Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

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ThreeYears
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby ThreeYears » Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:17 am

chimp wrote:
arvcondor wrote:Would it be fair, then, to say assume that one doesn't need a multi-page brief to accomplish this? Would a few hundred words that encapsulate the crucial aspects/nuances of the case achieve this just as easily and more efficiently?


Holy shit. All my briefs thus far have been half a page or less. I think, generally speaking, anything more than that would be overdoing it.


even Pennoyer?

071816
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby 071816 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:38 am

ThreeYears wrote:
chimp wrote:
arvcondor wrote:Would it be fair, then, to say assume that one doesn't need a multi-page brief to accomplish this? Would a few hundred words that encapsulate the crucial aspects/nuances of the case achieve this just as easily and more efficiently?


Holy shit. All my briefs thus far have been half a page or less. I think, generally speaking, anything more than that would be overdoing it.


even Pennoyer?


Haven't been assigned that case. We shall see. But notice that I said "generally speaking" and "thus far." :wink:

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JusticeHarlan
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby JusticeHarlan » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:05 am

arvcondor wrote:Also, should dicta appear with the holding at all?

For common law cases (property, torts, contracts, crim), probably not. But for classes where you're reading Supreme Court cases (Con, sometimes civ pro), the dicta is the tea leaves people use to predict future conflicts (which is often what professors try to craft in exams). For issues that are flexible and hard to define like the commerce clause or personal jurisdiction, dicta is a good tool for handling exam questions.

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northwood
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby northwood » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:14 am

do you leave a lot of spaces after each subsection, or in class do you just go to a new page in your notes ( one professor has a no laptop policy) and take your notes there, then put them all together??

Im still experimenting with this, but some advice would be helpful ( I think I could be creating more work for me than necessary, but on the other hand writing and thinking about the case again will help me learn and understand it better)

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Cupidity
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby Cupidity » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:51 am

All my briefs are less than one sentence, see, e.g., Vaughan v. Menlove (No stupidity defense, obviously the shit would catch fire). If yours are much longer, they will be useless come finals.

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rocon7383
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby rocon7383 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:01 am

I have a general question that builds off of this topic. I just started 1L and am having the same question regarding whether to brief or not to brief. Some of you are saying that specific cases don't come up on the final making the briefs useless, while others have said that they have. My question is, if my professor doesn't EXPLICITLY say whether we'll be asked about certain cases- then what the hell do i do? Is it bad form to just ask? Also, after one day of classes my professors haven't said whether the exam will be open or closed book. Is it ok to ask them about that now as well?

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Naked Dude
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby Naked Dude » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:52 am

I asked a professor just now about the exam. It's a pretty common question, and I think they'd probably just answer without blinking if it's open or closed book.

The leews briefing method has worked for me so far. You're supposed to write the "tool" (or legal rule or whatever) you picked up, then a brief (1-2 sentence max) case synopsis. I learned that facts are semi-important insofar as they directly relate to the legal reasoning in the case-today for example the professor asked a hypo and made an analogy using a case (i.e. similar to case X the defendant set into motion the chain of events that caused the contact, something something, ergo battery). I don't know if i'm on the right track here but it feels right. For the 1-2 page torts cases on battery I don't see the need for a brief longer than 2 sentences. For an epically long civ pro case I wrote 6 sentences, but I was trying to be as clear as possible. If Cupidity or anyone else want to correct my procedure that's cool.

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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby wojo96 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:24 pm

Tag.

LS-boundNYC
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby LS-boundNYC » Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:51 pm

This thread is really helpful! Thanks to all the non-1LS who've contributed great advice.

To those same people: do you brief as you're reading through the case the first time, or do you try to skim it first to get the gist of it? I've noticed that I take WAY too many notes as I'm reading through it the first time. I might try reading once THEN going back through, underlining, and taking a few notes. Epic time sink?

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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby shoeshine » Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:54 pm

Cupidity wrote:All my briefs are less than one sentence, see, e.g., Vaughan v. Menlove (No stupidity defense, obviously the shit would catch fire). If yours are much longer, they will be useless come finals.


Yeah but don't you break them down to that length when you are outlining? What about getting cold called?

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Tanicius
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby Tanicius » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:08 pm

shoeshine wrote:
Cupidity wrote:All my briefs are less than one sentence, see, e.g., Vaughan v. Menlove (No stupidity defense, obviously the shit would catch fire). If yours are much longer, they will be useless come finals.


Yeah but don't you break them down to that length when you are outlining? What about getting cold called?


What about it?

