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Author Topic: help with torts  (Read 4355 times)

1Lchica

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help with torts
« on: October 19, 2007, 06:38:40 PM »
I'm having so much trouble "getting" torts. I have the E&E for torts, as well as a Crunch Time. I met with a group today to go over this practice exam question the professor gave us, and I felt like I didn't know where to start. It's like i can't wrap my head around the subject. We're studying negligence right now. Anyone have any thoughts?

red

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Re: help with torts
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2007, 07:19:36 PM »
Try thinking about torts as a big check list.  You can start with a list of torts - you have your intentional torts, negligence and strict liability torts (which you probably haven't covered yet).  Then, you can take each tort and break it down into its elements as a check list for that particular tort.

When you look at an exam problem, look at each relationship and action that the professor describes and see if it "looks" like one of the torts you have discussed.  If it does, then you have spotted your issue.  Next, you will write out the rule (each of the elements of that tort).  Then, determine if the particular facts really establish each of those elements.  You may spot sub issues within your discussion of a particular tort.  You will need to include these sub issues in your rule and analysis discussions, as well, but for the purpose of getting your head around the subject, try to start with each tort and its elements.

You may be having trouble now, because there are so many sub-issues in negligence.  Therefore, it takes a while to get through all of the elements.  Once you do, it will likely become clearer.

Red

Bob Loblaw Esq.

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Re: help with torts
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2007, 07:25:38 PM »
if you are having trouble wrapping your head around unintentional torts (negligence), that is very understandable.  It is hard to adequately answer exam hypos pertaining to negligence issues without the full picture, because there are so many aspects, and it is a theory that develops as you futher your case studies.  

If you are focusing on negligence hypos, I would try to work with the e&e questions at the end of each section before jumping to full practice exam questions. Focusing on full exam questions with intentional torts is a bit easier so this may not apply in that situation.

also, it may be helpful to keep in mind that torts exams are generally very issue intensive, in the sense that you will likely be expeceted to pull out a good number of issues pertainting to each party in the hypo, all of which may have issues pertaining to different doctrines. But then again, you may have a torts hypo that has a small number of parties and only a few large scale issues that involve quite a bit of analysis.  

I found it helpful to look at John Delaney's exam book for help on how to analyze tort hypos.  Perhaps that book can give you a rough idea on where to start your analysis.  

I know this may not be the most helpful post, sorry in advance.

1Lchica

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Re: help with torts
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2007, 11:02:28 PM »
Try thinking about torts as a big check list.  You can start with a list of torts - you have your intentional torts, negligence and strict liability torts (which you probably haven't covered yet).  Then, you can take each tort and break it down into its elements as a check list for that particular tort.

When you look at an exam problem, look at each relationship and action that the professor describes and see if it "looks" like one of the torts you have discussed.  If it does, then you have spotted your issue.  Next, you will write out the rule (each of the elements of that tort).  Then, determine if the particular facts really establish each of those elements.  You may spot sub issues within your discussion of a particular tort.  You will need to include these sub issues in your rule and analysis discussions, as well, but for the purpose of getting your head around the subject, try to start with each tort and its elements.

You may be having trouble now, because there are so many sub-issues in negligence.  Therefore, it takes a while to get through all of the elements.  Once you do, it will likely become clearer.

Red

By each element of the tort, do you mean for negligence, the rule would be duty, breach, proximate cause, etc.? And then the sub-issues could be addressed with sub-rules like res ipsa? I'm just so nervous that I'm never going to get this stuff.

Thanks so much, guys, for your advice.

1Lchica

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Re: help with torts
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2007, 11:05:06 PM »
And also, I feel like this IRAC formula is really helpful -- until I see a model answer, and it doesn't seem like it fits that at all.

On a side note, I have the LEEWS tapes, but I'm too scared to use them because I feel like it will confuse me even more since I don't even know how to put a basic exam answer together.

Papa Bear

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Re: help with torts
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2007, 11:11:43 PM »
And also, I feel like this IRAC formula is really helpful -- until I see a model answer, and it doesn't seem like it fits that at all.

On a side note, I have the LEEWS tapes, but I'm too scared to use them because I feel like it will confuse me even more since I don't even know how to put a basic exam answer together.

LEEWS will probably help, especially with torts.

And not to speak for Red, but I think you understood what she was saying.
"Facts have a well-known liberal bias."

oscarsonthepond

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Re: help with torts
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2007, 12:10:36 AM »
Don't worry - everyone feels entirely overwhelmed after their first practice exam.  By taking them you're already a big step ahead of the rest of the class....although, depending on your semester schedule, it's probably a bit early to be taking them.

red

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Re: help with torts
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2007, 11:23:29 AM »
That's exactly what I meant.

If you feel like you are using IRAC and it doesn't match the model answer, you might want to see if you can meet with your prof to see if you are on the right page.

You probably are just fine, but by talking to your prof, you might be able to get a better sense of how to evaluate whether you are hitting the points in the model answer.  Everyone writes a little differently, so it is easy to get discouraged and think that you aren't getting it, when, in fact, you are hitting 90% of the issues.

Red

brightline

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Re: help with torts
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2007, 04:51:17 PM »
If I were you, I would do LEEWS pronto. You don't need to know anything to do the program and they shouldn't confuse you. That said, make sure you actually do the exercises while listening and practice the methods before exams. Passively listening to the tapes while jogging or whatever is useless.

Glannon's E+E for torts is pretty clear. There is also a detailed section on Torts exams. If you are trying to use it as reference to look up things instead of going through the chapters deliberately and writing out answers to the questions, AND then checking them - that is where the problem lies.

Merely "having" study aids isn't going to help if you don't use them properly. The E+E and LEEWS are great materials if you take advantage of them. Incidentally, Torts is probably the easiest law school class you'll ever take. Passively sitting in class and hoping you'll absorb the material like you're back in College isn't going to work.

Also, you might want to ditch the study group until you come to a clearer understanding on your own. Most 1L study groups are just the blind leading the blind and a complete waste of time and energy.

jacy85

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Re: help with torts
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2007, 03:31:01 PM »
On a side note, I have the LEEWS tapes, but I'm too scared to use them because I feel like it will confuse me even more since I don't even know how to put a basic exam answer together.

This is STUPID.  What in god's name do you think LEEWS is??  It TEACHES YOU HOW TO PUT AN EXAM ANSWER TOGETHER.

Use it now, and stop putting it off.  As a matter of fact, it will likely help ease some of your anxiety on torts, since torts is your traditional issue spotter exam, and the most basic application of LEEWS.