Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

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wiseowl
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby wiseowl » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:38 am

Talk to the professor. I had a grade like this come back 1st semester of 1L. Turns out it was a grading error. It was fixed. Not fast enough to get me a 1L firm job, but it was fixed.

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magicman554
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby magicman554 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:45 pm

romothesavior wrote:
magicman554 wrote:So.....jump off a bridge?

Absent a stellar (straight A) second semester, you are going to be looking at smaller firms and PI/government work. There are some great jobs in these areas, as well as some stinkers. You say you don't want to do PI/government stuff, so you need to ask yourself why you are in law school and what you want to do with the degree. Biglaw is looking pretty bleak right now, and in-house is not a realistic goal for full-time post-graduate employment. You need a better idea of what your goal is moving forward. So what do you want to do?



I want to be able to pay back my debt.

What about mid-size firms? What are they paying? I have no interest in PI/Gov, or litigation either. I want to do transactional work, in the finance industry.

memo2partner
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby memo2partner » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:28 pm

I think getting a "C" is probably career ending as far as biglaw goes. But, if you get your grades up, you should be able to get something (maybe public interest?

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AreJay711
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:37 pm

You could still swing a state court clerkship out of the bottom third and that could lead to a small / mid law job or government work.

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kalvano
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby kalvano » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:40 pm

AreJay711 wrote:You could still swing a state court clerkship out of the bottom third and that could lead to a small / mid law job or government work.


Off topic, but are state courts really that more lenient? What about state court of appeals / supreme courts?

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AreJay711
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby AreJay711 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:48 pm

kalvano wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:You could still swing a state court clerkship out of the bottom third and that could lead to a small / mid law job or government work.


Off topic, but are state courts really that more lenient? What about state court of appeals / supreme courts?


I meant like trial courts or courts of limited jurisdiction handling misdemeanors. I'm sure it depends on what court and in what state you are applying to of course but they are generally considered to be easier. The thing is they aren't going to open up big doors for you beyond smaller to medium sized local firms from what I gather.

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Gail
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby Gail » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:17 pm

magicman554 wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
magicman554 wrote:So.....jump off a bridge?

Absent a stellar (straight A) second semester, you are going to be looking at smaller firms and PI/government work. There are some great jobs in these areas, as well as some stinkers. You say you don't want to do PI/government stuff, so you need to ask yourself why you are in law school and what you want to do with the degree. Biglaw is looking pretty bleak right now, and in-house is not a realistic goal for full-time post-graduate employment. You need a better idea of what your goal is moving forward. So what do you want to do?



I want to be able to pay back my debt.

What about mid-size firms? What are they paying? I have no interest in PI/Gov, or litigation either. I want to do transactional work, in the finance industry.


Magiman, correct me if I'm wrong but did you say that you're going to be finishing LS with only 45k debt? If yes, keep reading. If no, disregard.




Do you realize that 45k is not much more than a new car payment? Your JD will get you a job with at least 40k a year and it is only going to appreiate in value. 2010 OCS data has nearly everyone employed (and if you're going to tell me more than 10 per 200 of those were making minimum wage, I'll just tell you to shut up).


Seriously people. If he were about to go 200k in debt, yes, dropping out is an option. If you're only 45k in debt....

Just Christ. Start talking to lawyers. Get your name out there. You'll land somewhere with at least 40k a year and you'll be able to pay it off just fine.

Soldier on.

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kalvano
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby kalvano » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:39 pm

Sweet necro.

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Gail
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby Gail » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:43 pm

I didn't realize that this was so old. I just used the search forum for something like: law grade, C, average.


I'm such a fool.

sadsituationJD
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby sadsituationJD » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:13 pm

And when did I say that DA's offices weren't competitive? I never said that. But, by and large (again not talking about Manhattan DA--which is becoming similar to biglaw in terms of hiring model) they do not hire in the same way. They are not "Harder" than biglaw or "easier" than biglaw. That is a misnomer conjured up by people who are too entrenched in the TLS top law school mindset. The DA's offices in Atlanta, Charlotte, San Fran, Houston, Dallas, Chicago-- I could go on and on-- do not cut people solely based off of getting a bad grade on a 3 hour law school exam (especially not someone at a top 25). They care A LOT more about experience in mock trial, clinical work, and community service work. They care about how you can handle the stress of working on 40 cases at once and working at odd hours with tough defendants. They are well aware that typing up a crap ton of stuff in 3 hours has little to do with that. They also know that the type of person who thinks getting a C in one law school class at a "lowly" top 25 is exactly the type of person who cannot relate to the sorts of individuals and situations you will be in as an ADA in a tough city.


As a practicing NY/NJ small firm partner who is currently looking for an associate, I stumbled across this post and decided to post some thoughts etc. I graudated & was admitted to the bar(s) in 2005 btw. I'll be happy to answer questions, as I have been poring over resumes the past few days.

