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Messages - USC313

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Current Law Students / Re: Torts - Negligence Per Se
« on: December 12, 2007, 11:46:50 PM »
I'm with you on this one. Negligence per se means a statute is in play. The general test is whether the statute was designed to prevent the type of harm suffered, and whether plaintiff was in that class of people. I think the original post is leaving out some information (i.e. the statute).

Current Law Students / Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
« on: December 12, 2007, 11:36:57 PM »
Just wanted to clarify some of what was said above.

First, at its core Palsgraff is a DUTY case. Yes Andrews dissent discusses proximate cause, but primarily as a mechanism to limit duty, which he believes everyone owes to "all the world" (his words) and not simply to "foreseeable plaintiffs". It should be clear that in the negligence analysis, "foreseeability" is used to establish both whether or not a duty existed and, if so, whether or not it was foreseeable per proximate cause.

Second, someone above said that "Polemis is concerned with unforeseeable extent of harm" and made a reference to the "eggshell plaintiff" rule. This is dead wrong. Polemis stands for the now generally defunct "Direct Cause" test in determining proximate cause. (Anyone read the Wagonmound cases?)The direct test establishes proximate case as long as there is NO intervening cause at all between the alleged negligence and resulting injury. That is why the plaintiff's in Polemis "defined the negligence" as a falling plank of wood rather than the fact that the charters of the boat allowed its chambers to fill with benzine gas. Consider, had the alleged negligence been "boat filled with gas", then the falling plank of wood that caused the spark with resulting explosion would have been an intervening cause and proximate cause would not be established.

A simpler example:

1.) Blasting company leaves a canister of nitroglycerin in a deserted rock area. Kids approach and the heat of the sun causes the canister to explodes, causing injury. No intervening cause = proximate cause under the Direct Test.

2.) Same facts as above, except a child kicks the canister, causing it to explode with resulting injury. Under the direct test, the child's kick is an intervening cause that cuts off liability. Proximate cause is not established. Under the foreseeability test, the risk of a child kicking the canister, especially a young child, is foreseeable. It would be an intervening, but not superseding cause and proximate cause would be established.


Current Law Students / Re: Taking time off
« on: November 14, 2007, 11:21:11 PM »
There's always Christmas break. Seriously though, I can relate to feelings that law school suffocates your ability to do anything else meaningful with you life--and in a way, it does. I suppose that's what commitment is all about. In regards to your feelings specifically, I think ambitions of travel and new experiences can be integrated into your law school experience--at least on a limited scale. We have Christmas break, study abroad opportunities, and it's not AS imperative that you have a law-related job in the summer after your 1L year. So you take a trip for 6 weeks instead of 6 months. It's still a long amount of time--and it's an added imperative to have fun while your doing it

When it comes Peace Corps, that's simply not doable. Isn't the commitment something like 18 months? You're going to have to choose between helping kids in Africa or studying law. My advice though is not to pigeon hole your ideas of "meaningful life experiences" into something like Peace-Corps. People make meaningful things happen to themselves and those around them everyday, regardless of whether they are in a 3rd world country.

Current Law Students / Whose Your Favorite Supreme Court Justice?
« on: November 14, 2007, 10:52:32 PM »
Both past and present.

My vote:
Past: Holmes; Blackmun; maybe O'Connor
Present: Probably Scalia. (Not that I agree with him all the time, but I like how he's cocky about his intellect, lol)

Current Law Students / Re: Reasons For a Law School Degree
« on: November 13, 2007, 11:49:21 PM »

Current Law Students / Legal Memos have to be written in a day?!
« on: November 09, 2007, 01:52:19 AM »
I was in my Legal Methods/Writing class the other day and I asked my professor how long we would have to write a memorandum of law such as the one we were assigned if we were actually working in a firm. She said that partners could expect it within a day or two. In school we've been given about 6 weeks to get this memo done. Does anyone else feel like when they are finally finished with school and are working in a firm, they won't have advanced far enough to do that kind of work within 24 hours? My professor said not to worry and that we would get better/faster/quicker with time. But seriously, 6 weeks to 1 day?

Current Law Students / Re: Can you transfer if you are a part time student?
« on: November 09, 2007, 01:39:42 AM »
I'm also a part-time student and I've looked into the transferring option as well. Most schools seem to have a minimum number of credits that you need to have completed by the end of your first year (Part or Full time) in order to be eligible to transfer. For most schools it seems to be in the low 20s--which typically a student will have even if they are part time. But, like the last post said, you'll have to go the the admissions web page on the schools you are thinking about transferring to to get any specifics. Yeah, its a pain. But on the bright side we get to call ourselves 4Ls, lol.

By the way, what school do you go to if you don't mind me asking? I'm not sure all that many schools have part time programs, so I'm wondering if we are at the same one.

Current Law Students / Re: Reasons For a Law School Degree
« on: November 08, 2007, 07:07:30 PM »
From a broader perspective, keeping lawyering salaries high is a good thing for the profession in general. Consider: One reason law schools can justify charging exorbitant tuition rates--and the fact that law students are willing to borrow the money to pay them--is the expectation that as an attorney you'll be making a good enough living to pay off your academic debt within a reasonable amount of time. Seriously, if average lawyers' salaries suddenly dropped to 30K a year but tuition rates remained constant, the number of people actually willing to borrow to attend law school would drop dramatically. This would lead to a shortage in qualified attorneys and eventually the profession itself would become unsustainable.

So, I say bring on the dough.

Current Law Students / Re: Reasons For a Law School Degree
« on: November 08, 2007, 12:17:50 AM »
I'm in total agreement with you. First off, I disagree with the notion that financial motivation in some way taints one's world view. When it comes to law school, the prospect of making a "good living" at some point in the future was definitely a factor in my decision to attend. Luckily, I also have an intrinsic appreciation for the law and if law school is able to convert that into a marketable asset, so be it. Secondly, I tend to think that people who post statements such as the one here are somewhat immature and not grounded in reality. That might sound cynical, but at least it's practical. I know what it's like to be BROKE and asking your parents for 20 bucks--and it's not fun. Sure, I'm excited about being part of a profession that is afforded a real opportunity to make progressive changes for our society. Becoming an attorney is one of the best (and most overlooked) ways of becoming an "active citizen". On the other hand, if making a lot of money is incidental to that, I'm all for it.

THAT wouldn't have been politically feasible, nor was it a mandate that the voters gave Congress. Attempting to redirect Iraq policy through legislation is one thing, but cutting off funding while troops are still in Iraq--a sort of financial attrition--is another.

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