Law School Discussion

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Messages - LVP

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21
General Board / Re: Attorney Job with best hours?
« on: October 06, 2007, 02:17:01 PM »
stay at home parent.  the end.

OP was looking for a 40 hr/wk. job, not a 168 hr./wk. job.


@OP:

I had the same concerns you had going in, and I pretty much wrote off the idea of a large firm.  But now I'm finding more out, and it seems doable.  If you are in a big city, the first thing you'll want to do is get out.  Firms are less demanding in smaller markets.  But wherever you are, you won't get a job at a firm for 40 hrs./wk., but you probably won't have to throw your life away either.  But if you don't want to mess with it, there are government jobs that will be much more reasonable.  Best of luck.

22
General Board / Re: Preferring hanging with undergrads
« on: October 06, 2007, 02:07:47 PM »
I don't know any undergrads.  Most of my classmates have plenty of personality and little or no arrogance.  So, yes, personality > arrogance, but I still like hanging out with law students.  Plus, we have more in common.  My guess is either your law school has more jerks than mine, or you've assumed everyone's going to be arrogant, and haven't given people a chance.

23
I would say on a Torts exam, it's a good idea to make a list of all the characters involved, especially if the ultimate call of the question is something like "Describe all the bases of tort liability among the parties."  Then, next to each character, you can list every way in which this person might claim an injury.  Think like an ambulance-chaser.  Then you can discuss all of those.

On a Contracts exam, you might do better to make sort of a timeline of things.  Offer and acceptance and consideration are relatively simple, but revocations can make it tougher, and then when you start to look at different and additional terms under the UCC, partial breach and material breach, opportunity to cure, and so on... it gets tough.  So a timeline can help to untangle some of those threads.  Contracts II was the hardest exam I've taken so far.

On a Crim exam, you could take either approach.  If you have a fact pattern with a lot of characters committing crimes, you might want to go with the Torts dramatis personae approach.  On the other hand, if you've got one really creative miscreant running around, a timeline might be good, although it will likely be simpler (not to say easier) than Contracts.

On a Civ Pro exam, the questions are likely to be much more specific, so the call of the question will dictate your organization.

On a Con Law exam, if your professor is like mine, he just wants you to make as many good arguments as you can.  The "shotgun" approach may be effective - worry less about organization, and just start writing down arguments - they have to be good ones, but the more the better.

On a Property exam... I don't know, look at the fact pattern and the call of the question, and just figure out what makes the most sense.

On all exams - STOP PANICKING.  It doesn't get you points.  Write something down.  Talk about something.  Putting words on paper/screen is a necessary, though not sufficient, condition of doing well on an exam.  If you don't know what to talk about first, talk about the first thing you can think of.  You can come back to things later.  With practice, your organization will improve.  Keep at it.  It's only September.

24

ok thanks, let me see if i now understand this. But for is step 1, and if you have no "but for" cause you are done.  But once you establish "but for" cause, you still have to establish proximate cause? So I guess in the easiest way to state it, is "but for" causation necessary to prove negligence, but not sufficient because you also need proximate cause?

This is exactly correct.

25
General Board / Re: Issue Preclusion and OJ Simpson
« on: September 20, 2007, 11:24:43 AM »
different parties asserting their rights as well.
Criminal case was the State.
Civil case was the survivors.


That's the biggest reason.  Collateral estoppel can be invoked by, but not against, someone who was not a party to the original action.  If OJ had lost his criminal case, maybe (maybe) the plaintiffs could have used that in the civil case.  Since he won the criminal case, he could not use collateral estoppel against someone who was not party to it.

26
Your method is good for determining whether actual, "but-for" causation is present. Proximate cause is subjective, and the best that can be said about it is that it encompasses some combination of foreseeability and "non-attenuatedness." You couldn't design a formula to determine proximate cause any more than you could design one to determine whether someone likes you or not.

Let me see if I understand this correctly. "But-for" causation is used for determining Negligence Per Se cases, while Proximate cause is used for regular Negligence?