First of all, OP is not getting Biglaw. Torts is by far the easiest class, and a "C" in that is a real "red flag" IMO. It will be damned hard to explain away, but as OP is probably not going to get any Biglaw/OCI interviews anyway it really won't matter.

RE: the jobs at DA's offices, I'd forget about that too. Budget cuts are killing these jobs by the bushel, and it's likely to get MUCH worse from what I hear. Hell, Houston DA is laying off shitloads and stuck in hiring freeze:

http://blog.chron.com/houstonpolitics/2 ... ys-off-20/

Even dangerous urban areas like Camden NJ, where you'd think they'd be HIRING da's, are laying them off by the truckload:

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/0 ... en_co.html

Sure, you might somehow score an ADA job in some hick town or 3rd rate city. You might also win the Powerball lottery or be the first human to set foot on the planet Mars. But it isn't likely. The closest most of you are ever getting to a DA/PD office is going to be when you DVR some Law & Order episodes.

There are still some municipal prosecutor (i.e, traffic court) gigs out there, but these are part time (as in one or two night a week) gigs, not any kind of "career." These jobs pay crap and are very, very boring (my GF is a muni prosecutor in Bucks County, PA and gets paid a whopping $250 for two Tuesday nights a month, and has 8 years in the job).

OP and others in his position will likely be coming to solos/small firms like mine for gigs, so here is some advice:

1. You have no leverage whatsoever on salary negotiation. Zero. None. Nada. I have received to date 239 resumes for an ad that went up on lawjobs on Thursday of last week. We contemplate paying about 30,000/year, plus 1/2 of health ins. premium. Most small firms in the area are paying about the same or less. Many are simply paying nothing and taking on licensed attorneys as unpaid "interns," but we have a bit of a moral problem with that.

2. The reason we pay so "little" is that, for all intents and purposes, a newly admitted attorney is virtually worthless to us. This is not your fault, but the fault of America's absurd and really downright worthless legal "education" system. You are about as well prepared for the "trenches" of shitlaw practice as a kid with a paper airplane toy is prepared to pilot an F-16. Understand that in this gutted shell of an economy, practice has gotten extremely nasty and scrounging $$$ out of defendants, clients, insurance companies, and pretty much everyone else with a wallet is very, very hard. Every small lawyer I know is desperate to hang on to what they have in terms of clients, and using every spare penny for advertising. There ain't much left over for "associate" salaries.

3. As such, it takes a lot of "street smarts" to function in practice nowadays. This is something that can be learned only by doing. For example, a kid the other day referenced the fucking "Bluebook" expertise on his resume, which went straight to the garbage can. State courts (where most shitlaw cases are filed) barely have time to even glance at your papers, much less care about irrelevant nonsense like "Bluebooking.' Hell, an adversary of mine the other day responded to an Order to Show Cause with a faxed sheet of fucking notebook paper on which he's scribbled some random bullet points, then faxed same to our office and the Court at 5 pm the night before the return date of the motion. Shit like this happens all the time anymore, as everyone is stretched super-thin and most small offices have gutted their staffs in this downturn.

4. Being able to write DEMAND LETTERS is a crucial skill. Few lawyers nowadays can afford to put every little case into suit, so many of the "crap" files have to settle quickly for cash flow and such. Almost all of the demand letter samples I've asked for as writing samples have been universally awful. I'd be happy to post a sample one of my letters here if you'd like to actually learn something worthwhile for a change.

5. If OP decides to drop out (and he/she probably should), go ahead and pull the trigger NOW. As in tomorrow. It sort of sounds like OP is holding out some forlorn hope/prayer for Biglaw, like a man standing on a train platform as the subway doors swing closed. THat baby is as good as out of the station, OP. Worse yet, there is no "next train" for you to catch. That "C" in torts bought you a one-way trip on the "Shitlaw Local" train, which is caked in graffitti and packed with degenerate winos. If you aren't prepared to step aboard, then drop out immediately.

HTH

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reformed calvinist
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby reformed calvinist » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:32 pm

sadsituationJD wrote:
And when did I say that DA's offices weren't competitive? I never said that. But, by and large (again not talking about Manhattan DA--which is becoming similar to biglaw in terms of hiring model) they do not hire in the same way. They are not "Harder" than biglaw or "easier" than biglaw. That is a misnomer conjured up by people who are too entrenched in the TLS top law school mindset. The DA's offices in Atlanta, Charlotte, San Fran, Houston, Dallas, Chicago-- I could go on and on-- do not cut people solely based off of getting a bad grade on a 3 hour law school exam (especially not someone at a top 25). They care A LOT more about experience in mock trial, clinical work, and community service work. They care about how you can handle the stress of working on 40 cases at once and working at odd hours with tough defendants. They are well aware that typing up a crap ton of stuff in 3 hours has little to do with that. They also know that the type of person who thinks getting a C in one law school class at a "lowly" top 25 is exactly the type of person who cannot relate to the sorts of individuals and situations you will be in as an ADA in a tough city.


