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Messages - USC313

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Current Law Students / Re: wtf con law
« on: January 10, 2008, 06:52:31 PM »
I don't know. My Con Law class just read Marbury v. Madison and I didn't find it that hard to understand. Are you reading a lot of cases from the 19th century? Some of the language in them is pretty archaic. Luckily my professor is grouping our cases together according to subject--so I have Copper v. Allen (1950's) next under the subject of "Judicial Supremacy". My recommendation is to use the computer (i.e. Wikipedia can be helpful sometimes) as a means of obtaining background information about a given case. This can put it in context for you and assist in better understanding. Other than that, just keep re-reading.

Current Law Students / Re: Future Interests - Can u answer these?
« on: December 23, 2007, 10:10:02 PM »

Current Law Students / Re: Case Law isn't the best way to learn Civ Pro
« on: December 21, 2007, 09:57:05 PM »
I disagree.  Although I learned the basics of Civ Pro from Glannon (thank god for that man), the cases provide the best illustrations of how the rules work in practice. Understanding the cases is often essential to performing well on exams, because the prof will write hypos that bear logical similarities to cases that were discussed in class.  With pleadings, for example, a case like Wigglesworth effectively illustrates how a compulsory counterclaim works, and how supplemental j/d applies to these claims.  Knowing the case law for personal j/d is also crucial, as there are a handful of landmark supreme court decisions (that I'm sure we're all familiar with) that each illustrate different concepts - forming a unified framework for analysis. 

You have a point... Wigglesworth is a great example of how compulsory counterclaims work. However, that kind of case is the exception. Anyone ever read Gold Dust? There's no way that case does a good job of explaining the ins and outs of Rule 15.

Current Law Students / Recommended Supplements
« on: December 17, 2007, 07:32:05 PM »
I'm taking Con Law and Contracts next spring semester, among others. Do these classes generally require the use of supplements? Can anyone recommend any good ones?

Current Law Students / Re: What to do when friends go crazy with exams?
« on: December 14, 2007, 12:57:07 PM »
F study groups. That's my motto. Seriously, if I don't understand something I don't know how a bunch of people struggling with the same material are going to help me out. I find studying alone and then referring to the professor--either in person or through e-mail--to be a much easier and productive solution. Study groups are like Wikipedia--you never really know if what your given is the true authority. Avoid them at all costs.

Current Law Students / Case Law isn't the best way to learn Civ Pro
« on: December 13, 2007, 05:24:21 PM »
Does anyone else think that reading case law isn't necessarily the best way to learn Civil Procedure? Most people seem to use a supplement in order to truly understand the rules, and most cases don't necessarily explain the ins and outs of a given provision. Case in point: Diversity. When I'm reading a diversity case, the opinions never seem to get into the various methods of determining a corporations "principle place of business" etc etc. Judges tend to write from the standpoint that you (the reader) know what they are talking about already. To me it makes much more sense to read a supplement first (like E & E) and then read the case law as a supplement to that. Anyone agree/disagree?

Current Law Students / Re: Torts - Negligence Per Se
« on: December 13, 2007, 05:03:21 PM »
Also keep in mind that speed limit statutes are not always enacted for the purpose of protecting others from injury. My Torts professor gave us an example of a speed limit statute in Virginia that was enacted for the purpose limiting oil consumption, or something along those lines. In any event, the statute didn't act as the duty standard in this instance--where the injury suffered was the result of negligent speeding.

And to the above poster--I think what me and the other person were trying to say was that the original post did not provide any information regarding the purpose of the statute, and therefore we couldn't make a judgment as to whether negligence per se applies or not.

Current Law Students / Re: Torts - Negligence Per Se
« on: December 12, 2007, 10:46:50 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, 10:36:57 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, 10:21:11 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.

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