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Author Topic: Case Law isn't the best way to learn Civ Pro  (Read 1718 times)

USC313

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Case Law isn't the best way to learn Civ Pro
« on: December 13, 2007, 08:24:21 PM »
Does anyone else think that reading case law isn't necessarily the best way to learn Civil Procedure? Most people seem to use a supplement in order to truly understand the rules, and most cases don't necessarily explain the ins and outs of a given provision. Case in point: Diversity. When I'm reading a diversity case, the opinions never seem to get into the various methods of determining a corporations "principle place of business" etc etc. Judges tend to write from the standpoint that you (the reader) know what they are talking about already. To me it makes much more sense to read a supplement first (like E & E) and then read the case law as a supplement to that. Anyone agree/disagree?

jacy85

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Re: Case Law isn't the best way to learn Civ Pro
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2007, 11:16:17 PM »
I think the case method works for personal jurisdiction, because there's a lot of policy concerns, development, tests, etc.

But for the rest?  I think case books need to do a better job explaining the rule first, and then giving a case that shows its application.  A supplement would be unnecessary if the casebooks did a better job.

Prizark

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Re: Case Law isn't the best way to learn Civ Pro
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2007, 11:51:22 PM »
The posts above mine are right on target.

I had to run out and get a supplement for civ pro because the casebook doesn't explain anything and the prof does little to clear anything up.

Big V

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Re: Case Law isn't the best way to learn Civ Pro
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2007, 09:39:35 PM »
The posts above mine are right on target.

I had to run out and get a supplement for civ pro because the casebook doesn't explain anything and the prof does little to clear anything up.

KISS (keep it simple stupid) Case law is not intended to convey civ pro. Rather, case law although a bunch of bull sh-- much of the time is intended? to convey legal reasoning. If you want to learn civ pro read the supplement.

Big V

TheNewGuy

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Re: Case Law isn't the best way to learn Civ Pro
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2007, 03:44:41 AM »
I was thinking the same thing up until about 3 days before the final when it all started to crystalize.

All in all, yes the cases are soooo dense sometimes, with little reward at the end...  What I would hate is all the effort I would spend to come up with the rule, when in reality, the interpretation is out there, and the case amounts to a short sentence or two.

I want to say almost all of our civpro cases were in federal ct, if not all, and about 1/2 were Supreme Court cases... also, each had a really particular rule (makes sense)

Some ones are great illustrations though.  I don't remember whether I cited any cases on the exam.  I probably cited Asahi at least.

other good cases: Mas (domicle / students),  Pennoyer, International Shoe, Ashahi (PJ), all the "Arising Under" SMJ ones (e.g. ....[?] Motley, Merill Dow), the supplemental jurisdiction ones (geez i forget by now - that is 1 week later)...

Dr. Balsenschaft

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Re: Case Law isn't the best way to learn Civ Pro
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2007, 11:27:53 AM »
Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Allapattah Services, Inc. is an excellent case for explaining supplemental jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. sec. 1367 and it ties together all the cases that came before it.

Prizark

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Re: Case Law isn't the best way to learn Civ Pro
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2007, 12:02:47 PM »
The posts above mine are right on target.

I had to run out and get a supplement for civ pro because the casebook doesn't explain anything and the prof does little to clear anything up.

KISS (keep it simple stupid) Case law is not intended to convey civ pro. Rather, case law although a bunch of bull sh-- much of the time is intended? to convey legal reasoning. If you want to learn civ pro read the supplement.

Big V

I did have to read the supplement to learn the material. But, that is not how I should be learning (on my own). That's why there a prof!!!! And cases don't convey anything!

santropez

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Re: Case Law isn't the best way to learn Civ Pro
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2007, 03:11:04 PM »
I disagree.  Although I learned the basics of Civ Pro from Glannon (thank god for that man), the cases provide the best illustrations of how the rules work in practice. Understanding the cases is often essential to performing well on exams, because the prof will write hypos that bear logical similarities to cases that were discussed in class.  With pleadings, for example, a case like Wigglesworth effectively illustrates how a compulsory counterclaim works, and how supplemental j/d applies to these claims.  Knowing the case law for personal j/d is also crucial, as there are a handful of landmark supreme court decisions (that I'm sure we're all familiar with) that each illustrate different concepts - forming a unified framework for analysis. 

That being said, when studying for exams I exclusively used study aids and my own outline.  At that point, I already knew the cases and how they were significant...


jacy85

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Re: Case Law isn't the best way to learn Civ Pro
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2007, 06:35:07 PM »

I did have to read the supplement to learn the material. But, that is not how I should be learning (on my own). That's why there a prof!!!! And cases don't convey anything!

In general, I disagree with this on every level possible.  The professor is there to guide you and help you understand, especially difficult concepts.  However, I think a huge purpose of law school is to teach you how to teach yourself.  There won't be a professor there to hold your hand when you start out after graduation whenever any practice area will be new to you, the partners don't have the time to hold your hand all the time, and you'll have no one to rely upon but yourself when you have a client call up with an issue you've never seen before.

TheNewGuy

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Re: Case Law isn't the best way to learn Civ Pro
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2007, 06:59:19 PM »
Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Allapattah Services, Inc. is an excellent case for explaining supplemental jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. sec. 1367 and it ties together all the cases that came before it.

That's the thing, they're all really (linear?) and they build on each other, even if some of all of the rules from the old cases are overturned.

They illustrate how these complex fact patterns and legal issues produce a (relatively clear) answer in civpro. 


Additionally, I really like the broad type of policy concerns derived from the CivPro cases. I was just thinking about PLEADINGS FACT / EVIDENTIARY STANDARDS --- specifically, for the fed. cts- Twombly (re: heightened pleadings standard re circumstantial evidence against businesses) and FRCP rule 9 (heightened pleadings standard for any fraud claim)... and then for the states, well, close to half of them are "FACT-BASED", where you need sufficient facts to state ANY claim....

It dawned upon me... even through the "heightened" or "fact-based" standards filter plaintiffs out of court, could the result (e.g. less docket flow) allow for the existence of MORE LIBERAL TYPES OF CLAIMS, given there's a way to filter out the specific bad claims? 

(e.g. Would a strict "fact based" state be more able to create liability for new, more progressive torts? - One that I had been thinking of was "retalitory demotion" in the workplace...?)

This really got me going the other day --- Is this basically common knowledge, or am I missing something?

/end tangent