As a practicing NY/NJ small firm partner who is currently looking for an associate, I stumbled across this post and decided to post some thoughts etc. I graudated & was admitted to the bar(s) in 2005 btw. I'll be happy to answer questions, as I have been poring over resumes the past few days.

First of all, OP is not getting Biglaw. Torts is by far the easiest class, and a "C" in that is a real "red flag" IMO. It will be damned hard to explain away, but as OP is probably not going to get any Biglaw/OCI interviews anyway it really won't matter.

RE: the jobs at DA's offices, I'd forget about that too. Budget cuts are killing these jobs by the bushel, and it's likely to get MUCH worse from what I hear. Hell, Houston DA is laying off shitloads and stuck in hiring freeze:

http://blog.chron.com/houstonpolitics/2 ... ys-off-20/

Even dangerous urban areas like Camden NJ, where you'd think they'd be HIRING da's, are laying them off by the truckload:

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/0 ... en_co.html

Sure, you might somehow score an ADA job in some hick town or 3rd rate city. You might also win the Powerball lottery or be the first human to set foot on the planet Mars. But it isn't likely. The closest most of you are ever getting to a DA/PD office is going to be when you DVR some Law & Order episodes.

There are still some municipal prosecutor (i.e, traffic court) gigs out there, but these are part time (as in one or two night a week) gigs, not any kind of "career." These jobs pay crap and are very, very boring (my GF is a muni prosecutor in Bucks County, PA and gets paid a whopping $250 for two Tuesday nights a month, and has 8 years in the job).

OP and others in his position will likely be coming to solos/small firms like mine for gigs, so here is some advice:

1. You have no leverage whatsoever on salary negotiation. Zero. None. Nada. I have received to date 239 resumes for an ad that went up on lawjobs on Thursday of last week. We contemplate paying about 30,000/year, plus 1/2 of health ins. premium. Most small firms in the area are paying about the same or less. Many are simply paying nothing and taking on licensed attorneys as unpaid "interns," but we have a bit of a moral problem with that.

2. The reason we pay so "little" is that, for all intents and purposes, a newly admitted attorney is virtually worthless to us. This is not your fault, but the fault of America's absurd and really downright worthless legal "education" system. You are about as well prepared for the "trenches" of shitlaw practice as a kid with a paper airplane toy is prepared to pilot an F-16. Understand that in this gutted shell of an economy, practice has gotten extremely nasty and scrounging $$$ out of defendants, clients, insurance companies, and pretty much everyone else with a wallet is very, very hard. Every small lawyer I know is desperate to hang on to what they have in terms of clients, and using every spare penny for advertising. There ain't much left over for "associate" salaries.

3. As such, it takes a lot of "street smarts" to function in practice nowadays. This is something that can be learned only by doing. For example, a kid the other day referenced the fucking "Bluebook" expertise on his resume, which went straight to the garbage can. State courts (where most shitlaw cases are filed) barely have time to even glance at your papers, much less care about irrelevant nonsense like "Bluebooking.' Hell, an adversary of mine the other day responded to an Order to Show Cause with a faxed sheet of fucking notebook paper on which he's scribbled some random bullet points, then faxed same to our office and the Court at 5 pm the night before the return date of the motion. Shit like this happens all the time anymore, as everyone is stretched super-thin and most small offices have gutted their staffs in this downturn.

4. Being able to write DEMAND LETTERS is a crucial skill. Few lawyers nowadays can afford to put every little case into suit, so many of the "crap" files have to settle quickly for cash flow and such. Almost all of the demand letter samples I've asked for as writing samples have been universally awful. I'd be happy to post a sample one of my letters here if you'd like to actually learn something worthwhile for a change.

5. If OP decides to drop out (and he/she probably should), go ahead and pull the trigger NOW. As in tomorrow. It sort of sounds like OP is holding out some forlorn hope/prayer for Biglaw, like a man standing on a train platform as the subway doors swing closed. THat baby is as good as out of the station, OP. Worse yet, there is no "next train" for you to catch. That "C" in torts bought you a one-way trip on the "Shitlaw Local" train, which is caked in graffitti and packed with degenerate winos. If you aren't prepared to step aboard, then drop out immediately.

HTH


I'd be interest in a demand letter sample if it's not too much trouble.

