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Messages - Mina

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Current Law Students / Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« on: January 18, 2009, 07:49:38 PM »
Are you serious?  Assumption of risk because . . . maybe he lived near a shooting range?  This would not fly on any of my exams.

Maybe this is why you think all exams are controlled by luck Miss P? Because you really dislike speculating, and I don't know why. I think you should consider trying it on a practice exams, and ask your professor about it--before you rationalize the tool away. I really believe its helpful.

Consider this:
If he did live near a shooting range/hi crime rate area, the defendant would have an assumption of risk defense and a very solid one.

As a Plaintif's attorney I could lose my case unless I asked this man about it, and as a defense attorney, I could win my case if I asked the place. The question is harmless, and can only benefit. Actually, it would be malpractice if you did not ask that question, and it turned out to be the case.
(Rule 11 violation of investigation of facts)



Current Law Students / Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« on: January 18, 2009, 07:27:30 PM »
tortNretort, since you have posted elsewhere that your professors have told you your problem was throwing in too many tangential issues, I strongly urge you to disregard Mina's advice.  Issue-selection is much more important for you than issue-spotting.  Spinning out additional twists to the hypos will lead you away from the meatiest issues.

Thank You Miss P for bringing up that point.
This is a good point, as there is a risk of over-speculation. I think it highlights the idea your speculation should be reasonable. And, one should not spend much time discussing the speculated issues. JUST NOTE them, and DON"T DISCUSS THEM, unless you really should.

 For example, Man shoots other man's leg, hitting him while he was at home eating breakfast.

1. there is likely a trespass here, the bullet was in the other man's home.

2. the bullet hit him (core discussion battery).

3. assumption of risk should also be dicussed. Since bullets don't usually fly into people's home, may be the area was hi-crime rate, may be he lives near shooting range etc.

If I was a professor, only people that spot (3) would get an A. The rest would be mediocre. The reason is, part of being a lawyer is your ability to realize YOU NEED MORE FACTS, your Ability to Notice that YOU NEED MORE to make a complete legal analysis.   

But if I discussed self-defense in that hypo, I would be wrong. And if I discussed, 'necesstiy': may be another person had to shoot to protect himself, and this is reason it cam through the window. I would be wrong if I spent any more time OVER that sentence in discussion. RAISING the issue is enough. 

Its really fine line that takes much practice. But I find it essential to an A.


Current Law Students / Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« on: January 18, 2009, 06:54:36 PM »
Yes I am adding to the facts. But this is because the facts command my addition. 

There are two types of facts.

Facts that command you speculate externally (like my hypo). And, facts that are self-contained.
This is a judgement call, decided on each fact. My hypo clearly required it. Others may not, when you are unsure, speculate about the issue, i.e. just raise it and don't discuss it. (there could be this issue, but I would need more facts) 

You helped me bring out two basic points also:

1. To apply the law to facts YOU NEED TO PRACTICE THIS "SKILL" ALL SEMESTER NOT AT THE END. For example, looking at  exam from day one will help one know what they are looking for, and apply newly learnt law to complete set of facts.

2. Second, One way to look at the exam, is a chance for you to speak about the law, whenever it is reasonable to do so. I don't like saying this because it is over-simplictic, and its abstract form overshadows the actual skill that one needs to cultivate.

3. Try to test the hypo's assumptions. Professors really love to test this. Another way to phrase this: is to ask for more facts which CAN or MAY 'reasonably' touch upon some elements of a legal rule, or case holding but DOES NOT do it clearly in the hypo.

The last idea is experimental; so make sure your professor tests people like this. One way is to ask them if you should speculate while revieiwng their exams (during office).


This has come to be known as the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. The physicist Werner Heisenberg suggested that just by observing quantum matter, we affect the behavior of that matter. Thus, we can never be fully certain of the nature of a quantum object or its attributes, like velocity and location. This idea is supported by the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. Posed by the Danish physicist Niels Bohr, this interpretation says that all quantum particles don't exist in one state or the other, but in all of its possible states at once. The sum total of possible states of a quantum object is called its wave function. The state of an object existing in all of its possible states at once is called its superposition. According to Bohr, when we observe a quantum object, we affect its behaviour. Observation breaks an object's superposition and essentially forces the object to choose one state from its wave function. This theory accounts for why physicists have taken opposite measurements from the same quantum object: The object "chose" different states during different measurements.

Speaking of Heisenberg, the inventor of the 'uncertainty principle': he thought Heraclitus (you know who Heraclitus is, don'tcha) views only needed a bit of tweaking to bring them totally up-to-date:

Modern physics is in some ways extremely near to the doctrines of Heraclitus. If we replace the word 'fire' by the word 'energy' we can repeat this statement word for word from our modern point of view. Energy is in fact the substance from which all elementary particles, all atoms and therefore all things are made, and energy is that which moves... Energy may be called the fundamental cause for all change in the world.

