Law School Discussion

Issue Spotting

Issue Spotting
« on: January 07, 2008, 09:06:46 PM »
Am looking for a definition, and examples, of what "issue spotting" is.


Re: Issue Spotting
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2008, 10:14:50 PM »
Professors give you a longish, involved fact pattern (i.e basically a story).  You 'spot' the legal 'issues' that are presented. (i.e write about how the story presents or would make use of the rules of law you've learned in class).

Example: Fred just graduated from high school in PA.  He's packed up his stuff into his 1999 Venus and headed out to NY where his college UNY is located.  On the way to NY, he goes through NJ, and gets hit by a gets hit by a car driven by Paul, a citizen of MI visiting his sister who also lives in NY. Fred is pretty badly injured.  He's facing $60k worth of medical bills.  Furthermore, it's looking like he's not going to be able to start at UNY. UNY has been less than understanding about the whole matter and says that Fred is going to have to forfeit his entire first semester tuition of $16k.  Furthermore, his clunker car, worth $9k has been ruined. Paul says the accident wasn't his fault though -- he claims Fred ran a stop sign! In fact, Paul ended up in the hospital too, with bills totaling $10k and his car, worth $30k, was totaled! Paul also said that he tried to stop when Fred came flying through the intersection but the breaks on his brand new WMB, which he purchased from World Wide WMB in MI, failed!  Fred has filed suit in a PA state court against Paul.  Unbeknownst to Fred, Paul owns a small amount of office space in PA that he rents out to the Law Offices of Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe. Notice of the lawsuit was sent via certified mail to Paul's home in MI, but since he was in the hospital in NJ and lives alone, the notice was returned unopened. PA's long arm statute reaches as far as constitutionally allowed and PA's rules of civil procedure are the same as the Federal Rules.
Analyze the procedural options Paul has in this case.

And then you'd go into a long discussion (which I'm omitting due to being sick of analyzing civ pro cases) of subject matter jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction, minimum contacts analysis, specific versus general jurisdiction, insufficiency of notice, venue, forum non-conveniens... Move on to removal to federal court, joinder of claims against a single defendant, compulsory counter claims, interpleader, possibly talking about whether the counter claim and interpleader can be brought using supplemental jurisdiction if the case is removed to federal court. And there's probably some other stuff that I accidentally introduced into there or have already forgotten too.

Re: Issue Spotting
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2008, 11:34:15 AM »
Paul should file a lawsuit in federal court against the manufacturer of the automobile,
and the dealership that sold him the car.

There is diversity of juristdiction in this case.

Re: Issue Spotting
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2008, 04:10:46 PM »
Thanks for the very detailed example.

So an "issue" is a set of circumstances that looks to a statute or common law in order to be evaluated?

Re: Issue Spotting
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2008, 05:01:37 PM »
for future questions that are so general, you should just google what you want to learn about.  That way you can find out what you want to quickly!

Re: Issue Spotting
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2008, 07:00:13 PM »
Believe it or not, I have googled this, and it has been difficult to get a consistant clear answer, which really surprised me.



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Re: Issue Spotting
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2008, 09:54:00 PM »
Have you seriously finished your first semester law school, yet don't know what issue spotting is? ???

Re: Issue Spotting
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2008, 04:52:59 AM »
Yes, I have seriously finished first semester.  Maybe a shorter example with one issue would help.


Re: Issue Spotting
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2008, 06:01:57 AM »
Jack and Sam are in a bar. Jack smashes a beer bottle over Sam's head. Under traditional tort law, did Jack assault Sam? Discuss.

Issue spotting is "what facts implicate a point of law relevant based on the call of the question." Have you looked into LEEWS or anything like that?

Re: Issue Spotting
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2008, 04:06:36 AM »
Thanks.  So, at the expense of being redundant, issue spotting is identifying the circumstances that are relevant to deciding a point of law?

And, yes, I don't have LEEWS but, from seeing from how well it is reviewed here, I am planning on getting it.

Thanks again.