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sunynp
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby sunynp » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:36 pm

sadsituationJD wrote:
And when did I say that DA's offices weren't competitive? I never said that. But, by and large (again not talking about Manhattan DA--which is becoming similar to biglaw in terms of hiring model) they do not hire in the same way. They are not "Harder" than biglaw or "easier" than biglaw. That is a misnomer conjured up by people who are too entrenched in the TLS top law school mindset. The DA's offices in Atlanta, Charlotte, San Fran, Houston, Dallas, Chicago-- I could go on and on-- do not cut people solely based off of getting a bad grade on a 3 hour law school exam (especially not someone at a top 25). They care A LOT more about experience in mock trial, clinical work, and community service work. They care about how you can handle the stress of working on 40 cases at once and working at odd hours with tough defendants. They are well aware that typing up a crap ton of stuff in 3 hours has little to do with that. They also know that the type of person who thinks getting a C in one law school class at a "lowly" top 25 is exactly the type of person who cannot relate to the sorts of individuals and situations you will be in as an ADA in a tough city.


As a practicing NY/NJ small firm partner who is currently looking for an associate, I stumbled across this post and decided to post some thoughts etc. I graudated & was admitted to the bar(s) in 2005 btw. I'll be happy to answer questions, as I have been poring over resumes the past few days.

First of all, OP is not getting Biglaw. Torts is by far the easiest class, and a "C" in that is a real "red flag" IMO. It will be damned hard to explain away, but as OP is probably not going to get any Biglaw/OCI interviews anyway it really won't matter.

RE: the jobs at DA's offices, I'd forget about that too. Budget cuts are killing these jobs by the bushel, and it's likely to get MUCH worse from what I hear. Hell, Houston DA is laying off shitloads and stuck in hiring freeze:

http://blog.chron.com/houstonpolitics/2 ... ys-off-20/

Even dangerous urban areas like Camden NJ, where you'd think they'd be HIRING da's, are laying them off by the truckload:

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/0 ... en_co.html

Sure, you might somehow score an ADA job in some hick town or 3rd rate city. You might also win the Powerball lottery or be the first human to set foot on the planet Mars. But it isn't likely. The closest most of you are ever getting to a DA/PD office is going to be when you DVR some Law & Order episodes.

There are still some municipal prosecutor (i.e, traffic court) gigs out there, but these are part time (as in one or two night a week) gigs, not any kind of "career." These jobs pay crap and are very, very boring (my GF is a muni prosecutor in Bucks County, PA and gets paid a whopping $250 for two Tuesday nights a month, and has 8 years in the job).

OP and others in his position will likely be coming to solos/small firms like mine for gigs, so here is some advice:

1. You have no leverage whatsoever on salary negotiation. Zero. None. Nada. I have received to date 239 resumes for an ad that went up on lawjobs on Thursday of last week. We contemplate paying about 30,000/year, plus 1/2 of health ins. premium. Most small firms in the area are paying about the same or less. Many are simply paying nothing and taking on licensed attorneys as unpaid "interns," but we have a bit of a moral problem with that.

2. The reason we pay so "little" is that, for all intents and purposes, a newly admitted attorney is virtually worthless to us. This is not your fault, but the fault of America's absurd and really downright worthless legal "education" system. You are about as well prepared for the "trenches" of shitlaw practice as a kid with a paper airplane toy is prepared to pilot an F-16. Understand that in this gutted shell of an economy, practice has gotten extremely nasty and scrounging $$$ out of defendants, clients, insurance companies, and pretty much everyone else with a wallet is very, very hard. Every small lawyer I know is desperate to hang on to what they have in terms of clients, and using every spare penny for advertising. There ain't much left over for "associate" salaries.

3. As such, it takes a lot of "street smarts" to function in practice nowadays. This is something that can be learned only by doing. For example, a kid the other day referenced the fucking "Bluebook" expertise on his resume, which went straight to the garbage can. State courts (where most shitlaw cases are filed) barely have time to even glance at your papers, much less care about irrelevant nonsense like "Bluebooking.' Hell, an adversary of mine the other day responded to an Order to Show Cause with a faxed sheet of fucking notebook paper on which he's scribbled some random bullet points, then faxed same to our office and the Court at 5 pm the night before the return date of the motion. Shit like this happens all the time anymore, as everyone is stretched super-thin and most small offices have gutted their staffs in this downturn.

4. Being able to write DEMAND LETTERS is a crucial skill. Few lawyers nowadays can afford to put every little case into suit, so many of the "crap" files have to settle quickly for cash flow and such. Almost all of the demand letter samples I've asked for as writing samples have been universally awful. I'd be happy to post a sample one of my letters here if you'd like to actually learn something worthwhile for a change.

5. If OP decides to drop out (and he/she probably should), go ahead and pull the trigger NOW. As in tomorrow. It sort of sounds like OP is holding out some forlorn hope/prayer for Biglaw, like a man standing on a train platform as the subway doors swing closed. THat baby is as good as out of the station, OP. Worse yet, there is no "next train" for you to catch. That "C" in torts bought you a one-way trip on the "Shitlaw Local" train, which is caked in graffitti and packed with degenerate winos. If you aren't prepared to step aboard, then drop out immediately.

