What do you do if the prof disagrees with the cases?

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
User avatar
chihuahua12
Posts: 103
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:42 pm

What do you do if the prof disagrees with the cases?

Postby chihuahua12 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:52 am

My contracts professor disagrees with the majority on nearly all of the cases we read. How do I study for the exam?

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: What do you do if the prof disagrees with the cases?

Postby Renzo » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:27 pm

Learn why the opinion author decided the case the way they did, and learn why your professor disagrees with it. Then, be prepared to talk about the two views and what each view achieves, and what values they embody, which is better and who does it favor, etc.

Then, make sure at the end of the day you understand what the black letter law is, regardless of who might or might not agree with it as a matter of policy or economic values.

User avatar
Detrox
Posts: 411
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:58 pm

Re: What do you do if the prof disagrees with the cases?

Postby Detrox » Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:59 pm

I'd begin with reading the cases and deciding whether you agree with them or not and why. Renzo is exactly right in his response. The test will be you: 1. Knowing the black letter law (note this may not be directly congruent with whatever case you're reading, as the case may be a minority view), 2. Knowing what your professor/class wants you to take away from the case that isn't in the text, 3. Reconciling or comparing both views. The final point is the most important, but can only occur if you know which factors are behind 1 and 2.

Final note which applies to reading pretty much any case in 1L but definitely contracts:

Think about efficiency in setting up systematic rules that apply to the big picture and not just the facts of the case. The judge may have made a decision that seems good or fair from the facts given, but may create large problems when applied as a default rule.

User avatar
kalvano
Posts: 11720
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: What do you do if the prof disagrees with the cases?

Postby kalvano » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:08 pm

Agree with the prof on the exam.

hawkeye22
Posts: 216
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:38 pm

Re: What do you do if the prof disagrees with the cases?

Postby hawkeye22 » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:23 pm

Do what you should be doing on every test: Explain as many reasonable perspectives as you know and then conclude which is the best and why it is most logical.

VA Politco
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:22 pm

Re: What do you do if the prof disagrees with the cases?

Postby VA Politco » Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:46 pm

Get a new prof. Seriously, what kind of idiot teaches from a casebook that he/she hate and disagrees with?

071816
Posts: 5511
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:06 pm

Re: What do you do if the prof disagrees with the cases?

Postby 071816 » Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:48 pm

VA Politco wrote:Get a new prof. Seriously, what kind of idiot teaches from a casebook that he/she hate and disagrees with?


Can't tell if serious.

RCRARollin
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:18 am

Re: What do you do if the prof disagrees with the cases?

Postby RCRARollin » Sat Oct 15, 2011 1:54 pm

Renzo wrote:Learn why the opinion author decided the case the way they did, and learn why your professor disagrees with it. Then, be prepared to talk about the two views and what each view achieves, and what values they embody, which is better and who does it favor, etc.

Then, make sure at the end of the day you understand what the black letter law is, regardless of who might or might not agree with it as a matter of policy or economic values.


/thread

User avatar
MrPapagiorgio
Posts: 1747
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:36 am

Re: What do you do if the prof disagrees with the cases?

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:03 pm

chimp wrote:
VA Politco wrote:Get a new prof. Seriously, what kind of idiot teaches from a casebook that he/she hate and disagrees with?


Can't tell if serious.

Obviously the first sentence is tongue in cheek. But dude's got a point about the second sentence.

071816
Posts: 5511
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:06 pm

Re: What do you do if the prof disagrees with the cases?

Postby 071816 » Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:11 pm

MrPapagiorgio wrote:
chimp wrote:
VA Politco wrote:Get a new prof. Seriously, what kind of idiot teaches from a casebook that he/she hate and disagrees with?


Can't tell if serious.

Obviously the first sentence is tongue in cheek. But dude's got a point about the second sentence.


