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Author Topic: Announcing the most BORING LSD thread EVER! Here we ask & answer legal questions  (Read 6399 times)

"Legapp" Stands for "Legal Application"

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I know this would make more sense in the current students side of the board, but since all the smart people seem to have stayed on this side, I'm throwing it here.

So let's have 'em... stuff that's been bothering you in class, but your prof is unable/unwilling to explain it properly....  here's mine: what's the difference between a motion for summary judgment (R. 56) and a motion for judgment as a matter of law (R. 50a)?  Is the only difference the stage in the trial when you can file them?

PS--also, which 1L cases would make the best Halloween costume?  We're having a dress-up party next week  ;)
I am officially a law school graduate : )

J D

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I know this would make more sense in the current students side of the board, but since all the smart people seem to have stayed on this side, I'm throwing it here.

So let's have 'em... stuff that's been bothering you in class, but your prof is unable/unwilling to explain it properly....  here's mine: what's the difference between a motion for summary judgment (R. 56) and a motion for judgment as a matter of law (R. 50a)?  Is the only difference the stage in the trial when you can file them?

PS--also, which 1L cases would make the best Halloween costume?  We're having a dress-up party next week  ;)

This is actually a pretty good idea, since the students board is infested with an indeterminate number of really annoying trolls, sock-puppets, and anony-mice.  If it were ever intended to serve as a source of useful information, it really can't fulfill that purpose now, and so it might lie with the current students on this side of the forum to pick up the slack.

In answer to your query: basically, yes.  A motion for summary judgment under rule 56 is brought before the trial begins, usually after discovery, but sometimes after the pleadings have been filed, depending on the circumstances (i.e., if the defendant seeks to bring any other facts not included in the complaint to the attention of the court which entitle him to judgment as a matter of law; if there are no disputed issues of fact and the issue is a purely legal one, etc.).  A motion for judgment as a matter of law, however, is brought after the trial has begun (there used to be 2 separate names governing situations where the motion was brought before or after the jury had rendered a verdict - directed verdict vs. j.n.o.v. - but the Federal Rules consolidate both scenarios under the heading "judgment as a matter of law").

Other than this, the only other difference between the two is the basis for the judge's decision.  Though the standard is essentially the same (whether the evidence viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party shows the non-existence of any genuine issue of material fact, such that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law), the judge considering a motion for summary judgment is supposed to look at the pleadings, the admissible evidence unearthed during discovery, together with any affidavits, if any, to see whether a reasonable jury could decide the case only one way.  By contrast, a judge considering a motion for judgment as a matter of law is supposed to consider the evidence presented to the jury thus far AT TRIAL in making his decision, whether a reasonable jury could decide the case in only one way or not.

If any of this is mistaken, or if I've left something really important out, I have no doubt that other current law students will jump in to correct me.  But I think this is right (from what I recall of Civil Procedure) and hope it answers the question.  Next!
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Jinx

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AlternaLex

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Oooh!  Mr. How Dare You Accuse Me in an Attempt to Distract You From My Failure to Directly Answer Your Question and to Make You Feel Bad For Your Insistence!

H4CS

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Why can you be convicted for attempted rape for having sex with a corpse you believed to be alive?

Actually, I know the answer to this question, I'm just unsatisfied with it.  It's also by far the best thing I think I've read in Crim all term.  I've started to refer to various things as "shooting a stuffed deer."

AlternaLex

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Is that like beating a dead horse?

This is a euphemism for something else, I believe.
Oooh!  Mr. How Dare You Accuse Me in an Attempt to Distract You From My Failure to Directly Answer Your Question and to Make You Feel Bad For Your Insistence!

H4CS

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Is that like beating a dead horse?

No.  It's shorthand for what used to be known as legally impossible, as opposed to factually impossible.  Having sex with someone you think is under the age of consent, but is not, is like shooting a stuffed deer.  This is attempted statutory rape.  Going to Madame Tussaud's and picking the pocket of a wax statue (legally impossible as it is no crime to rob a statue) is no different than picking the pocket of someone without a wallet (factually impossible, as they have nothing to rob).  Both are attempted robbery. 

There used to be a defense of legal impossiblility, but it has since been abandoned for reasons which I find suspect.  Thus, it's illegal to meet online and arrange to have sex with a police officer who you think is 12 years old.  This would have been legally impossible, as no crime would have been committed had you actually slept with the police officer.  The MPC abandoned impossiblity as a defense as it relied on external circumstances and not mens rea.  I'm not sure this was a good thing.

Miss P

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Is that like beating a dead horse?

No.  It's shorthand for what used to be known as legally impossible, as opposed to factually impossible.  Having sex with someone you think is under the age of consent, but is not, is like shooting a stuffed deer.  This is attempted statutory rape.  Going to Madame Tussaud's and picking the pocket of a wax statue (legally impossible as it is no crime to rob a statue) is no different than picking the pocket of someone without a wallet (factually impossible, as they have nothing to rob).  Both are attempted robbery. 

There used to be a defense of legal impossiblility, but it has since been abandoned for reasons which I find suspect.  Thus, it's illegal to meet online and arrange to have sex with a police officer who you think is 12 years old.  This would have been legally impossible, as no crime would have been committed had you actually slept with the police officer.  The MPC abandoned impossiblity as a defense as it relied on external circumstances and not mens rea.  I'm not sure this was a good thing.

I think, but I am not sure, that a few jurisdictions retain the legal impossibility defense.  Louisiana comes to mind.  You know, a great state for divining criminal defense resources in the law.  Okay, I'm a little drunk and have no business in this thread.
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H4CS

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I think, but I am not sure, that a few jurisdictions retain the legal impossibility defense.  Louisiana comes to mind.  You know, a great state for divining criminal defense resources in the law.  Okay, I'm a little drunk and have no business in this thread.

Indeed, some do.  The MPC was widely but not exclusively adopted on this issue.  My Crim professor, who I otherwise get along with, really lost it with me when this came up.  He thinks the impossibility defense was idiotic and is glad to see it go.  I'm still not convinced that there is a harm done in shooting a dead person, regardless of your mindset at the time.