HTH

I think that you should start a thread here for people to ask you questions. Your comments might get lost in this thread. I'm sure people are interested in your advice.

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johansantana21
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby johansantana21 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:36 pm

Sadsituation is brilliant.

sadsituationJD
Posts: 126
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby sadsituationJD » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:43 pm

I'd be interest in a demand letter sample if it's not too much trouble.


Here is one for a landlord/tenant case. We picked up this case not long after Hurricane Irene last fall. The fee for this letter was $500. The landlord repaired everything demanded in the letter the following week, and gave the tenant a $300 rent discount as well:

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Mr. Larry Landlord
200 Main Street
Anytown, NJ 01435

Dear Mr. Landlord,

Please be advised that our office has been retained to represent Julie Tenant in connection with numerous outstanding repair & maintenance issues regarding premises located at 500 Flophouse Road, Anytown, New Jersey 08894. Ms. Tenant has informed our office that you are the landlord & record owner of said dwelling in which she is currently a tenant.

Ms. Tenant informed our firm that, despite her numerous documented calls and emails to you, the premises at 500 Flophouse Road have been without heat and sufficient hot water since August 28, 2011. On or about that date, flooding from Hurricane Irene filled the basement at said premises to a depth of nearly 6 feet, submerging the furnace, hot water heater, fuel oil tank, and other mechanical systems of the building and effectively destroying same.

Under N.J.A.C. 5:10-14 et seq; you, as the landlord, are required to provide sufficient heat (or the means of generating sufficient heat) from October 1 to May 1 so that the daytime temperature in the dwelling is at least 68 degrees from the hours of 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., the temperature in the dwelling must be at least 65 degrees during said calendar dates aforementioned.

As the furnace is currently non-functional, it is impossible for Ms. Tenant to warm the building to said temperature(s) required by law. Be advised that failure to provide sufficient heat is a very serious matter, and New Jersey courts can and have imposed stiff fines (in addition to civil damages) for violation of this statute, including up to $500 a day in fines for each day said dwelling has been without said heat.

We have also been informed that the dwelling’s hot water heater was likewise damaged in the flood, and that Ms. Tenant currently has only sporadic and intermittent hot water service in the dwelling. This constitutes a serious breach of the Warranty of Habitability, which applies to all residential rental dwellings in New Jersey.

Furthermore, the electric “space heaters” you supplied on a temporary basis to Ms. Tenant are wholly insufficient to warm the premises to the proper temperature. In addition, the building’s ancient electrical service is incapable of providing sufficient current to operate said heaters without constant tripping of the circuit breakers, and in all likelihood constituting a significant fire hazard.

Ms. Tenant further informed our office that, as a result of the aforementioned flood damage, the basement windows of the premises are completely broken and exposed to the elements. This derelict condition is causing both rodents and vermin/insects to enter the basement, as well as creating drafts and allowing weather to enter the building. In addition, mold and mildew from the abandoned, adjacent half of the duplex dwelling next door (502 Flophouse Road) is penetrating through the common wall of the duplex and creating fungal growth on the walls and enclosed front porch. This is a clear violation of N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.10 (a) and (d), to wit:

(a) Every foundation, floor, wall, ceiling, door, window, roof, or other part of a building shall be kept in good repair and capable of the use intended by its design, and any exterior part or parts thereof subject to corrosion or deterioration shall be kept well painted. N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.10(a).

(d) Every roof, wall, window, exterior door, and hatchway shall be free from holes or leaks… N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.10 (d).

We were further informed by Ms. Tenant that you threatened to “change the locks” on the premises if she withheld rent due to your failure to make the necessary repairs. Be advised that such a self-help “lockout” constitutes a criminal as well as a civil offense in New Jersey under N.J.S.A. 2A:39-1, and that so doing can result in issuance of a warrant for your arrest as a disorderly person, as well as civil penalties up to 3 (three) times the amount of monthly rent plus reimbursement of tenant’s attorney fees and court costs. Our office will immediately file an Order to Show Cause with the appropriate Court if you (or your assigns, contractors, or agents) effect a lockout or forcible eviction of Ms. Tenant, as well as notify local law enforcement of same, and zealously pursue all civil and criminal remedies available at law.

In accordance with the aforementioned, Ms. Tenant hereby demands:

1.) The repair or replacement of the premise’s furnace, such that the building can be heated to the temperatures required by law;

2.) Repair of the broken basement windows so that vermin and weather cannot
enter the premises;

3.) Reimbursement for the approximately 130 gallons of heating oil which were
destroyed when flood water breached the basement oil tank vent;

4.) Remediation of the mold and mildew which was (and is), growing
on the common walls and enclosed front porch of the premises;

5.) Repair and/or replacement of the hot water heater such that the premises have sufficient hot water for washing, showers, laundry and other household needs.