Not really. Lots of cases are in case books solely to show the limits of a certain doctrine or to illustrate an antiquated/minority rule that doesn't necessarily apply today, but was important in the development of an area of law.

If OP's prof actually disagrees with "the majority" of the cases in the case book then that is a bit weird, but I feel like most profs, especially in contracts, would disagree with the rule/reasoning in quite a few cases.

User avatar
MrPapagiorgio
Posts: 1747
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:36 am

Re: What do you do if the prof disagrees with the cases?

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:14 pm

chimp wrote:
MrPapagiorgio wrote:
chimp wrote:
VA Politco wrote:Get a new prof. Seriously, what kind of idiot teaches from a casebook that he/she hate and disagrees with?


Can't tell if serious.

Obviously the first sentence is tongue in cheek. But dude's got a point about the second sentence.


Not really. Lots of cases are in case books solely to show the limits of a certain doctrine or to illustrate an antiquated/minority rule that doesn't necessarily apply today, but was important in the development of an area of law.

If OP's prof actually disagrees with "the majority" of the cases in the case book then that is a bit weird, but I feel like most profs, especially in contracts, would disagree with the rule/reasoning in quite a few cases.

That kind of sounds like an atheism class being taught using the bible.

User avatar
Detrox
Posts: 411
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:58 pm

Re: What do you do if the prof disagrees with the cases?

Postby Detrox » Sat Oct 15, 2011 3:00 pm

Not really. Lots of cases are in case books solely to show the limits of a certain doctrine or to illustrate an antiquated/minority rule that doesn't necessarily apply today, but was important in the development of an area of law.

If OP's prof actually disagrees with "the majority" of the cases in the case book then that is a bit weird, but I feel like most profs, especially in contracts, would disagree with the rule/reasoning in quite a few cases.
That kind of sounds like an atheism class being taught using the bible.

Uh, that would make a lot of sense to me. One of the best ways to support your views are to find the untenable weaknesses in those of others. I would think some bible study (along with any other religious text) would be at the core of an atheism class. /tangential rant.

User avatar
camstant
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:59 am

Re: What do you do if the prof disagrees with the cases?

Postby camstant » Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:22 pm

Even if your prof disagrees, I think on the test you need to recognize that if the case creates binding precedent, that's how a court is going to decide the issue. Still mention the arguments, but you should probably end up siding with the case if it's good law.

User avatar
I.P. Daly
Posts: 920
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:27 pm

Re: What do you do if the prof disagrees with the cases?

Postby I.P. Daly » Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:40 pm

Your professor may be attempting to teach your class to "think like a lawyer." By disagreeing with the outcome of a case, the prof might be trying to force you guys to think about both sides of an issue. In every case, there is someone trying to make an argument for the plaintiff and the defendant...blah, blah, blah.

Oban
Posts: 717
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: What do you do if the prof disagrees with the cases?

Postby Oban » Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:30 am

Professors disagree with cases all the time, but teach them because they are important. Hell, if you don't disagree with a case or 3 during law school, something is amiss, as there is a lot of bullshit jurisprudence in the history of American law.

It is rare for a professor to disagree with all of the law, especially with K, the majority of which was settled in 18the century England with common sense.

Lean the BBL, and be prepared for a policy question and if you get one spit back your professors opinion + a country argument.

071816
Posts: 5511
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:06 pm

Re: What do you do if the prof disagrees with the cases?

Postby 071816 » Sun Oct 16, 2011 2:33 am

Oban wrote:Professors disagree with cases all the time, but teach them because they are important. Hell, if you don't disagree with a case or 3 during law school, something is amiss, as there is a lot of bullshit jurisprudence in the history of American law.

It is rare for a professor to disagree with all of the law, especially with K, the majority of which was settled in 18the century England with common sense.

Lean the BBL, and be prepared for a policy question and if you get one spit back your professors opinion + a country argument.


Best not use a city argument




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: badnewsbears, KissMyAxe, preppingaway and 8 guests