Tips, Tricks, Analogies, Mnemonics, & More

Since exam day is rapidly approaching, I have added on to a prior blog post on tips, trips, mnemonics, strategies, etc. as I have been perusing materials. I have added some civil procedure, some constitutional law, some alternatives for criminal and tort law. More to come soon! Any particular area(s) you are wondering about? Leave it in the comments, contact me, or give me a shout on twitter.

Civil Procedure:
OFFENDING TRADITIONAL NOTIONS OF FAIR PLAY & SUBSTANTIAL JUSTICE (i.e. factors to determine fairness of forum jurisdiction to D)? Find Fair CLIPPERS or “use CLIPPERS to find fairness”

  • To determine fairness, cts consider: Convenience, Legitimate Interest, Plaintiff’s interest Proper, Efficiency of judicial system, Social Policies (interest in furthering)

PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION REQUIREMENTS: P must establish HIS BIG case!
Harm (Irreparable), likely to Succeed on merits, Best Interest of public, Greater harm (if not issued).

Constitutional Law:
Justiciability: A SPERM is not justiciable!
No Advisory opinions, no lack of Standing, no Political questions, Eeleventh Amendment (state sovereignty), not Ripe, not Moot

Fed. Legislative Power – Police power! The federal government only has a MILD police power! (only police power over Military, Indian Reservations, Land (federal), DC

Strict Scrutiny applies to classifications that are NEAR (National origin, Ethnicity, Alienage [if made by state law], Race)
NOTE: know difference between alienage as suspect and non-suspect!

OBSCENITY TEST: average person finds PIPS Prurient Interest, Patently offensive, AND no Serious [literary/artistic/political/scientific value] per national reasonable person standard.

Criminal Law:
For criminal law, I focused on intent because not only can you list out crimes by memorizing the different categories of intent, but you know which defenses can apply to a crime in light of its intent requirement.
SPECIFIC INTENT: Specific Intent crimes are a CATS BAFFFLER (note the extra ‘f’). Conspiracy, ATtempt, Solicitation (the inchoate crimes), and Burglary, Assault, Forgery, False pretenses, First degree murder, Larceny, Embezzlement, Robbery.

  • BAM ACTS [Burglary, Assault, Murder 1, Attempts, Conspiracy, Theft crimes, Solicitation] or FIAT crimes [First degree murder, Inchoate crimes, Assault, Theft crimes) work as well.

GENERAL INTENT: “I learned General Intent Crimes in My KRIB.” Manslaughter, Kidnapping, Rape, false Imprisonment, and Battery.

Evidence:
This may look familiar, as my law school professor and some supplements and at least one bar prep program use it but here we go:
Hearsay EXCLUSIONS (no unavailability required) “I Learned Hearsay Exclusions on PBJ PAPERS.” Learned: learned treatise; PBJ = public records, business records, judgements of prior convictions; PAPERS: Present sense impression, Ancient documents, Past physical condition [for med diagnosis or treatment], Excited utterance, Recorded recollection and State of mind (present state of mind).
NOTE: If it works better for you just PBJ PAPERS or vice versa, but while it is not heavily tested for some reason it seemed for class and bar prep one extra one that is tacked on is learned treatise so that is why I made it into that sentence. There are other exclusions which do not require unavailability but I’m assuming/from my experience are scarcely tested like vital statistics and family records under the same provision [FRE 803].
Hearsay Exemptions:HE Packs A Powerful Punch” (Hearsay Exemptions: Prior inconsistent statement, Admissions*, prior consistent statement, and prior statement of ID;
*on admissions: ‘admissions run on C-JAVA’ or alternatively ‘admissions run on Coffee & JAVA [Co-conspirator, Judicial, (And) Vicarious Admissions].
Non-Hearsay uses of out of court statements that are valid LIKE Me – Independent Legal significance (the order of the L and I are reversed but it never hurt me), Knowledge of listener, Effect on listener, and [state of] Mind (or Mental state).

Torts: Here I used analogies (Harry Potter, specifically the Chamber of Secrets)
Assault:
Ron assaulted Draco even though Ron suffered the harm and was the initial aggressor because [Draco’s] words are inadequate provocation and thus by casting the Slug-Vomiting charm, Ron put Draco in imminent apprehension of bodily harm.
Battery: Draco could have battered and would have battered Harry but for the fact that they were in a dueling club amidst a dangerous climate in the school, so consent is implied at the very least.
Transferred Intent: One could further argue that Justin Finch-Flechy was also assaulted by Draco via the snake he conjured because there was intent which was transferred (i.e. transferred intent applies to assault) and Draco’s action put Justin in reasonable apprehension of an imminent harmful or offensive contact and thus Justin can recover nominal but in same cases punitive damages. However, a court could rule either way depending on whether they find that Justin’s presence at the dueling club constituted implied consent.
Then if you want to have some fun, pretend one of them won their claim or that instead, Justin or Draco’s parents sued Lockhart and Snape for negligence. Look to the standard/duty owed in the situation and whether it was breached, the cause of the injuries (but-for and proximate causation), and the injury at issue (damages!).

  • Alternatively: TI has A FIT BAT (Transferred Intent Applies to False Imprisonment, Trespass to chattels, Battery, Assault, Trespass to land)

‘Tis the Season!

Welcome one and all!

You dread – I mean…read – correctly. Another Bar Exam is upon us and for those who have not started studying early, Bar Prep is just around the corner.

But before I jump into substantive posts, polls, etc., I do want to belatedly wish a big CONGRATULATIONS to all the bar examinees who passed the July Bar Exam!

Next, I want to tell those who may not have passed in July that regardless of the number of times you have taken it, whether that was your first or fifteenth time not passing, what matters is that you are here. Meaning that if you are reading this, I am assuming you are taking the upcoming Bar Exam (I believe all registration deadlines have passed by now), which I can only assume means you have found that determination and drive to go it again. I would also point out that by having taken the exam previously, you do have a bit of an advantage in that you know what to expect on the exam days, you have become intimately familiar with the format of the exam, and hopefully you found some things that either worked better for your own personal studying and/or found things that do not work for you.

People study and absorb material effectively in different ways, and if that means that the traditional bar prep program is not your thing or their schedule was not effective for you or whatever the case may be, the important thing is that you remember that the Bar Exam is not an IQ test and it does not represent your knowledge of the law. Think about it: you could be absolutely brilliant at criminal law, constitutional law, and property law, etc. (you get the picture) but that does not mean there will be essays on those topics. Furthermore, you could be brilliant in a subject, got an A+ in law school, etc., but maybe there are some MBE questions that fall into the one single subcategory of a subtopic of a subject. In other words, not passing the bar exam (note/tip: take the word ‘fail’ out of your vocabulary) is not a reflection on your intelligence or abilities as a lawyer. One last point to illustrate this/some food for thought: If you went to law school to be a litigator – private or public, it doesn’t matter – where precisely are your skills as a litigator tested? To the extent that one could argue those skills are tested, how analogous is that to a real life scenario? Does a 90 minute MPT or a 30 minute essay really reflect your best briefs, allow you to show your courtroom demeanor and strategies? In real life are you ever going to be disallowed from doing something that you were likely taught to do in law school – shepardizing, researching, staying abreast of the newest law etc.? I think these are points to remember and think on if you are repeating the exam. Do not let the past define your future, do not let this exam turn into more of a monster than it already is. It is just a hurdle you need overcome to get to the place you want to be, and every single one of you can pass this time around.

That said, repeat takers and first time takers alike, welcome and stay tuned for additional tips and tricks, supplement reviews, discount codes, alternate ideas or study strategies, and more!