If said repairs and remedies are not satisfactorily effected by October 25, 2011, Ms. Tenant has instructed our office to file suit in the appropriate New Jersey court asserting, but not limited to:

1.) Material breach of the Warranty of Habitability;

2.) Constructive eviction;

and/or request that the Court appoint a Receiver to collect and escrow rent monies until such necessary repairs are satisfactorily performed (with a substantial retroactive rent reduction for the elapsed time Ms. Tenant has lived in & endured said substandard conditions), as well as her attorneys’ fees and costs relating to same, and any and all other damages and remedies available at law.

Please contact the undersigned at your earliest convenience to discuss a prompt resolution of this matter. If no response is received from you by October 25, 2011, we will file suit in the appropriate Court on behalf of Ms. Tenant.


Very truly yours,

__________________
NJ Lawyer, Esq

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reformed calvinist
Posts: 287
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby reformed calvinist » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:53 pm

sadsituationJD wrote:
I'd be interest in a demand letter sample if it's not too much trouble.


Here is one for a landlord/tenant case. We picked up this case not long after Hurricane Irene last fall. The fee for this letter was $500. The landlord repaired everything demanded in the letter the following week, and gave the tenant a $300 rent discount as well:

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Mr. Larry Landlord
200 Main Street
Anytown, NJ 01435

Dear Mr. Landlord,

Please be advised that our office has been retained to represent Julie Tenant in connection with numerous outstanding repair & maintenance issues regarding premises located at 500 Flophouse Road, Anytown, New Jersey 08894. Ms. Tenant has informed our office that you are the landlord & record owner of said dwelling in which she is currently a tenant.

Ms. Tenant informed our firm that, despite her numerous documented calls and emails to you, the premises at 500 Flophouse Road have been without heat and sufficient hot water since August 28, 2011. On or about that date, flooding from Hurricane Irene filled the basement at said premises to a depth of nearly 6 feet, submerging the furnace, hot water heater, fuel oil tank, and other mechanical systems of the building and effectively destroying same.

Under N.J.A.C. 5:10-14 et seq; you, as the landlord, are required to provide sufficient heat (or the means of generating sufficient heat) from October 1 to May 1 so that the daytime temperature in the dwelling is at least 68 degrees from the hours of 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., the temperature in the dwelling must be at least 65 degrees during said calendar dates aforementioned.

As the furnace is currently non-functional, it is impossible for Ms. Tenant to warm the building to said temperature(s) required by law. Be advised that failure to provide sufficient heat is a very serious matter, and New Jersey courts can and have imposed stiff fines (in addition to civil damages) for violation of this statute, including up to $500 a day in fines for each day said dwelling has been without said heat.

We have also been informed that the dwelling’s hot water heater was likewise damaged in the flood, and that Ms. Tenant currently has only sporadic and intermittent hot water service in the dwelling. This constitutes a serious breach of the Warranty of Habitability, which applies to all residential rental dwellings in New Jersey.

Furthermore, the electric “space heaters” you supplied on a temporary basis to Ms. Tenant are wholly insufficient to warm the premises to the proper temperature. In addition, the building’s ancient electrical service is incapable of providing sufficient current to operate said heaters without constant tripping of the circuit breakers, and in all likelihood constituting a significant fire hazard.

Ms. Tenant further informed our office that, as a result of the aforementioned flood damage, the basement windows of the premises are completely broken and exposed to the elements. This derelict condition is causing both rodents and vermin/insects to enter the basement, as well as creating drafts and allowing weather to enter the building. In addition, mold and mildew from the abandoned, adjacent half of the duplex dwelling next door (502 Flophouse Road) is penetrating through the common wall of the duplex and creating fungal growth on the walls and enclosed front porch. This is a clear violation of N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.10 (a) and (d), to wit:

(a) Every foundation, floor, wall, ceiling, door, window, roof, or other part of a building shall be kept in good repair and capable of the use intended by its design, and any exterior part or parts thereof subject to corrosion or deterioration shall be kept well painted. N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.10(a).

(d) Every roof, wall, window, exterior door, and hatchway shall be free from holes or leaks… N.J.A.C. 5:28-1.10 (d).

We were further informed by Ms. Tenant that you threatened to “change the locks” on the premises if she withheld rent due to your failure to make the necessary repairs. Be advised that such a self-help “lockout” constitutes a criminal as well as a civil offense in New Jersey under N.J.S.A. 2A:39-1, and that so doing can result in issuance of a warrant for your arrest as a disorderly person, as well as civil penalties up to 3 (three) times the amount of monthly rent plus reimbursement of tenant’s attorney fees and court costs. Our office will immediately file an Order to Show Cause with the appropriate Court if you (or your assigns, contractors, or agents) effect a lockout or forcible eviction of Ms. Tenant, as well as notify local law enforcement of same, and zealously pursue all civil and criminal remedies available at law.

