Open book Criminal Procedure Exam

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Open book Criminal Procedure Exam

Postby shepdawg » Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:19 pm

I have an open book crim pro exam this semester. The amount of cases and rules for this class is mind boggling, and I am having a hard time figuring out a way to organize the information for 1)studying, and 2)quick reference during the exam.

How would/did you compile the information?
What would/did you bring into the exam?

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Re: Open book Criminal Procedure Exam

Postby okinawa » Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:49 pm

Last edited by okinawa on Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Open book Criminal Procedure Exam

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:53 pm

okinawa wrote:Case charts. So many case charts.

This. Some kind of flow charting is necessary. It probably helps to think about how the material needs to be charted, though.

You know what the themes of the class are (probably searches, seizures, Miranda warnings and confessions). You'll then want to consider how those themes become exam questions: In X scenario, was the cops' search unlawful? Was their seizure unlawful? Was their questioning of the suspect unlawful? You'll want to lay out your information in a way that maps out the answers to those questions.

For example, you could start organizing your cases this way:

1) Did the cops commit an illegal search or seizure?
--A) If there was a search, was it legal?
----i) Searches authorized by warrants
------a) Search warrants
----------Rules from cases about search warrants go here
------b) Arrest warrants
----------Rules from cases about arrest warrants go here
----iii) Probable cause
----------Rules about probable cause go here
----iv) Reasonable suspicion
----------Rules about reasonable suspicion go here
----v) Search incident to arrest
----------Rules about searches incident to arrest go here
--B) If there was a seizure, was it legal?
----i) ...and so on and so forth.

There is no single "right" or "wrong" way to do it. Also, the above was recreated from memory of a two-year-old class, so it may not be the best structure for organizing the material. But it should give you a starting point.


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Re: Open book Criminal Procedure Exam

Postby dontknowwhereimgoin » Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:55 pm

An arrest isn't a search. It's a seizure. But that chart looks good otherwise.

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Re: Open book Criminal Procedure Exam

Postby Always Credited » Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:33 am

don't forget the base question of whether or not it implicates the 4th amendment in the first case - you'd be amazed how many people forget that. Opening heading should cover why its a criminal case (herp derp but its always covered in class and no one else ever remembers it - I dismissed my entire conlaw exam last year on standing for an A, so catching prof with pants down is hilarious if you can), whether or not the conduct is by a government actor, and if it is in fact a search/seizure (remember many searches aren't actually constitutionally defined as such - see dog sniffs).

Once you've got that down, go to the various doctrines. And remember that one will always lead to the next...finding ways to get all the relevant law down on paper in crim pro is not as difficult as it was in say, property.

Prepare for the exam as if it were closed book, and you'll lulz all over it.

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