Posts Tagged ‘Civil Procedure’

1L Down

May 10, 2011

The last exam is done, the books are on the shelf, and the first year of law school is over.  One down, two to go, but first it’s summer break.

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Just Can’t Get Enough

December 19, 2010

I’m not even having bad dreams about the right exams anymore.  My only remaining exam is torts, and it’s this Tuesday.  So what do I dream about last night?  Criminal law and civil procedure.  Those exams were a week ago tomorrow and last Friday, respectively.

For crim law, I first dreamed that there weren’t enough exams, and I didn’t receive one.  While everyone else was working away, I was waiting thirty minutes for another copy to be found.  When I started looking at it, it was sixteen photographs from around the world.  I was supposed to write about criminal law for such fabulous vacation destinations as the south of France or Tahiti.  I had no idea what I was supposed to do.  It felt like some sort of criminal law travelogue.  It was not pleasant.  And everyone else was busily working away.

Then, I found myself wondering about civ pro.  I almost want to say that was after I woke up from the crim law.  I was worried which question it was.  Was it the Erie question?  The personal jurisdiction?  Subject matter jurisdiction?  I never knew what the question was, but I know I was worried about what type it was. 

Maybe tonight I’ll have a bad dream about first grade spelling tests.  Those were never fun either.

The End of Civility

December 17, 2010

The civil procedure final was going to be three questions: one about personal jurisdiction, another about subject matter jurisdiction, and a third about the Erie doctrine.  We knew this.  The professor had told us.  Every civil procedure exam he gave was set up this way.  Three questions, three major topics: one question per major topic.

But, like they say, the trick was in the details.  Each question would have at least two subparts.  In the first subpart, the majority of the points would be tied to the major topic of the question.  But there were other subparts, minority subparts for lack of a better term.  These were over the ancillary topics we had covered.  Collateral attacks.  Rule 12 motion sequences.  The significance of dismissing for lack of personal jurisdiction versus subject matter jurisdiction.  Preclusion.  All sorts of stuff about class actions. 

Last night, the night before the exam, I was reviewing old exams.  These minority subparts were driving me a bit nuts.  There’d be one saying something like, Frank filed a Rule 14(b)(1)(iii) motion, which the court had denied.  Considering how this might impact his chances of renewing the claim in a different venue, or precluding additional counter claims, what should Frank do?  My first thought was, “I don’t know, go eat a sandwich?”  Seriously, I couldn’t figure out what the question was answering.  I don’t think the challenge of an exam should be in decoding the questions so that they may be answered.  I think the challenge should be in answering the actual questions.  So I was worried that I’d get to the minority subparts of the three questions and have no idea what was going on.

Fortunately, that wasn’t the case.  I even figured out what one of them was really asking, instead of what it initially looked to be asking (or at least I thought I did, time will tell).

Positive Thinking About Civ Pro Exam

December 16, 2010

Tomorrow in my civil procedure exam, and there’s something I’m actually looking forward to: it’s only three hours.  There is no way that it I am going to have another three hour and fifty minute exam.  Not that I think this one won’t take all the time allotted.  But it can’t take more than it.

Statistics in Civil Procedure

December 16, 2010

Tomorrow is the civil procedure exam, so today I’m going through my notes one last time to make sure I’ve got everything I need in my outline (I can use my outline during the exam).  Flipping back through my notes, I saw that September 2 I was called on to discuss Shaffer v. Heitner in class. 

The case basically did away with the idea that jurisdiction could be acquired over someone in a forum because they happened to own something there.  After the case, the thing that was owned had to be related to what the case was over.  Before Shaffer v. Heitner, if I had a cow in Missouri, or owned anything there, you could sue me in Missouri, no questions asked.  After Shaffer v. Heitner, not so much.  The cow would have to be related to why you were suing me, or I’d have to have some other, more substantial, connection to Missouri.

Going through my notes, what struck me wasn’t so much the substance of the case (although, with the exam tomorrow, maybe it should have), but the date we discussed it: September 2.  At that point, it was the last day of the second week of the semester; there were fourteen weeks left.  I was never called on again.  The professor cycles through the entire class once before calling on anyone again.  There were thirty eight of us in the class.  Meeting four days a week, that would carry us through nine and a half weeks.  But there were holidays and the contracts exam disrupting class.  A quick check find two weeks worth of class that we did not meet.  So the nine and a half weeks are really eleven and a half.