In accordance with the aforementioned, Ms. Tenant hereby demands:

1.) The repair or replacement of the premise’s furnace, such that the building can be heated to the temperatures required by law;

2.) Repair of the broken basement windows so that vermin and weather cannot
enter the premises;

3.) Reimbursement for the approximately 130 gallons of heating oil which were
destroyed when flood water breached the basement oil tank vent;

4.) Remediation of the mold and mildew which was (and is), growing
on the common walls and enclosed front porch of the premises;

5.) Repair and/or replacement of the hot water heater such that the premises have sufficient hot water for washing, showers, laundry and other household needs.


If said repairs and remedies are not satisfactorily effected by October 25, 2011, Ms. Tenant has instructed our office to file suit in the appropriate New Jersey court asserting, but not limited to:

1.) Material breach of the Warranty of Habitability;

2.) Constructive eviction;

and/or request that the Court appoint a Receiver to collect and escrow rent monies until such necessary repairs are satisfactorily performed (with a substantial retroactive rent reduction for the elapsed time Ms. Tenant has lived in & endured said substandard conditions), as well as her attorneys’ fees and costs relating to same, and any and all other damages and remedies available at law.

Please contact the undersigned at your earliest convenience to discuss a prompt resolution of this matter. If no response is received from you by October 25, 2011, we will file suit in the appropriate Court on behalf of Ms. Tenant.


Very truly yours,

__________________
NJ Lawyer, Esq


I'd imagine these come up more often than appellate briefs. And yet...

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby lawyerwannabe » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:17 am

sadsituationJD wrote:3. As such, it takes a lot of "street smarts" to function in practice nowadays. This is something that can be learned only by doing. For example, a kid the other day referenced the fucking "Bluebook" expertise on his resume, which went straight to the garbage can. State courts (where most shitlaw cases are filed) barely have time to even glance at your papers, much less care about irrelevant nonsense like "Bluebooking.' Hell, an adversary of mine the other day responded to an Order to Show Cause with a faxed sheet of fucking notebook paper on which he's scribbled some random bullet points, then faxed same to our office and the Court at 5 pm the night before the return date of the motion. Shit like this happens all the time anymore, as everyone is stretched super-thin and most small offices have gutted their staffs in this downturn.


I LOLed when I read this. Especially the ". . . which went straight to the garbage can" part where someone referenced Bluebooking expertise. Hahahahaha.

sadsituationJD
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby sadsituationJD » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:34 am

I'd imagine these come up more often than appellate briefs. And yet...


Yep. I've done one appellate brief in 7 years as an attorney. It was for a trip n' slip case where a woman was getting off an NYC bus during a blizzard and slipped on a glare of ice that was atop one of those metal sheets that NYC places over holes when doing road repair work.

She had a fx wrist w/ hardware (which is injury lawyer shorthand for a broken wrist with pins/screws inserted). The NYC MTA won summary judgement because an idiot judge said she had already "alighted" the bus, and MTA's duty ended when she stepped off the bus.

But I found other decisions that held if the bus didn't stop at the usual bus stop, the driver had to choose/select a "safe place" to alight. The metal sheet was not a safe place, as it was covered in ice.

After we won the appeal the MTA settled for 35 K. Most cases against them aren't worth much, even if taken to jury, because everyone on a NYC jury uses the bus/subway every day too and most manage to do so without breaking their clumsy asses and trip/slip. Jurors thus aren't going to give a big payday to some klutz, esp. when they fear it could raise fares or whatever (laypeople have very odd ideas about legal shit in general).

After factoring all the time, motions, appeals, and headaches of that case, I would've probably done better working at 7/11 as a cashier.

Also understand that demand letters like the one I posted previously are mostly the bread n' butter of shitlaw. This job in general is mundane, dull, and for the most part doesn't pay very well. Feature this: for the $500 we got for that demand letter, we had to:

1. Listen to a 45 minute "free consultation" rant from the insane, hyper-annoying tenant,

2. Send our assistant (or paralegal, if that's what you'd like to call her) out to the property to verify this was a real situation and not some crank/lunatic,

3. Answer about 200 phone calls from the tenant about every 15 mins asking when her heat was getting fixed, what is taking so long, etc,

4. Spend another half hour begging her for half (250) of the fee upfront,

5. Spend another 15 mins listening to her crap when her check to us bounced and we demanded she bring cash to the office,

6. Spend 1/2 hour writing the letter, finding the landlords home address, and paying $7 for certified mail.

Thus, you can see that the $500 we got wasn't exactly an easy dollar. Remember too that 90% or more of your calls will be "tire-kickers" with no case who are simply insane/broke/have no case, etc.

I really do advise you not to enter this industry. Take a long, hard look at the thrilling legal issues/statutes raised in that demand letter, and ask yourselves if that's what you really aspire to do for the next 50 or so years.

