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Messages - chaser

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Current Law Students / Re: Albinger v Harris
« on: August 11, 2005, 07:24:47 AM »
Good brief!  I like your style...

As I was leaving (late) for work today, there was a People's Court where a rather crusty old geezer had married a lady when she was 14 (in Utah, where there are apparently very liberal "consent" laws) and he was suing her for half the wedding costs, due to some alleged breach.  Wonder how that one came out?  They had subsequently had kids, etc.  She is about 20 now, but looks like a well-preserved 40.  Clearly, young marriage is not the "fountain of youth" or anything!

Another thought on the "seisin" theory--which is clearly the minority.  Apparently, the historical derivation of the traditional Common law spousal Tort immunity is also based on the ancient, Anglo-Saxon "wife is little more than chattel"-theory.  In other words, I might have standing to sue in an in Rem case of Chaser v. Someone Else's Horse; but it doesn't make sense to have a suit like, Chaser v. His Own Horse (in the old-fashioned theory.)

My school teaches us that a Tort of Husband v. Wife is not currently allowed in minority jurisdictions because it would "disturb domestic tranquility."  That is ONE of the reasons; it's just not the MAIN reason.

(I think the school thinks, to paraphrase Jack Nicholson's character in A Few Good Men, that "we can't handle the truth.")

Anyway, keep up the good work!  If you're like me, I think you will find that an objective analysis of this issue "clears your thinking" on a variety of Contracts issues.

Current Law Students / Re: Albinger v Harris
« on: August 10, 2005, 10:43:27 AM »
You are making some very good points!

Apparently, London England goes by the "Contract"-theory, as I was reading an English lawyer's analysis over the controversy of the engagement of the actor Jude Law and--I forget the actress' name, Simone Somebody.  Anyway, the groom allegedly had an affair with the nanny of his children, and she went very public with the purported affair.

Fortunately for their future happiness and unfortunately for this interesting discussion; they appear to be getting back together again.  The ring was worth $35,000--and she wanted to keep it.

It should be noted that the bride can elicit the conditional promise by fraud, and have to give the ring back.

This would occur if she, say, wrote a letter to a girlfriend or other non-privileged communication that said, "I have no intention of marrying Richard Roe--I only said "yes" to get the ring."

I'm not sure which rule Georgia uses, but the so-called runaway bride, Jennifer Wilbanks, would have fit under this category--but there is another relationship that is, ahem, "back on track."

There was a case where a 75-year old man made extensive gifts in contemplation of marriage in a "conditional gift" jurisdiction (I think Kansas) to a 26-year old female, including a loan to start a beauty parlor, and the female took off and married a 24-year old man.  She had to return all the gifts, including the ring.

ADDENDUM--My facts were slightly off.  The citation is: Pavlicic v. Vogtsberger; 136 A.2d 127; (Penn. 1957).  And, of course, the jurisdiction was Pennsylvania, which has subsequently passed an Equal Rights Amendment.  (I don't think that would change the case in question--though it might change a gift under non-fraudulent conditions).


Current Law Students / Re: LEEWS question for Jdohno (or anyone else)
« on: August 10, 2005, 07:07:53 AM »
I used the LEEWS CD's and thought they were highly beneficial.

I wouldn't recommend them, however, unless you are more than 4 weeks away from the target test in question.  The LEEWS system tries to change your paradigm too much to be a "last minute" remedy.

For last minute, I would recommend Tim Tyler (  Most of the books are called, "Nailing the Bar (Torts, or whatever)".

Tim Tyler method is more of a guerilla-style, "grab a few Easter eggs and run."  (The metaphorical "Easter eggs" are of course, "Issues.")  Tyler also gives you some "canned spiels" to use when in doubt.  (You will probably not need them, but they are a nice "security blanket.")

Regarding IRAC, I would say, "When in doubt, IRAC."  The powerful exception of course is when a professor expressly states: "I hate IRAC.  IRAC is for morons; it shows a lack of original thought; ad nauseum..."

Current Law Students / Re: Albinger v Harris
« on: August 09, 2005, 04:11:38 PM »
The "conditional gift theory" is currently the majority viewpoint, because that is the theory expounded in the Restatement of Restitutions.

An interesting relatively recent ruling on the "conditional gift" theory is Marshall v. Cassano; 2001 NY Slip Op. 40320U.  This is what I would call a "conditional gift given in pari delicto," i.e. the plaintiff gave the gift in contemplation of marriage while he was still married; and the defendant knew he was married.

(Under a Contracts theory, it would have been an "illegal contract," to wit, "Contracts" illegal; which of course means "contrary to public policy," not necessarily "you are going to jail.")

Under the above case of what I would call, "conditional gift/in pari delicto," the fiancee' keeps the ring.  In Contracts (in pari delicto), the judge would probably return the parties to where they were before the contract was formed, which I would assume means the groom gets the ring back, and the fiancee' can accept new proposals.

Many jurisdictions use the objective contract theory--but some courts are reluctant, because what constitutes a "breach of the terms" of the engagement?  E.g., is a rowdy bachelor party a "breach"?

One last theory that would be the clear minority opinion but I believe is still in use would be the seisin/"transfer of title" theory.

In this theory, which was developed in ancient Anglo-Saxon law, the bride is sort of "one step above chattel."  The groom is asking for "transfer of title," from I guess her father.

In a similar way that one would offer, say, a lump of dirt and a twig for land, the groom is offering the ring as a symbol.

Ironically, this system would favor the bride, because she keeps the ring if the "title doesn't transfer" for whatever reason (transfer of title meaning "marriage")--similar to a land transfer not closing, and you don't have to give the lump and the twig back.

