I need help from someone who aced torts

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Anomaly
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I need help from someone who aced torts

Postby Anomaly » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:21 pm

how did you structure your answer to an issue spotter?

For negligence (in torts), did you use separate headings for duty, breach, causation and damages? What if there's facts about a statute (negligence per se), custom, statistical evidence, and all that stuff. Do you throw all that analysis under duty?

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acrossthelake
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Re: I need help from someone who aced torts

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:23 pm

Anomaly wrote:how did you structure your answer to an issue spotter?

For negligence (in torts), did you use separate headings for duty, breach, causation and damages? What if there's facts about a statute (negligence per se), custom, statistical evidence, and all that stuff. Do you throw all that analysis under duty?


For some questions, only one of the 4 elements would be worth having its own paragraph for. The rest I rolled together into one paragraph. Adjust based on how much you need to write for each whether you separate into a heading or simply its own paragraph.

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shepdawg
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Re: I need help from someone who aced torts

Postby shepdawg » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:59 pm

If it's an element where little analysis is required, it won't need its own paragraph, but underline the word or make it bold.

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koalatriste
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Re: I need help from someone who aced torts

Postby koalatriste » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:01 pm

There is no real need to talk about harm when someone died. HTH.

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shepdawg
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Re: I need help from someone who aced torts

Postby shepdawg » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:08 pm

koalatriste wrote:There is no real need to talk about harm when someone died. HTH.

Disagree. I got extra points for calculating damages based upon past and future earnings. Also, don't forget about loss of consortium.

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ilovesf
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Re: I need help from someone who aced torts

Postby ilovesf » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:10 pm

It totally depends on your professor. Ask him/her. My professor wanted separate headings for all parts. He is the kind of professor that had fewer issues, but wanted a total in depth discussion of all of them. Some other professors have race horse exams where you just have to get everything down as quickly as possible with less analysis.

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traehekat
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Re: I need help from someone who aced torts

Postby traehekat » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:11 pm

Anomaly wrote:how did you structure your answer to an issue spotter?

For negligence (in torts), did you use separate headings for duty, breach, causation and damages? What if there's facts about a statute (negligence per se), custom, statistical evidence, and all that stuff. Do you throw all that analysis under duty?


received top grade in torts so hopefully this helps!

first get all your conflict pairings together.

A v B
A v C
A v D
B v D
D v E
etc.

Finding pairings basically just means figure each person who was injured in anyway and then figure out who they could even possibly sue and list them all. actually write/type them. then quickly decipher which ones are obviously the ones the professor wants you to discuss at length and start on those. starting with A v. B, list all of the possible claims A can bring against B. for each claim list all the possible defense B might have against A. then, among those claims, figure out which ones obviously the ones the prof wants you to discuss at length and start on those. once you start a claim, list all the elements and just start going through them one by one. IMO, the very first claim you do for your first pairing (that is, the very first thing the prof will read) should be broken up element by element in an organized fashion, even if some of the elements are obvious. again, do a quick judgment on which elements are obviously "in controversy" meaning it is a close call whether there was actually a breach, or whether there actually was a duty. dedicate most of your analysis to the ones that are close calls. sometimes all of them may be in controversy, in which case analyze accordingly. after you finish the claim, move over to any possible defenses to that claim, and do a similar element-by-element analysis.

generally, all the little sub doctrines you learn kind of fit into the discussion of one of the elements. for stats/calculation of risk, you would include that in breach. res ipsa goes in breach as well (i think? been a while). negligence per se goes in breach too, actually... i think a lot of stuff goes in there haha. you get the point. res ipsa and negligence per se are alternative methods to proving breach beyond the standard risk calculation/reasonable person.

now, obviously it is a lot of writing to have to break all this up again for EVERY claim for EVERY pairing, so AFTER you have established to the prof hat you understand that everything should be organized and broken up and analyzed piece by piece, you are allowed to - in the effort of saving time - start lumping some elements into one quick paragraph, ESPECIALLY if they are "minor" pairings or "minor" claims, meaning ones that the prof might not so obviously want you to discuss at length but that you will get points for spotting nonetheless. again, i recommend being overly nit picky/organized with the first claim you discuss (which should be a major claim from a major conflict pairing). just gives a good first impression.

fwiw our exam had a word limit, so i had to be overly picky with which claims i dedicated more analysis to. for exams without word limits, i imagine you just want to get as much out as possible (the whole correlation between words typed and grade probably holds true for torts exams more than any other course). gl gl.

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istara
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Re: I need help from someone who aced torts

Postby istara » Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:40 am

I also got the top grade in Torts, and, fwiw, I did not do the pairs thing.

I did use headings, and lots of them. Professors like structure since it is easier to read and grade. For me, pairs are just hard to think about, and may make you repeat yourself when you are talking about multiple causes of the harm in a comparative fault jurisdiction.