My point?  There’s two.  First, when I was called on at the end of the second week, I knew I would not be called on again for nine and a half weeks.  Second, once we were doing a second round through the class, there was roughly a fifty percent chance I wouldn’t be called on again.  (Thinking about it, that seems too high.  I think the professor only go through about a quarter of us the second time.)  So, way back on September 2, the end of the second week of class, I could predict fairly reliably that I wouldn’t be called on again.  And I wasn’t.

Arrow on Full

December 7, 2010

Today was the last day of new material for civil procedure.  The topic was issue preclusion.  The professor gave us an overview of it, and then dove into more complicated matters.  The deeper he dove, the more concern showed on his face as the class became more and more lost.  After the second or third time he asked us if we understood what he was telling us, he decided the risk of doing more harm than good was too great, and told us issue preclusion would not be on the exam.  It was very nice of him to not mutter, “Damn the torpedos!” and charge ahead, leaving the class in his wake.

Exam Time

December 6, 2010

Tomorrow is the last day of new material for my classes.  There’s some review and wrap up on Wednesday; that’s my last official day of class for the semester.  Criminal law exam is next Monday (12/13), civil procedure next Thursday (12/16), and torts the following Tuesday (12/21).  Coincidentally, December 21 is the day I graduated from Purdue seven years ago. 

Criminal law is closed book and looks to be the toughest.  There’s just an awful lot of material to memorize and then apply.  Civil procedure and torts look easier, in comparison if nothing else.  They’re both open book and I’ve been tailoring my outline to guide me through answering the questions.

I just keep telling myself, with the curve, there’s a nine out of ten chance I’ll get an A or B.

Only Human

November 8, 2010

Lawyers sometimes make mistakes.  After all, they’re only human.  Like they might sign a complaint to start a lawsuit that really shouldn’t be started yet. 

To an employer under the ADA, an employee must first file a complaint with the EEOC.  Only after the EEOC review the complaint, and gives permission to start a lawsuit, may one be commenced.  The attorney in today’s civil procedure case missed that step, signing his name to a complaint over a matter that hadn’t yet been submitted to the EEOC.  The attorney caught the mistake, but not before the employer did too and moved for the case to be dismissed and the attorney punished.  The court didn’t dismiss the case, letting the attorney correct the mistake, but it did admonish him for it. 

Now, for some reason, the editor of the case book elected to leave the attorney’s name in the case.  Why?  I don’t know.  It doesn’t serve any purpose other than to introduce the attorney new classes of law students by his mistake.  It would have been easy enough to edit out the name and let him rest in peace.  No one probably would have noticed, and anyone eager enough could have always looked up the unedited case.  Instead, his name will live on for at least this edition, and he will always be remembered for his mistake.

Day Early Update

November 8, 2010

So, how’d I do this past weekend?

  1. Make flashcards for contracts and criminal law.  – Done for contracts, not done for criminal law.  That’s ok, the contracts exam is two weeks before the criminal law exam.  At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.
  2. Draft my civil procedure research paper.  – Done
  3. Update my resume for career services.  – Done
  4. Outline criminal law supplement – Done before the weekend
  5. Read torts restatement – Done before the weekend
  6. Reformat criminal law outline for self defense – Did not happen

Weekend Study Resolutions Sponsored by Day Early

November 4, 2010

Yes, I’m a day early with my weekend study resolutions.  That’s because I’m leaving tomorrow afternoon after class to visit Go Blue Girlfriend.  It’ll be a fun weekend: ACS Cattlebaron’s Ball on Saturday night, Lion’s game Sunday afternoon, and lots of time to study Saturday during the day and Sunday morning.  And get a haircut before the ball.  It’s good practice for when I’ll be working all the time to get billable hours. 

Because I’ll be on the road tomorrow afternoon instead of making resolutions, and because I could use a break from studying at the moment, I wanted to get them done now.

  1. Make flashcards for contracts and criminal law.  These are my two closed book exams.  The only way I can effectively memorize things is with flashcards.  There’s a lot to memorize.
  2. Draft my civil procedure research paper.  Most of the researching is done, I just need to write the thing.
  3. Update my resume for career services.  I’ve got a meeting Monday to review it and get helpful tips.  So I need to have something to review.
  4. Outline criminal law supplement (hope to get this done before the weekend)
  5. Read torts restatement (hope to get this done before the weekend too)
  6. Reformat criminal law outline for self defense