By the way, Heraclitus was an aristocrat who lived on the Ionian cost of Greece. His preference for composing short, almost paradoxical philosophical epigrams later earned him the sobriquet 'the Dark'. But it is an innocuous-looking dictum about rivers that has made his reputation. You cannot step into the same river twice. Heracliteanism became a doctrine encapsulated by Plato as the view that "all is flux." But Plato himself was echoing Cratylus, who had only earlier decided for himself what it was that Heraclitus must have meant. Cratylus' idea that everything was changing all the time was then taken up by Empedocles, who embellished the other Heraclitean notion of a world continually torn between the two evocatively named forces, 'love' and 'strife', in order to reveal its essential character. The world becomes a sphere of perfect love in which strife, like a swirling vortex, has infiltrated. Whose idea was it, then? Heraclitus', or Cratylus', or...? It keeps changing.

But in any case, the point about the river seems to have been a more prosaic one to do with the nature of human experience. We encounter things all the time as being different, but behind the appearance of diversity is a more important and more fundamental unity: "cold things grow hot, the hot cools, the wet dries, the parched moistens." Not that Heraclitus is saying that the senses are deceived, for "whatever comes from sight, hearing, experience, this I privilege," he adds. Even life and death are as one, Heraclitus continues. "The same living and dead, what is awake and what sleeps, young and old... for those changed are those, and those changed around are these." The opposites are united by change: they change into each other. And change is the fundamental reality of the universe. The highest, 'divine' perspective sees all the opposites: "day and night, winter and summer, war and peace, plenty and famine," all are the same. With the divine perspective, even good and evil are the same.

Two thousand years later, Professor Hegel found in Heraclitus' swirling vortex of the unity of opposites the kernel of a new 'world philosophy', the origins of 'speculative logic', and the historical notion of perpetual change. For your information, it was not the first time Hegel was borrowing or echoing, whatever you wanna call it. In 1766, Johan Titius translated into German "Contemplation de la Nature" by the French natural philosopher Bonnet, where the latter remarks that maybe there are more planets in our solar system than were known at his time. Titus added to this remark that one may notice that the distances of the planets from one another can be approximated by a sequence of numbers that can be generated by an algorithm that is known as the 'Titius Bode Law.' Hegel's dissertation (1801) "De orbitis planetarum" revolves around the discussion of the Titius-Bode law and likely influenced his concept of history as a series of successive epochs from the Prehistoric and Asian, through Ancient, Feudal, Industrial and post-Industrial Stages. The predictive power of the Titus-Bode Law was improved by Stephen Phillips' formulation of the Titius-Bode-Phillips Spiral Algorithm, after he interposed Hegelian dialectic spiral of historical development on the photograph of the Whirlpool Galaxy, captured by the Hubble telescope.

At any rate, Hegel's battle between thesis and antithesis, searching for synthesis, led directly both to Marx's dialectical materialism and to the fascist idealogy of the purifying powers of conflict and war. But then, Heraclitus himself had declared: "You must know that war is common to all things, and strife is justice." It is only the heat of battle that can "prove some to be gods and others to be mere men, by turning the latter into slaves and the former into masters." Actually, there is another way of looking at Heraclitus. At the same time as he was outlining his theory of perpetual, cyclical change, the Chinese sage Lao Tzu was explaining the cyclical nature of the Tao, manifested in the famous interplay of yin and yang. But that is another story altogether.


This was pretty good.

Just some cautionary notes:

1. Heraclitus views are second-hand. He did not write a book, and the stuff we have from Heraclitus are a few fragments found in other historians recollection of him.

2. No one really agrees on his theory of fire, some co-opted it for their own use

3. His theory on unity of opposites is very complex. Under some interpretations it is completely incompatible with Hegel. For example, one idea of Heraclitus' theory of opposites holds the logos (logic) of the cosmos corresponds to the deepness of the soul, and thus even when we percive opposites, we are percieving the same logos. According to this interpretation, there can be no thesis, anithesis, or synthesis, since the unity of opposites would be a matter of perception of the logos. That is, the logos is the unity, and our perception creates the opposites. There would be no room for this idea of thesis or antithesis, or change, since everything stays the same.   

Another interpretation, would be that the unity of opposites was statement that each opposite is different from the other according to degree. For example, 1% Cold, is really 99% not hot.

Several others exist. The interpretation this quoted author proffers is not supported by arguments, but co-opted Heraclitus quotes (which is very easy to do). Readers beware!

