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Messages - Duncanjp

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Current Law Students / Re: Civ Pro Hypo - Please help!
« on: December 30, 2011, 04:43:17 PM »
I need to look into how the district court treats discretionary counterclaims. You're right that it would have supplemental jx if the counterclaim were compulsory, and they would hear it in the interest of judicial economy. But I could swear I saw somewhere that district courts don't like to hear discretionary counterclaims. I'll have to look into that and get back to you.

Current Law Students / Re: Civ Pro Hypo - Please help!
« on: December 29, 2011, 11:42:19 PM »
The facts you provided are incomplete, Ayn. Where is D from and what is the original amount in controversy? I'm only halfway through civ pro myself, so my opinion is worth what you're paying for it. In any case, I think you could analyze whether the court had original jurisdiction in the first place unless the facts clearly stipulated that the district court had original jurisdiction based on a substantial federal question. You indicate that the main claim was a state cause of action that relied on a federal law, so it seems the lines are blurred (typical law exam). It may have been worthwhile to discuss whether the state question in the original complaint substantially outweighed the federal question. If it did, the district court could dismiss and the counterclaim would be dismissed along with it. There's also judicial economy to think about.

Incidentally, if the district court had original jurisdiction, I don't believe diversity would be a consideration as to whether the court would hear the counterclaim.

Current Law Students / Re: Lots of questions from prospective law student.
« on: November 26, 2011, 11:19:10 PM »
Pleading guilty to computer hacking at 17 is a very serious matter. Not like staying up past your bedtime, or pranks like smashing pumpkins and streaking around the block when you're 14. Hacking goes to your honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness. If you really want to become a licensed attorney, an officer of the court, you'll wait for the Bar Association to uncover your past  at your peril. Even if you slid it under the radar to get the license to practice law, how do you know that somebody who remembers you wouldn't inform the Bar Association upon learning that you, former computer hacker, had become an attorney? You might find yourself disbarred for offering a fraudulent application. Best to disclose it up front. It's a hell of a lot easier to explain your conduct at 17 when you're forthcoming about it than it is to explain away why you weren't forthcoming about it in the first place.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Relationships and first year law.
« on: November 19, 2011, 09:27:04 PM »
LOL. Somebody give the poor bastard a hug.

Current Law Students / Re: Getting Along With Other Students
« on: November 03, 2011, 01:03:00 AM »
I feel like a social outcast at my school. I try really hard to be friendly and talk to the other students, but they've become really cliquish into their study groups. It's something that I'm not really used to because I used to be one of the most sociable people on my undergraduate campus. I don't know what's going on, but I really want to remedy the situation and at least feel like I can get along with these people.

- Ringside

You don't say whether you're a 1L or what, but I would focus on doing well and worry about making friends later. Every class is full of cliquish people. Don't worry about them. Good grades are worth a lot more than getting into somebody's smarmy little clique. Get good grades, show up for class ready to brief any of the cases if called upon, and don't try so hard to be friendly. I mean, there's nothing worse than somebody who latches onto you, desperate to be your friend. Just learn to ace the exams and go about your business. Friendships will follow.

FalconJimmy is right. I don't mean to be harsh, but if you really want to be an attorney, then instead of hoping that somebody else will pay your freight, you should be smart enough and creative enough to find a way to pay for it yourself.

Current Law Students / Re: 1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?
« on: October 05, 2011, 01:36:07 PM »
IMO Jack is right.  You can get everything you need by spending quality time with a canned brief, study guide, and perhaps scanning the case - will save 30% to 50% time reading and "learning."  Spend the time you saved taking practice tests and applying the concepts.  Do you really need to read an 8 page case to effectively learn and understand the concept of "open and obvious" in premises liability?  The "black letter" series were excellent briefs for getting to the heart of things.

We've had this discussion before, but I always enjoy advocating for the other side. Sick in the head, perhaps. The platitudinous obvious, of course, is to do what works for you. With 1L under my belt, I can't deny that I don't feel the need to read every word of every case anymore. This is especially true on those eight-page cases where you take away a single rule of law that can be succinctly expressed in about eight words. In hindsight, some of that reading is probably a waste of time, particularly if your time needs to be budgeted. A canned brief can cut to the chase - and I made good use of canned briefs as a 1L, especially in contracts. (I don't want to intimate that I would never use a canned brief.) However, I was a much greener student last year than I am this year. Today, my case reading consists almost exclusively of speed reading through the facts and fluff to find that one-sentence rule of law or the two-pronged test that I'm going to need to apply to fact patterns on exams. But are most 1Ls equipped to assume such an abbreviated approach right from the start without having read any significant number of cases? Maybe, maybe not. It's a value judgment, granted. It's also a gamble. Learning to glean relevant information quickly from elaborate fact patterns takes practice. Canned briefs don't teach you how to brief. And being able to brief a fact pattern thoroughly is fundamental to writing a good paper. I have no regrets at all that I read all of the cases last year. Almost half of my 1L class didn't make it to 2L, and while the reasons are diverse, I don't know any 2Ls next to me who shortchanged the reading last year. After reading so many cases, you eventually arrive at a point where you can zip through them at speed and find the point that you need to take from it without having to read every single word comprehensively. Some people get there faster than others. But I would only caution 1Ls, especially early in the game, not to assume that they're smarter than the law school process. If reading the cases were not important to a well-rounded understanding of how to apply the law, then worthwhile law schools would not assign them to be read in the first place.

