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Author Topic: for exam purposes: are dissenting and concurring opinions important?  (Read 2065 times)

angies

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Hi guys :)

Just wondering, since the majority opinion is the "law", whether Profs will test something from the dissent on exams? But some of those dissenting or concurring opinions are pretty powerful, especially in Conlaw. So, any thoughts?

purpeng

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Re: for exam purposes: are dissenting and concurring opinions important?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2007, 11:54:34 PM »
Some dissents are important -- think Harlan in Plessy. 

That said, I don't really know the answer to your question -- we didn't have essays taht asked about specific cases or dissents on the final. 

angies

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Re: for exam purposes: are dissenting and concurring opinions important?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2007, 11:59:19 PM »
Thanks.

Is it practical to use some arguments or analysis in the dissent will in writing exam essays? Can you use some points from the dissent to illustrate your idea?

brewha

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Re: for exam purposes: are dissenting and concurring opinions important?
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2007, 01:35:52 AM »
Thanks.

Is it practical to use some arguments or analysis in the dissent will in writing exam essays? Can you use some points from the dissent to illustrate your idea?


No.  Don't waste your time learning dissents.  Know the black letter law and how to apply it.  Do practice exams.
pudding is delightful

rhombot

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Re: for exam purposes: are dissenting and concurring opinions important?
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2007, 05:31:07 AM »
depends on the class and professor. if the professor discusses the dissents in class, be prepared to apply them on the exam.
case '09

jacy85

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Re: for exam purposes: are dissenting and concurring opinions important?
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2007, 08:01:03 AM »
Depends on the dissent.  Sometimes, the dissent adopts the minority rule, and on occasion, the minority rule has since become the majority rule.

I've had a professor specify on an exam whether you are in a minority or a majority jurisdictions, so the minority rules have been very important.

So read the dissents and concurring opinions. If they're just disagreeing with how the majority viewed the facts, I wouldn't worry about it much.  BUt if it takes another view of the law, I'd make a quick note about it.

purpeng

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Re: for exam purposes: are dissenting and concurring opinions important?
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2007, 08:05:41 AM »
I think Jacy explained it better than I could have.

slacker

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Re: for exam purposes: are dissenting and concurring opinions important?
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2007, 08:16:17 AM »
Jackson's concurrence in Youngstown Steel is the one that always gets quoted.

If there are a few cases like that that are big for the prof., definitely be aware of them. In general, though, this probably won't be an issue.

xferlawstudent

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Re: for exam purposes: are dissenting and concurring opinions important?
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2007, 12:22:19 AM »
Andrews dissent in Palsgraf

lalala

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Re: for exam purposes: are dissenting and concurring opinions important?
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2007, 08:27:55 AM »
depends on the professor...

for example, Our con law professor spent a ton of time on the 14th Amendment and always talked about two competing views of the 14th -- 1) the idea that the Constitution is colorblind, and race is always and everywhere irrelevant (including affirmative action etc)  or 2) the idea that the Constitution prohibits only oppressive laws based on race.  we had a race-based affirmative action question on the exam, and both the majority and dissenting opinions were important for the exam, b/c of the two different views of the law. 

You should be able to tell what your prof values and whether he/she wants something like that.