"But-for" causation is always needed.  (Well, maybe not in respondeat superior, but we'll leave that alone for now).  Negligence per se allows you to get around proving duty and breach.  You still have to show proximate cause.  I don't think there's a way to get around proximate cause.  Your four elements are duty, breach, causation and damages, and that causation element is legal cause, which includes "but-for" (cause in fact) and proximate cause.

Let's take an example.  You are driving 40 mph in a 25 zone.  Coming around a curve, you see me, but can't stop in time, and hit me, causing injuries.  When I sue you, I don't have to make the case to the jury that you had a duty to me to drive at a certain speed - instead, I can rely on the statute, and your violation of the statute, per se, establishes your breach of duty.  I only have to prove causation, which is easy, and damages, which should be as well, and rebut your defense of comparative negligence.

Another example.  I am driving 40 mph in a 25 zone.  You are my passenger.  As we drive under a tree, a branch falls, goes through my windshield on the passenger side, and hits you in the head, causing injuries.  When you sue me - well, you probably won't be able to rely on the statute for negligence per se, for other reasons, but let's say for the sake of they hypo that you can use the statute to establish negligence per se.  You still have to show causation, which you won't be able to do.  Although my speeding is clearly a "but-for" cause of your injuries (after all, if I had been driving 25, the branch would have fallen long before we reached the tree), it is not the legal cause, because, as the court might phrase it, it was unforeseeable that my excessive speed would put us under that particular tree at that particular moment, causing that injury.  You will likely not recover.

Note - I could be somewhat off on this.  I booked Torts, but that was last year...

Back to your OP, the response was correct - your logical analysis is great for "but-for" causation, but won't help you in proximate cause.

"The life of the law is not logic, but experience."

27
General Board / Re: Is your school "cut throat"?
« on: September 20, 2007, 08:50:16 AM »
I'm at Michigan State.  My answers are:

No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes

There are a few students here with a pretty competitive attitude.  For example, some students won't ask questions when the prof holds a review session because they don't want the other students to have the answer to the question.  But for the most part, everyone's friendly and not too competitive.

The thing is, there is The Curve, so competition is forced on us.  So to some extent, if you try to be completely non-competitive, it's almost like you're ignoring reality.  But I don't really think a competitive attitude helps anyone in the end.  I'm happy to share my notes with anyone, help anyone understand something, even share my outline or something, and I'm top of my class, but then again, a couple of those really competitive people are also right near the top of our class as well, so who knows?

28
General Board / Re: 1L's with horribly early class schedules?
« on: September 19, 2007, 05:39:54 AM »
I'm wondering what kind of lawyer these 1Ls hope to become, when they have a hard time being up and ready to work at 8 or 9 each morning.  Good luck, whiners!

29
Read that first law a little more carefully:
45-6-6  Offenses punishable by state law. – No ordinance or regulation, made by a town council, shall impose or at any time be construed to continue to impose, any penalty for the commission or omission of any act punishable as a crime, misdemeanor, or offense, by the statute law of the state.

That is: if the state has a law against X, no town may pass an ordinance or regulation against X.  If Rhode Island has a law against loud parties, then I'm guessing that under 45-6-6, your town's ordinance is no good.  I don't think it's likely that Rhode Island has a law against loud parties.

30
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: Spell check on tests?
« on: September 15, 2007, 03:12:24 PM »
I tend to disagree. Grading exams is often so, so subjective.

Even if subconsciously, if your exam is full of grammatical errors it might make your test seem less thought out, or cohesive, or intelligent.

Think of it this way...two tests equal in all ways are on the border of A- or B+ and because of the curve only one can get the A-. The only difference is that one is full of spelling errors and the other isn't. Which one gets the A-?

This is a good point, but I think it's pretty rare that you would find yourself right on that knife's edge.  Most of the profs I've had have worked hard to make exam grading as objective as possible, and make it as much about the content as possible.  Still, on the very rare occasion that a prof has to pull you up or knock you down, spelling and grammar might be the deciding factor...

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