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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby shoeshine » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:11 pm

Tanicius wrote:
shoeshine wrote:
Cupidity wrote:All my briefs are less than one sentence, see, e.g., Vaughan v. Menlove (No stupidity defense, obviously the shit would catch fire). If yours are much longer, they will be useless come finals.


Yeah but don't you break them down to that length when you are outlining? What about getting cold called?


What about it?

For instance, you get cold called. You look down at your brief and it says "HERP DERP". Then you look like an ass clown trying to answer specific questions.

Additionally, no 1L can honestly say they know exactly what is important in each case at this stage in the game.

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Tanicius
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby Tanicius » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:34 pm

shoeshine wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
shoeshine wrote:
Cupidity wrote:All my briefs are less than one sentence, see, e.g., Vaughan v. Menlove (No stupidity defense, obviously the shit would catch fire). If yours are much longer, they will be useless come finals.


Yeah but don't you break them down to that length when you are outlining? What about getting cold called?


What about it?

For instance, you get cold called. You look down at your brief and it says "HERP DERP". Then you look like an ass clown trying to answer specific questions.


So, what about it?

BTW, I've yet to think of anyone as an ass clown simply because they couldn't answer a prof's series of questions.

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Naked Dude
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby Naked Dude » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:02 pm

LS-boundNYC wrote:This thread is really helpful! Thanks to all the non-1LS who've contributed great advice.

To those same people: do you brief as you're reading through the case the first time, or do you try to skim it first to get the gist of it? I've noticed that I take WAY too many notes as I'm reading through it the first time. I might try reading once THEN going back through, underlining, and taking a few notes. Epic time sink?


I think that taking notes while you read is not only massively inefficient, but it leads you to waste time and overwrite. It 1) breaks your concentration every time you stop reading to make a note. if you're going to read something, read it and only do that reading, making quick tick marks near salient points 2) if you make notes before you've read something entirely you don't have the complete picture and 3) something that you think is the thrust of a reading early on, you might actually realize is not that important once you read a little further. But that's just me.

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queenlizzie13
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby queenlizzie13 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:09 pm

Naked Dude wrote:
LS-boundNYC wrote:This thread is really helpful! Thanks to all the non-1LS who've contributed great advice.

To those same people: do you brief as you're reading through the case the first time, or do you try to skim it first to get the gist of it? I've noticed that I take WAY too many notes as I'm reading through it the first time. I might try reading once THEN going back through, underlining, and taking a few notes. Epic time sink?


I think that taking notes while you read is not only massively inefficient, but it leads you to waste time and overwrite. It 1) breaks your concentration every time you stop reading to make a note. if you're going to read something, read it and only do that reading, making quick tick marks near salient points 2) if you make notes before you've read something entirely you don't have the complete picture and 3) something that you think is the thrust of a reading early on, you might actually realize is not that important once you read a little further. But that's just me.


This. It also allows you to brief faster because you know what is the most important parts to a case and what the relevant facts are that led the court to draw the conclusion at they did.

I dunno I brief, but fast. And I bullet point facts and don't write out full sentences - less time consuming

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Tanicius
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby Tanicius » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:11 pm

Naked Dude wrote:
LS-boundNYC wrote:This thread is really helpful! Thanks to all the non-1LS who've contributed great advice.

To those same people: do you brief as you're reading through the case the first time, or do you try to skim it first to get the gist of it? I've noticed that I take WAY too many notes as I'm reading through it the first time. I might try reading once THEN going back through, underlining, and taking a few notes. Epic time sink?


I think that taking notes while you read is not only massively inefficient, but it leads you to waste time and overwrite. It 1) breaks your concentration every time you stop reading to make a note. if you're going to read something, read it and only do that reading, making quick tick marks near salient points 2) if you make notes before you've read something entirely you don't have the complete picture and 3) something that you think is the thrust of a reading early on, you might actually realize is not that important once you read a little further. But that's just me.


After experimenting today and using different kinds of notes as I read on almost every assignment, I would have to agree with all of this. Understood just as much of the cases I read yesterday and I didn't do anything then except underline and write short margin comments.

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bceagles182
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby bceagles182 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:17 pm

I'd like to add, since this thread won't go away, that your briefs should vary by class.

After the first week, you should have an idea about where your prof focuses his/her questions and what type of info you need to avoid looking bad in front of the class -- which, again, is pretty much the only reason you brief cases once you get comfortable with reading cases.