I instead structured around the questions the professor asked (except on the one "assess all liabilities" question). Most professors (that I've had), base they're rubric around their questions. It is essential to hit all those points. Some will mark off for talking too long about topics they did NOT ask for, so that's also worth worrying about. Best case otherwise is that you just wasted a bunch of time talking about something that's not worth any points.

For the broad question, I just set it up logically and talked about each actor rather than by putting them into pairs. For me, this just made it easier to think about without missing anything. I think it may be more of a personal preference thing, however. The sample answer my professor provided separated the question by liability types (negligence, intentional torts, damages, and subcategories for things like battery, transferred intent, etc.) So that may also be a good way to go IF it works for you.

Side note: it may be best to know what your professor prefers in addition to what works best for you, and balance those methods out.

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traehekat
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Re: I need help from someone who aced torts

Postby traehekat » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:42 pm

Completely agree with the above. My strategy is really more applicable if it is an open-ended "discuss all potential liabilities" type of question, as opposed to a series of more pointed questions (in which case the broad structure of your answers is already provided). Also, if your professor provides exam answers and the answers are organized in a certain fashion, there is obviously nothing wrong with going with that organizational structure. Always, always, always go with what you think your professor would prefer.

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NeighborGuy
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Re: I need help from someone who aced torts

Postby NeighborGuy » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:58 pm

ilovesf wrote:It totally depends on your professor.


^This. Some of my friends had exams where they touched on the very same points I did, but they didn't parrot his words and phrasing, didn't use headings, and didn't talk about things in the order he wanted them to. On some exams, it was clear that the prof. stopped reading if the student started to discuss things out of order or things that were off-topic. That made the difference between my A- and their C+.

So yeah, organization can be very crucial, but it depends on prof.

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gdane
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Re: I need help from someone who aced torts

Postby gdane » Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:57 pm

I did this:

A v B

Negligence

Duty

The issue is whether B is an invitee or a licensee. If B is an invitee, A owed B the highest duty of care. If B is a licensee, A only owed him a duty to warn him of the dangers known or that reasonably should have been known to A.

These facts suggest B is a licensee. However, these other facts point to him possibly being an invitee. In X case, X was found to be a licensee because of X reasons. B is very similar to X because of X reasons. On the other hand, in X2 case, X2 was found to be an invitee because of X reasons. X2 case, while not entirely similar to our case, does suggest that B could potentially be an invitee.

I believe a court will more than likely find that B is a licensee because of X.

Breach

A should have reasonably known that there was a gigantic hole in his backyard that could cause B to become injured because A saw the hole forming the morning that B was supposed to go and work on A's backyard.

(Insert Hand formula analysis)

(Insert discussion about lack of special relationship)

etc

Causation

(Insert causation discussion)

Damages

(talk about compensatory and punitive damages. talk about statefarm v campbell if you went over that case in class. talk about pecuniary and non pecuniary damages. talk about loss of enjoyment of life and how you cant collect on that if youre a vegetable, etc)




I did this analysis for 4 different P's on my exam. It was very time consuming and left me 45 minutes to do an essay that the professor recommended we take an hour on, but in reviewing my test it was this analysis that helped me.

Good luck with torts!

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Lasers
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Re: I need help from someone who aced torts

Postby Lasers » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:39 pm

i took crim last semester and it was a racehorse type test; and, depending on the professor's style, i imagine some of the formatting is similar.

thanks for the good advice here, guys.

Anomaly
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Re: I need help from someone who aced torts

Postby Anomaly » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:52 pm

Thanks everyone. This is really helpful. And that's awesome you all dominated torts. Congrats.

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3|ink
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Re: I need help from someone who aced torts

Postby 3|ink » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:20 am

I don't remember what I did but somehow I got an A+.

HTH















Seriously though, I doubt structure is important.

Anomaly
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Re: I need help from someone who aced torts

Postby Anomaly » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:37 am

Is reading the E&E important?

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3|ink
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Re: I need help from someone who aced torts

Postby 3|ink » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:04 pm

Anomaly wrote:Is reading the E&E important?

What? Is that a supplement?

I don't know if they help at all but I never used them and did fine.

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NeighborGuy
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Re: I need help from someone who aced torts

Postby NeighborGuy » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:27 pm

Anomaly wrote:Is reading the E&E important?


Once again, depends on your prof.

My prof focused primarily on the law of my state, and he wrote the textbook. So no E&E for me.

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ilovesf
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Re: I need help from someone who aced torts

Postby ilovesf » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:29 pm

Anomaly wrote:Is reading the E&E important?

I thought it was helpful for other classes, and utterly useless for the way my prof taught torts. We also only covered intentional torts, negligence and product liability.

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istara
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Re: I need help from someone who aced torts

Postby istara » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:00 pm

The Restatement (Third usually, and Second when applicable) was my bible. No E&E necessary. My professor wrote the book and significantly contributed to the Restatement, so it was invaluable in my particular class. YMMV.




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