 5 hours until time was called.  My professor (who is cited as an authority in the E and E) threw all kinds of loops in the fact pattern.  Just when you thought you had an issue that you could debate one, she took it away so that you couldn't debate on it.  For example, in one question she gave an ambiguous conveyance that could have been either a joint tenancy or a tenancy in common, in which a mortgage was taken out on the property.  normally this leads to a debate of lien theory vs. title theory when somebody dies and is left in sole possession where the bank will say title theory so the loan will stick and the surviving tenant who did not make the loan on his half will say lien theory so that the mortgage dies with the tenant who made it....

...but then she goes and says that BOTH tenants signed the mortgage so it didn't matter anyway which freakin type of cotenancy it was since both of them made the mortgage!  Took away my entire argument!

Let's hope the curve gods grant me safe passage on this one.

Current Law Students / Another K question - UCC
« on: December 06, 2004, 09:21:08 PM »
uhhh...when dealing with the infamous battle of the forms (UCC 2.207) and you have two merchants with differing forms on warranties, do you "knock out" both of the differing terms and plug in a "gap filler" on warranties from 2.314 or is there some rule about being able to make a disclaimer on warranties so that one company basically has no liability?

For example, I've got a case where one company buys software from another company.  The buying company sends its boilerplate language talkin about the software company will be liable if the software messes up, the software company sends its boilerplate language basically saying if the software messes up this warranty disclaimer frees us from any liability.  Obviously the forms battle.  Do I argue that most jurisdictions apply the "knock out" rule and would then look to the UCC to see what should be done about the software's warranty or is there an implied warranty that would hold the software company liable even without going thru all of the 2.207 mumbo jumbo?

Current Law Students / Employment K question
« on: December 06, 2004, 09:08:36 PM »
I have my first final in 2 days in K.  I've been going over my prof's exams and he's real big on throwing the same types of questions on his exams each year.  One inparticular deals with employment K's and usualy involves some poor sucker who works at a company for x amount of years and then one day they come along and say "hey, sign this Arbitration agreement or else" and then he doesn't sign it and they get fired.  anybody have any cases in your case book dealing with arbitration agreements in employment?  I have none but my professor seems to ask about it anyway.   thanks in advance.

In fact, it doesn't even have to be about arbitration.  It could be about anything.  If a company makes you sign any agreement in order to keep your job, what result?

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