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 Post subject: Rule Statements in Torts exams
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:57 pm
Posts: 47
Whenver I try and take a practice examination for Torts, I find that I get pretty hung up on the rule statements (a problem that never seems to happen in any of my other courses). I think because there is so much to cram into it. Like you have your definition statement, and then you must list the elements, but sometimes the elements just seem to reitterate what you just said in the rule estatement (like in the intentional torts for instance) and then you got the sub-rules. So I would find that I literally waste valuable minutes each time trying to figure out how to formulate the rule statement when IRACing.

To avoid this on exam day, I am trying to type up a list of how I would most likely put rule statements on an exam (unless the facts would say otherwise), and try to memorize them, or practice writing them over and over until they become natural, since my exam is closed book.

Does anybody know of any examples of the best way to tackle this problem? I don't want to be redundant (since there is a word count) but I also don't want to leave stuff out and miss out on points. Does anybody know where I can find examples of how to write this? There are no past exams, and my only sources have been the study aid books I look at, which are more concerned with explaining an analysis, rather than how to state a full and complete rule statement.


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 Post subject: Re: Rule Statements in Torts exams
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:00 pm
Posts: 66
Not sure I exactly understand what you're looking to do.

Had my Torts exam last week. Our Prof wanted every tort defined and the entire semester she would distill/outline the way she recommended remembering them.

Battery
1) INTENT to cause harmful or offensive contact, or imminent apprehension of such contact
a) subjective - desired a purpose (Vosburg)
OR
b) constructive - knew with substantial certainty act would occur (Garratt)
AND
2) harmful or offensive contact occurs!

Assault
1) INTENT to cause harmful or offensive contact, or imminent apprehension of such contact
a) subjective - desired a purpose
OR
b) constructive - knew with substantial certainty act would occur
AND
2) plaintiff thereby put in imminent apprehension
a) was P subjectively in imminent apprehension?
AND
b) was it objectively reasonable?

False Imprisonment
1) intent to confine someone within fixed boundaries
2)plaintiff is physically restricted from movement (not moral or brainwashing)
AND
3)plaintiff is aware of his/her confinement OR is harmed by it


Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
1)extreme and outrageous conduct by defendant
2)intent OR recklessly causes severe emotional distres
3)p subjectively suffers severe emotional distres
AND
4)P's severe emotional distress was objectively reaonable (a reasonable person in P's position would suffer the same result)

Like this?
lawschoolproblems86 wrote:
Whenver I try and take a practice examination for Torts, I find that I get pretty hung up on the rule statements (a problem that never seems to happen in any of my other courses). I think because there is so much to cram into it. Like you have your definition statement, and then you must list the elements, but sometimes the elements just seem to reitterate what you just said in the rule estatement (like in the intentional torts for instance) and then you got the sub-rules. So I would find that I literally waste valuable minutes each time trying to figure out how to formulate the rule statement when IRACing.

To avoid this on exam day, I am trying to type up a list of how I would most likely put rule statements on an exam (unless the facts would say otherwise), and try to memorize them, or practice writing them over and over until they become natural, since my exam is closed book.

Does anybody know of any examples of the best way to tackle this problem? I don't want to be redundant (since there is a word count) but I also don't want to leave stuff out and miss out on points. Does anybody know where I can find examples of how to write this? There are no past exams, and my only sources have been the study aid books I look at, which are more concerned with explaining an analysis, rather than how to state a full and complete rule statement.


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 Post subject: Re: Rule Statements in Torts exams
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:57 pm
Posts: 47
Well, I was wondering more along how to do it in prose, and in sentence form. For instance, when you define what a battery is- the intentional inflection of a harmful or offensive bodily contact.--- youve basically laid out all the elements. So then if you are continuing with proper sentence structure, is there a way to merge that rule with the elements without seeming redundant (because i dont believe we can just use a list format like that.

But then after I list out the elements, they would still need further elaboration. For instance, with intent, I'd have to mention purpose or with substantial certainty to cause, and with the harmful or offensive contact, I would have to mention the objective standard thing. Basically, I am trying to get EVERYTHING about the rule out of the way at once, so once I hit the analysis, all I have to do is apply the law to the fact pattern, without being wishy-washy, and introducing random new rules like "btw the objective standard is used.."

This would surely be even more difficult when making a rule statement for Negligence, because those 4 elements have so many sub-rules, that I wonder if I'd be better off dealing with each one separately in its own paragraph?

My professor is very big on organization and expects our responses to be in paragraph form. Thats why I was wondering if people had any sample practice responses that dealt with applying a rule statement that was concise enough, but not short on any facts. I was trying to find a strategy that I could copy for my own exam.

My brain is pretty much fried right now, I don't know how I'm gonna make it through 2 more finals :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Rule Statements in Torts exams
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:00 pm
Posts: 66
First off, hang in there! Just remember you're not alone.

My Torts prof was very keen on us keeping it simple - and yes, there was a lot of redundancy. She said to lay it out by issue, then element, then follow a "Because", "However" format. Here's how we were advised to structure our analysis (in the event there is any takeaway for you).

Issue 1: Sara & John v. Fred & Woods Department Store: False Imprisonment
Woods Dept. store is vicariously liable for the conduct of its employees. If S & J were falsely imprisoned in the course of Fred's employment with Woods Dept. store, both Fred and Woods will be responsible. There are three requirements for a prima facie case of FI: 1), 2) 3)... (list your rules)

Element 1: S & J are physically restrained. S & J will argue that there were actually physically restrained BECAUSE Fred physically grabbed S's arm and prevented her from leaving at that moment. S & J were ordered to follow Fred with a crowd of onlookers, put in a windowless room, and ordered to wait. Like Coblyn v. Kennedy, they had no choice to leave for fear of personal difficulty after display of force at the exit and confined to close quarters.

HOWEVER, F & W should argue S & J were not physically restrained BECAUSE S & J never asked to leave or objected to their wait - demonstrating that it was voluntary. S & J never tested their confinement or whether the door was locked or if they were permitted to leave. F & W will argue that S & J operated under a moral obligation to stay, which is insufficient to satisfy the second element of FI.

Element 2: ...

I'm sure things will come together for you. Good Luck!

lawschoolproblems86 wrote:
Well, I was wondering more along how to do it in prose, and in sentence form. For instance, when you define what a battery is- the intentional inflection of a harmful or offensive bodily contact.--- youve basically laid out all the elements. So then if you are continuing with proper sentence structure, is there a way to merge that rule with the elements without seeming redundant (because i dont believe we can just use a list format like that.

But then after I list out the elements, they would still need further elaboration. For instance, with intent, I'd have to mention purpose or with substantial certainty to cause, and with the harmful or offensive contact, I would have to mention the objective standard thing. Basically, I am trying to get EVERYTHING about the rule out of the way at once, so once I hit the analysis, all I have to do is apply the law to the fact pattern, without being wishy-washy, and introducing random new rules like "btw the objective standard is used.."

This would surely be even more difficult when making a rule statement for Negligence, because those 4 elements have so many sub-rules, that I wonder if I'd be better off dealing with each one separately in its own paragraph?

My professor is very big on organization and expects our responses to be in paragraph form. Thats why I was wondering if people had any sample practice responses that dealt with applying a rule statement that was concise enough, but not short on any facts. I was trying to find a strategy that I could copy for my own exam.

My brain is pretty much fried right now, I don't know how I'm gonna make it through 2 more finals :shock:


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