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drdolittle
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby drdolittle » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:39 am

sadsituationJD wrote:Torts is by far the easiest class, and a "C" in that is a real "red flag" IMO. It will be damned hard to explain away, but as OP is probably not going to get any Biglaw/OCI interviews anyway it really won't matter.

Areyouinsane? Explanation: mandatory curve.

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drdolittle
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby drdolittle » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:16 am

lawyerwannabe wrote:
sadsituationJD wrote:3. As such, it takes a lot of "street smarts" to function in practice nowadays. This is something that can be learned only by doing. For example, a kid the other day referenced the fucking "Bluebook" expertise on his resume, which went straight to the garbage can. State courts (where most shitlaw cases are filed) barely have time to even glance at your papers, much less care about irrelevant nonsense like "Bluebooking.' Hell, an adversary of mine the other day responded to an Order to Show Cause with a faxed sheet of fucking notebook paper on which he's scribbled some random bullet points, then faxed same to our office and the Court at 5 pm the night before the return date of the motion. Shit like this happens all the time anymore, as everyone is stretched super-thin and most small offices have gutted their staffs in this downturn.


I LOLed when I read this. Especially the ". . . which went straight to the garbage can" part where someone referenced Bluebooking expertise. Hahahahaha.

+1

sillyboots
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby sillyboots » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:43 am

Sorry, this might seem nitpicky and like a criticism, but it's something I've truly wondered about for a while and figured I'd take the opportunity to ask.

Furthermore, the electric “space heaters” you supplied on a temporary basis to Ms. Tenant are wholly insufficient to warm the premises to the proper temperature. In addition, the building’s ancient electrical service is incapable of providing sufficient current to operate said heaters without constant tripping of the circuit breakers, and in all likelihood constituting a significant fire hazard.


Using the word "said" in this way and as it is used a few times throughout the demand letter has always struck me as obnoxious. I'm curious if it is specifically used in instances like this because it strikes that somewhat pompous/esoteric tone, and that inspires that "oh shit, I'm really dealing with a legal problem" feeling in people which in turn prompts compliance. Or, is it actually just a perfectly normal device that I just have weird feelings about?

BeenDidThat
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby BeenDidThat » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:40 am

sillyboots wrote:Sorry, this might seem nitpicky and like a criticism, but it's something I've truly wondered about for a while and figured I'd take the opportunity to ask.

Furthermore, the electric “space heaters” you supplied on a temporary basis to Ms. Tenant are wholly insufficient to warm the premises to the proper temperature. In addition, the building’s ancient electrical service is incapable of providing sufficient current to operate said heaters without constant tripping of the circuit breakers, and in all likelihood constituting a significant fire hazard.


Using the word "said" in this way and as it is used a few times throughout the demand letter has always struck me as obnoxious. I'm curious if it is specifically used in instances like this because it strikes that somewhat pompous/esoteric tone, and that inspires that "oh shit, I'm really dealing with a legal problem" feeling in people which in turn prompts compliance. Or, is it actually just a perfectly normal device that I just have weird feelings about?


I mean, you could use "the" in that space, but "said" does add some meaning by connecting "heaters" back up with the previous mention of "heaters", which eliminates some ambiguity.

sillyboots
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby sillyboots » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:13 am

I mean, you could use "the" in that space, but "said" does add some meaning by connecting "heaters" back up with the previous mention of "heaters", which eliminates some ambiguity.


Not sure if it's gramatically fair play, but seems like you could also use "these" which should make it pretty obvious that you're referring to the heaters you immediately mentioned. I'm sure you should be able to rewrite the paragraph/sentence, too. Off the top of my head:

Furthermore, the electric "space heaters" you supplied on a temporary basis to Ms. Tenant are wholly inadequate. They do not sufficiently heat the premise, and the building's ancient electric service is incapable of providing enough current to operate them without constantly tripping the circuit breakers. [omitting fire hazard part because I dont know crap about electric fires and am not sure if the constant tripping of the circuit breakers somehow poses the threat, or just the nature of the heaters themselves].

Anyway, maybe it's just really nitpicky of me, but I feel compelled to go out of my way to not use devices like "said", maybe because they remind me of all of the king's court opinions I've read. I see it used a lot though, and can conceive of a sort of mindgame edge to using it, but want to know if it's used for that purpose or just for convenience.

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kalvano
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby kalvano » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:50 am

It's used because its always been used, and lawyers tend to be shitty real writers. Legal writing isn't about looking pretty or literary devices.

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jessuf
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby jessuf » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:41 am

I think the people who really only care about the word choice are people who are jobless with "bluebook expert" on their resumes.

I don't think the point is to get every comma correct in a letter. I think the point is to show you know your facts and the law to scare the shit out of the landlord, both of which are communicated well in the letter.

sillyboots
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Re: Just Got a C in Torts - Now what?

Postby sillyboots » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:01 pm

.
Last edited by sillyboots on Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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