Current Law Students / Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« on: January 18, 2009, 05:35:44 PM »
There is only one thing that impacts your 1L grades.

Your ability to apply law to facts. The person's Dexterity with the Law.

This is not true.  There is at least one other factor that makes a big difference, speed.  I also imagine that a lot of exams are close enough in quality that it would be very hard to determine the difference between an A and an A- or a C and a C+ (or to make the same determination again).  Thus, there is some luck involved.

I do not think we disagree. Speed is part of one's ability to apply law to facts.
Luck has no impact at all to an essay that applies law to all the facts very well.
Luck's effects are limited to the class of exams that fall short of excellence.
No one should be aiming at mediocrity. 
Also, luck does not impact one's skill in spotting issues when mastery has been attained.

Current Law Students / Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« on: January 18, 2009, 03:09:31 PM »
There is only one thing that impacts your 1L grades.

Your ability to apply law to facts. The person's Dexterity with the Law.

this assumes the following:

1. You know the Law Cold
2. You read the Facts meitculously
3. You MUST  in every paragraph TAKE the facts and analytically PLUG them into the law
(4. You adress counterarguements)
And 5. YOU do NO BS (i.e. day-dream arguments)

What is meant by Hard-work?  Work can be hard because it is long, or because it is tedious, or because it is mentally draining, or because the technique employed is one that would make a simple job more complex.(e.g. a wagon with square wheels)

This term is too vague to garner any benefit

What is meant by intelligence?
A horse-trainer would likely be considered intellgent when he tames wild horses, a mechanic would be considered intelligent according to his abaility to fix cars, and likewise, a lawyer would be considered intelligent according to his command of legal books. A person who can train horses, fix cars, and practice law, would be considered intelligent according to those three subjects.

The idea of intellegence as somehow existing apart from any trade or discipline is one that cannot be sustained empirically.

And of Luck?
"Men are in control of roughly half their fate, the other half is governed by fortune."- Machiavelli

There is no luck, only skilled or unskilled. You choose which you are going to be.

II. Thinking like a lawyer.
Law shcool exam question:
Man shoots other man. Discuss:

Normal Person:
He is guilty of a crime, he shot him, this falls with murder or assult, his acts show he wanted to shoot him and he did beyond a reasonable doubt. &c.

He MAY have killed him. He could have shot the man in the toe, or maybe the bullet did not hit him. If the Bullet hit him, theyre MAY be an assult. If there was an assult, we would have to see if there could have been defenses. Some valid defenses would be self defense, defesne of 3rd persons. For example, if the man tried to shoot the shooter 1st or attacked him, then the shooter may be justfieid in shooting this man. However, if the defense was one that did not call for a weapon it would not be justified, as it would likely be an escalation.

Other incomplete defenses would be defense of property, or intoxication. If the man shot the other under the influence, he might be partially excused, because it would likely be hard to show Mens Rea, if at all.

It is also possible, the man was a police officer, if so, he may have defense of authrotiy. 

Its also possible the man was killed. if so, it would probably be relevant whether this could be seen as a heat of passion killing, even though it does not sound like it. It also seems the man shot him for no reasons, and as such, can probably match the elements of a delibarate killing and willful killing. The last element for murder 1, would be premdittated, and while the facts do not show that the man premeditated, had he purchased a gun for that purpose it could be seen as some sort of premditaation.

Its also possible this is a movie, in which case there was some sort of consent, and may be no crime at all occurred.


1. May be, Probably, Possible, Can be, Likely, more likely than not etc.
2. because, since, as, due to &.
3. Seems, sounds, appears, smells

--> Don't Assume, Don't Assume, Don't Assume. Each fact is ALWAYS different, even if similar. 

Thats all I can think of at the moment. 

You can start studying e-con right NOW!

Current Law Students / Re: My Outline Sucks. Epic Fail?
« on: November 15, 2008, 11:19:42 AM »
you should be fine, just organize it
and don't make it chatty. (you don't want to talk to yourself on the exam now do you?)

btw your guess was right :)

Current Law Students / Re: Strategy or recipe for disaster?
« on: November 07, 2008, 07:08:19 PM »
Your right Jacy, I was kind of lazy.

But I did not skim always, only 20% or so of my reading.
20% I read very analytic reading.
And I would say 60% just regular reading. 

But I never briefed outside of class.

Current Law Students / Re: Strategy or recipe for disaster?
« on: November 07, 2008, 06:20:28 PM »
well I did brief, but in class.

I would get the facts, the rule, and apply the rule to the facts and get the holding, but as you can probably tell, there is some gaps that need filling.

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