How much of cases do we have to know?

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johansantana21
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How much of cases do we have to know?

Postby johansantana21 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:50 pm

I know for most classes the procedural history isn't important.

I guess getting the BLL out of it is important.

But do we also have to remember the name of the case when we talk about a rule that some court case set?

Thanks.

kahechsof
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Re: How much of cases do we have to know?

Postby kahechsof » Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:58 pm

Before class you don't need to know anything.
For the exam, it depends on the class. In my 1L year, cases were important for ConLaw and CivPro, and I assume that is pretty standard.

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dailygrind
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Re: How much of cases do we have to know?

Postby dailygrind » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:03 pm

I think most of my profs were cool with me saying "The case where there was a pace car which was sold at a very cheap price," but it's easier just to say Sedmak. It also probably gives you greater credibility, which probably helps when you're reaching a little bit.

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johansantana21
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Re: How much of cases do we have to know?

Postby johansantana21 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:08 pm

dailygrind wrote:I think most of my profs were cool with me saying "The case where there was a pace car which was sold at a very cheap price," but it's easier just to say Sedmak. It also probably gives you greater credibility, which probably helps when you're reaching a little bit.


Thanks so much.

I have real trouble remembering names but I can recollect cases fairly well by saying "the case with the dynamite explosion in the mine etc" but I'm not sure if that would fly on an exam...

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king3780
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Re: How much of cases do we have to know?

Postby king3780 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:11 pm

johansantana21 wrote:
dailygrind wrote:I think most of my profs were cool with me saying "The case where there was a pace car which was sold at a very cheap price," but it's easier just to say Sedmak. It also probably gives you greater credibility, which probably helps when you're reaching a little bit.


Thanks so much.

I have real trouble remembering names but I can recollect cases fairly well by saying "the case with the dynamite explosion in the mine etc" but I'm not sure if that would fly on an exam...


As dailygrind said, it's fine to describe a case on the exam if you can't remember the name. Every professor I've had in two years has made a point of saying they really don't care if you know the name as long as you describe the case. Knowing the name just saves having to describe it and ensures the prof knows what case you're referring to.

missinglink
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Re: How much of cases do we have to know?

Postby missinglink » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:43 pm

IT DEPENDS.

Some professors only care about the BLL and you can get an A w/o once mentioning the cases.

Others will want you to cite the authority on which you rely.

You'll hear a lot that only BLL matters. Check with your professor. Most are upfront about what type of exam they are envisioning. If you get a prof that cares about the cases and you only study BLL, you're not in good shape for the final.

Legal Baller
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Re: How much of cases do we have to know?

Postby Legal Baller » Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:04 am

missinglink wrote:IT DEPENDS.

Some professors only care about the BLL and you can get an A w/o once mentioning the cases.

Others will want you to cite the authority on which you rely.

You'll hear a lot that only BLL matters. Check with your professor. Most are upfront about what type of exam they are envisioning. If you get a prof that cares about the cases and you only study BLL, you're not in good shape for the final.


This is true. My contracts teacher said that citing cases won't help at all, but my civpro teacher said the opposite.

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johansantana21
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Re: How much of cases do we have to know?

Postby johansantana21 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:17 pm

Thanks guys. I'll ask the professors.

random5483
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Re: How much of cases do we have to know?

Postby random5483 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:58 pm

General Rules for Exams:

1. Facts/Procedural histories from cases are not important.
2. Dissents are not important unless your professor emphasizes it.
3. Cases are not important in most 1L classes other than Civ Pro and possibly Con Law.
4. In Civ Pro and Con Law, you will likely need to know cases and the rules from the cases. Some minimal factual background will help for drawing parallels, but this is not a must.
5. In other 1L classes know the BLL. However, you will need to know some seminal cases (ex. Palsgraf in Torts).
6. Your professor is unique. Do whatever he or she wants. Ask them, other students, or check old model exams for the professor. You are being graded based on what your professor wants, not based on what the stereotypical professor wants.


Note: In class, you need to know the facts/procedural history/rules/anything else from the cases if your professor cold calls and asks those questions (many 1L professors do). For class preparation, do enough to answer the kinds of questions your professor asks, but do not overdo the preparation (ie. not being graded on class participation in most classes unless you do REALLY badly or well).

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johansantana21
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Re: How much of cases do we have to know?

Postby johansantana21 » Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:10 am

One more question - if a case sets some important new standard (Such as the Twombly v. Bell Atlantic Case in civ pro), is that standard BLL? I'm SO LOST. So far I can only discern very little actual concrete law.

random5483
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Re: How much of cases do we have to know?

Postby random5483 » Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:31 am

johansantana21 wrote:One more question - if a case sets some important new standard (Such as the Twombly v. Bell Atlantic Case in civ pro), is that standard BLL? I'm SO LOST. So far I can only discern very little actual concrete law.


Twombly v. Bell Atlantic (and Iqbal v. Ashcroft) are the standard. In order to meet the requirement of FRCP 8(a)(2) and to survive an FRCP 12(b)(6) your complaint must meet the Twombly standard (plausible).

Think of it this way, Twombly basically says that in order to have a short plain statement that shows that the pleader is entitled to relief, the claim must be plausible. Thus, Twombly merely interprets FRCP 8(a)(2), which in turn helps you determine if a claim can survive a motion to dismiss.

For exam purposes, any claim that is more than some remote chance (more than possible) or less than veru likely true (less than probable) can be analyzed as either plausible or not (just argue both sides). Multiple choice can be a bit more tricky.

Don't confuse yourself too much on what BLL is. Focus on the rules. When facing a motion to dismiss based on FRCP 12(b)(6) consider if:
1. FRCP 8(a)(2) requirement met; and
2. Twombly Standard (i.e. rule from Twombly that claim must be Plausible) is met.

If both 1 and 2 are met, then the 12(b)(6) motion will fail. Don't worry too much if you don't understand all this. THings will fall in place as the semester progresses.
Last edited by random5483 on Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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daesonesb
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Re: How much of cases do we have to know?

Postby daesonesb » Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:13 pm

I think its best to know cases in the larger context of the law.

For example: in civ pro there is a general rule of law which you will learn called claim preclusion. Forgive my rusty civ pro knowledge, but this means that a party is barred from bringing a claim for relief where
1) The claim is based on a set of facts which has already been litigated, &
2) The party could have joined that claim during the previous litigation (it arose from the same set of facts/transaction).

OK, that might not be a perfect statement of the rule, but it's what I remember about half a year after learning it. The point is: you wont need a case to use this rule in the general sense on an exam. You may read the case Rush v. City of Maple Heights to illustrate the point, but you dont need to refer to Rush whenever you spot a claim preclusion issue on an exam. This is a common law idea, which you can simply refer to by name (claim preclusion).

But, your teacher will also want to test your ability to spot claim preclusion in a more complex setting. In that instance, cases can be helpful. There may be known exceptions to the rule, or factual scenarios which make the rule produce an unfair result. This is when your knowledge of the determinative facts of the relevant case, the holding, and the courts basic reasoning will help. For most cases, you can boil all this information down into 1-4 lines of space on your outline.




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