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Michaela
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby Michaela » Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:26 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:MY ADVICE:

[b]

I also NEVER used highlighter, only pencil. Why? Highlighter in permanant - but what if you highlight something not relevant? Now, if you ever go back, that irrelevant part will POP out at you, you can never de-emphasize highlighter, whereas pencil underlining can be erased and, at the least, doesn't overly signify importance.


erasable highlighters FTW

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AVBucks4239
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby AVBucks4239 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:31 pm

What I have been doing is reading the case through pretty much non-stop and only making very short notations in the margins (F for fact, I for issue, PH for procedural history, etc.). When I'm done reading, I go back and type out all the relevant stuff in word document. I definitely think it would take much longer to stop and write every time you see something that should go in a brief instead of reading it straight through.

I have found this only takes about an additional 10 minutes and is usually worth the time. I tried not briefing for one of my classes and it led to me flipping through the casebook and not really listening to the discussion. Having the brief helps me remember the case better and helps me get more out of lecture, so the 10 minutes/case is worth it.

But, even after saying that, I still only put the rule/principle of the case in my lecture notes. I'm just able to pick this out better during lecture if I'm not flipping through my casebook.

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jwaters
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby jwaters » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:55 pm

Is there a problem with just copy and pasting an online brief? Every one I've looked at so far seems to be pretty accurate. It seems to me that you get the benefit of having the brief for class without taking the time to actually write it out.

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Tanicius
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby Tanicius » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:28 pm

jwaters wrote:Is there a problem with just copy and pasting an online brief? Every one I've looked at so far seems to be pretty accurate. It seems to me that you get the benefit of having the brief for class without taking the time to actually write it out.


Rention, etc etc.

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Cupidity
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby Cupidity » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:32 pm

shoeshine wrote:
Cupidity wrote:All my briefs are less than one sentence, see, e.g., Vaughan v. Menlove (No stupidity defense, obviously the shit would catch fire). If yours are much longer, they will be useless come finals.


Yeah but don't you break them down to that length when you are outlining? What about getting cold called?


Not to play the douche card, however, finish at my percentile, then feel free to knock my strategy. Until then, respect your elders.

There is a finite amount of time during the semester, and anything more detailed would detract from the amount of time I spent playing call of duty drunk as fuck.

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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby jjlaw » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:53 am

rdcws000 wrote:In my experience, the professor is rarely going to ask you "what was the rule in this case?". More likely, they will ask you, "What was this case about?" (in a roundabout way). For this reason, and for my own studying later in the semester, I have found it invaluable to have short briefs on every case. My briefs are never more than 1/3 of a page long, and they basically sum up the key principle of the case in my language.


I just started 1L, but I've found that my professors tend to stay on the person they've cold-called on for at least 10 minutes asking about the facts, procedure, and the judge's reasoning. It seems like you'd have to prepare a brief in order to answer all of these questions to satisfaction. I've been highlighting in technicolor and writing out the briefs, but I'd really like to cut out the briefs part. Does anyone have advice on how I can get away with not doing the briefs but still do well when getting called on for 10 minutes about one case?

Do other professors only ask one question (i.e. facts) and move on to another person to ask another one (i.e. procedure)?

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MC Southstar
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby MC Southstar » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:14 am

Maybe brief for like the first week or two if you are having trouble figuring out what is important in a case. You really shouldn't need to after that.

morris248
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Re: Still don't get why I shouldn't brief cases

Postby morris248 » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:32 am

jjlaw wrote:
rdcws000 wrote:In my experience, the professor is rarely going to ask you "what was the rule in this case?". More likely, they will ask you, "What was this case about?" (in a roundabout way). For this reason, and for my own studying later in the semester, I have found it invaluable to have short briefs on every case. My briefs are never more than 1/3 of a page long, and they basically sum up the key principle of the case in my language.


I just started 1L, but I've found that my professors tend to stay on the person they've cold-called on for at least 10 minutes asking about the facts, procedure, and the judge's reasoning. It seems like you'd have to prepare a brief in order to answer all of these questions to satisfaction. I've been highlighting in technicolor and writing out the briefs, but I'd really like to cut out the briefs part. Does anyone have advice on how I can get away with not doing the briefs but still do well when getting called on for 10 minutes about one case?

Do other professors only ask one question (i.e. facts) and move on to another person to ask another one (i.e. procedure)?




It depends on the professor. Don't worry about not being fully prepared for a particular case. How you answer in class has almost nothing to do with your final grade. The only thing that matters is the midterm and the final exam. The professor is not interested in how much law you can memorize, although you need to know the rules, but how you can apply those rules. Simply find a case brief online and cut and paste it into your notes for class. It is not necessary to spend your time writing out your own case brief.




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