Parting thought. When called upon to brief cases in class, those who didn't survive 1L, together with those who placed in the bottom of the class, invariably just started reading the case aloud. And they'd read every freakin' bloody word until the professor mercifully stopped them. I used to marvel at this. God, I'd sit there squirming in silent agony at these high school reading-out-loud voices "briefing" the given case, and all I could think was, "Future attorney? Good luck." The students who placed at the top of the class never did that, including the book-briefers, like myself. I didn't have time to write out a formal brief for every case, although I tried to write at least one of my own for each class. Yet even by just book-briefing, a quick glance  at the facts and the issue you've scrawled in the margin and you'd say, "Oh yeah, I remember this one. The guy did this and that. The issue was whether... The rule was... Overturned." 1, 2, 3. It's easy to tell when somebody has read the case at least once, and the whole class respects that person a lot more than the plain readers. However, the litmus test is, who did better on the exams? This becomes self-evident. Ultimately, the students who discipline themselves to do most or all of the reading will also discipline themselves to do the necessary practice tests and further, they'll get more mileage from every practice test they write than will those who skirt the reading.

Current Law Students / Re: 1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?
« on: October 01, 2011, 12:28:43 PM »
Good legal writing is usually learned through practice, not study.  Some people are naturals, but most people have to write briefs and pleadings over and over to improve. 
It's extremely easy as a 1L to get side-tracked by pursuits and strategies that will not actually help you prepare for the final exam. 

Try to listen and read and all that good stuff.  Read a commercial outline or hornbook if you are stumped... but in your extra time: get an old outline for the class and go over it many many times along with taking notes on the outline during class, get any practice tests you can get your hands on and write out your answers.  The best way to succeed on a law school exam is to prepare specifically for a law school exam, rather than trying to be a universal legal scholar.

Absolutely correct. There is no question that the best way to succeed on exams is to practice writing exams, especially old exams from the same professor. I aced my finals in May, and I did it by spending 14 hours a day for the three or four days just prior to each exam doing nothing but writing practice exam after practice exam.

Current Law Students / Re: 1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?
« on: October 01, 2011, 12:18:29 PM »
1ls are not tested on legal writing skills.

You think I'm nuts? LOL.

They are tested on well they understand the material when given a different set of fact patterns.  Making sure all the elements are met or not met.  IRAC with detail. 

This is accurate.

If you think you have to write like you are some judge in 1800 England

Who said anything of the sort? I said, "It's not just an enhanced vocabulary: it's analysis." Professors may give you a pass on a certain measure of misspellings when you're writing against the clock, but writing in IRAC format is writing like a judge. The "legal voice" of which I spoke is in the mind. It's a sensitivity, a capacity for proper analysis of a fact pattern that begins to develop as you become increasingly familiar with case law. You start to hear the attorney in your head. As Justanothersucker suggested, A/B papers are not written by Jersey Shore writers. It has little to do with using 25-cent words, although if your vocabulary doesn't enlarge noticeably after even a mere month of law school, then you aren't doing the reading.

your nuts guy.

You're my nuts guy?

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Relationships and first year law.
« on: September 24, 2011, 05:21:44 PM »
Prior to her starting law school we built a really good relationship where SHE was often the one who talked of the future of us, marriage, house, etc. and even at times an insecurity that that may not happen.

However, now that she has started law school she is almost a different person in regards to us. I can hardly talk to her about "us" anymore without her getting frustrated and throwing out accusations about my "demanding" nature.

I wish somebody had told me years ago what I'm about to candidly tell you. I recognize your story. I'm sorry to say it, but if she loved you and wanted a future with you, the rigors of law school would not be a catalyst for frustrating her when you talk  of your future together. The reason your talk of "us" frustrates her is that she doesn't want to think about a dead idea. I had a relationship with a chick like that many moons ago, although the calling that the heartless iceberg found wasn't law school. But it might as well have been. I think you're going to have to face the same fact that I had to face: it's over, dude. Over. She's replaced her future with you for a shiny new future full of fabulous possibilities, with lots of new friends and exciting relationship prospects. She and her comrades are all vigorously laboring in the same championship cause, and they're heartily clapping each other on the back for having the guts to do it in the first place, while you're just hanging around as a reminder of all the time she used to waste smoking fatties and watching South Park. You're the past (whatever it really was). You're just waiting for closure. And yes, it's coming. All she sees now is the new vista ahead, full of lawyers and judges, $500 an hour, and multi-million-dollar settlements. She's going to be the next Gloria by God Allred, except that people are going to love and respect her. You, however, are the albatross that she needs to shake off. You are the dead weight that impedes her progress. And f'the love o' decency, don't kid yourself, man: once they change their minds about you, they don't come back. It sucks, but agonizing over a girl isn't going to change her mind. Even if she stayed with you, it would be based on guilt, mixed with feelings that she could have done better. Trust me here: she'd hate you for it forever.

Nothing a coupla beers and some worthwhile goals for yourself can't cure, though. Get busy. There are a lot of women out there who would love a stand up guy who envisions a future for himself and is diligently working toward it. Make that person you. Meanwhile, you might get a little temporary satisfaction if you started asserting yourself around the house. Leave the seat up. Or, don't bother to lift it at all (optional). Experiment to see which one gets you the most mileage. A small victory, yes, but you'll laugh about it 20 years later.

I don't mean to make light of a heartache. Hang in there, dude.

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