Online Law Schools / Re: Cal Bar Subjects
« on: July 27, 2005, 04:01:15 PM »
Don't forget the one-day "Performance Test"--e.g., you are given all the tools and info on John Doe, and have to write his will or whatever.

Many people "sluff this one off" because it is the last day and flunk accordingly!

I'm of the contrarian school, so I would try THE HARDEST on this one--if everyone else is sluffing it off, you will look GOOD.

Online Law Schools / Re: DL & Alabama
« on: July 27, 2005, 03:57:34 PM »
I think Alabama is a hard bar association to qualify for--I may be wrong.

I think there is a "lawyer glut" in Alabama--everyone wants to live there due to low cost of living, good climate, etc.

You could PROBABLY get entry into the California Bar, then do Federal stuff and work pro hac vice

Another strategy might be to get your California DL degree, pass CA bar, then get an LL.M. from an Alabama school or ABA school.  Kiss a bunch of @$$; and they might let you sit for it.  (That strategy adds another year off of your precious youth, but I can't think of anything else--except move to California!)

Again, I could be wrong on all counts.

Good luck whatever you do!

Online Law Schools / Re: Old essay questions, CA general bar.
« on: July 26, 2005, 01:57:27 PM »
Tim Tyler at used to be a CA grader, and he writes some of his own and gives model answers.

Just a thought.

Online Law Schools / Re: NW California?
« on: July 26, 2005, 01:55:36 PM »
Sorry, I haven't looked at this page for a long time and didn't mean to be rude not responding.

I am in Atlanta, GA. 

I took the NWCU Mock bar in June, and it was a wonderful experience!  The school really goes all out.

I have also participated in the Chats since I posted, and you pretty much get the Socratic experience through that--you take a position, and you have to defend it, etc.

Most of the professors at NWCU got LL.M.'s at NWCU, and they are all very good lawyers.

This is just personal advice--but I would get an LL.M. from a brick-and-mortar if at all possible--preferably one that is ABA certified. 

Having said that, everyone I know who got an LL.M. from NWCU is working as a lawyer, so there must be some merit to it.

I think the bulk of the LL.M. experience is writing your thesis--I could be wrong.  If I am correct, then I think it is not so much where you go, but can you WRITE???

Thanks, and sorry again about the long delay in answer.

Current Law Students / Re: Criminal Law Multiple Choice Questions
« on: April 18, 2005, 02:56:21 PM »
You can't COMPLETE a crime where the substantive crime is a legal impossibility.

But you can ATTEMPT it (in majority jurisdictions).

If you watch COPS long enough, you'll see that episode where the undercover cop sells confectioner's sugar to a half a dozen guys on the party strip of Key West, and they are arrested.  There is no law that you can't buy a bag of sugar for $50. 

(Well, in CIVIL LAW, the agreement would be an invalid contract, under the concept of LAESSIO ENORMIS...)

Of course, "all suspects are innocent until proven guilty."

But in People v. Rojas, Rojas was CONVICTED of attempting to receive stolen property--and the property was not stolen. 

Hence, the substantive crime was a legal impossiblity.

I'm not saying I necessarily agree; I'm just saying that is the rule in majority modern jurisdictions--and it is the Model Penal Code rule.

Another interesting case which I feel has some relevance to the matter at hand is UNITED STATES V. CROW (1999).  This was a "test drive" of the revised US code against soliciting a minor to perform in a sexually explicit film.

The defendant THOUGHT he was soliciting a minor via the Internet; of course it was really a police officer.  The court called this FACTUAL IMPOSSIBILITY; I'm not sure I agree; I think it could be LEGAL IMPOSSIBILITY--however, in any event, the defendant was guilty of the inchoate crime, i.e. the ATTEMPT.

Thanks again, this one was really food for thought.

Current Law Students / Re: Criminal Law Multiple Choice Questions
« on: April 14, 2005, 01:32:01 PM »
I disagree that Legal Impossibility can't be a defense to ATTEMPT--in ALL jurisdictions.

Legal Impossibility is now a disfavored doctrine, but before the publishing of the 1962 Model Penal Code, it wasn't.

For a complete list of the myriad of cases where it historically WAS--see the dicta of PEOPLE V. ROLLINO, 233 N.Y.S. 2d 580.

As a matter of fact, let's talk about Rollino, which occurred in 1962:

Rollino bribed a pharmacy employee to steal drugs, meet him at a preordained location, and give him the drugs.  Employee feigned agreement, but informed his boss.  Boss offered drugs as evidence in a police "sting." When employee made hand-off to Rollino, he was of course surrounded by police.

At trial, the judge (Shapiro) ruled LEGAL IMPOSSIBILITY--because you can't TRESPASSORILY take something someone has offered for you to have.  It's my understanding that wherein the court RECOGNIZES L.I., the defendant "walks"...even on attempt.  Where the court DOESN'T, the defendant is guilty of ATTEMPT.  The debate comes in as to whether you can ATTEMPT to do something wherein your SUBSTANTIVE CRIME, if completed, would have been legal--in the case in the hypo, "stealing" something that someone has given to you.

In the hypo above, you had a concurrence of mens rea and actus reus...but you stole your own present.  Should we punish this?  Jurisdictions are divided.  MAJORITY would say ATTEMPTED LARCENY.

In "ROLLINO" the judge had read a freshly printed copy of the MPC, and predicted the doctrine would fall into disfavor.  But HIS ruling was "old school," i.e. acquital.

Yes, I am a student at Northwestern California University.  So, I guess, I should not go with LI, since California Supreme Court (Traynor, et al.) was the first to REJECT LI, in People v. Rojas (very similar facts; substitute electronic equipment).

I know I need to study harder--but this was a real d**mned hard question, no matter how hard you study, because the answer depends on jurisdiction.

Thanks, anyway, because it was thought provoking.

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