Help me improve/economize my briefing

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Wily
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Help me improve/economize my briefing

Postby Wily » Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:59 pm

Here's a sample brief I just did for Contracts. I know it's too long and inefficient, so what should I be cutting out? I think I'm putting in too many details out of fear of being cold-called. Advice on how to make my briefing more efficient is appreciated.

Normile v Miller. – N. Carolina Supreme Court (1985)

Plaintiffs Normile and Kurniawan wrote an offer for Miller’s property on 8/4/1980, and received a counteroffer with acceptance deadline of 5pm on 8/5, on which Defendant had made several changes. Normile, receiving it on the evening of 8/4, did not accept it immediately, but rather wanted to make further changes on payments and deposit amount. He believed that he had an “option contract” – first option on the sale of the property. However, early on 8/5, Defendant contacted with Plaintiff Segal to purchase the property. Later that day, Normile was informed that the property was already sold, but Normile tried to sign the offer anyway. Actions were commenced by all three Plaintiffs for specific performance. Trial court granted summary judgment for Segal, and ordered specific performance for him. Court of Appeals affirmed.

Issue: was Miller’s counteroffer a rejection of Normile’s initial offer? YES.
Did Normile have an option contract with Miller? NO.

NC Supreme Court found that Miller’s counteroffer was a “qualified or conditional acceptance,” equivalent to a rejection of the initial offer. This created a second offer which Normile was required to accept again before they had a valid contract. Also, there was no option contract, because there was no valuable consideration in place for Normile’s option, and because there was no promise of a certain time by which the option would be open for Normile to buy the property. Finally, Miller properly revoked through the real estate broker, who told Normile “you snooze you lose.”

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fatduck
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Re: Help me improve/economize my briefing

Postby fatduck » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:01 pm

if you care about cold calling, just wait and see on the first day what kind of shit your prof actually asks about, and adjust accordingly.

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IHeartPhilly
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Re: Help me improve/economize my briefing

Postby IHeartPhilly » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:11 pm

My Brief: Defendant put house for sale, inviting to offer. Plaintiff put in an offer, D made counter-offer via conditional language in his response to P. In the meantime, D accepted another’s offer, and formed a binding K. P took D to trial, asserting they had an option, and, that they subsequently legally accepted D’s c.o., forming a binding K. Trial court made a summary judgement for plaintiff segal, which other plaintiffs appealed. COA unanimously affirmed trial court. Supreme court affirmed.

BLL:
If a seller makes a conditional acceptance,
a counter proposal is formed, and the
original offer is rejected.

Can acceptance of a counter-offer occur
after the counter-offer has been revoked:
NO

Definitley skims the case, but I highlight the pertinent facts in my casebook. The brief contains pro. history, and succint definition of BLL. Its not pretty, but sufficient if im cold-called. Took me like 5 minutes.

delusional
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Re: Help me improve/economize my briefing

Postby delusional » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:14 pm

I briefed pretty much like OP, except I finished each one with a spot for the verdict and the rule. I also added in any details that occurred to me were likely to make a difference, as well as other parts of the syllabus that might be able to cite to this case. In most cases, there should be a point where the court says what the rule is, and then explains how the current circumstances and the rule apply to each other. Find that. But be open to change it based on what the professor says. Keep the brief open in class and fill in the details that the professor thought made a difference. Sometimes, you may have to adjust the actual rule as well.

I don't know if you're doing this already, but you should use OneNote or similar to create a page for each day's section in the syllabus. Put the syllabus heading in the page title part. Fill in the case briefs as you read them. When it comes time to study for finals, hey presto, you have your outline, and the list of pages is a handy checklist of possible issues.

Don't worry about cold calling, it's not graded. There is absolutely no correlation between people who look good in class and people who rock exams.

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kalvano
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Re: Help me improve/economize my briefing

Postby kalvano » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:15 pm

You can improve your briefing by not wasting your time briefing.

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EvilClinton
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Re: Help me improve/economize my briefing

Postby EvilClinton » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:16 pm

kalvano wrote:You can improve your briefing by not wasting your time briefing.

TITCR

delusional
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Re: Help me improve/economize my briefing

Postby delusional » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:41 pm

kalvano wrote:You can improve your briefing by not wasting your time briefing.
BS. You have to do what works for you - and that means trying what you think will work. I did not brief first semester, and there were other things that I did based on what TLS said, against my better judgment, and I regretted it. Spring semester, I did what I had planned, and I killed it.
As I said above, I started with the syllabus, and filled in the cases as I read them. Each weekend, I drilled the cases with a partner, as though they were flashcards. I kept the notes open in class and honed the case each time the professor mentioned something relevant.
For the class below, the assigned reading was the cases and the restatement regarding a particular rule. In the beginning of the semester, the case was a lot longer on my outline. By the end, I had reviewed the case over eight weekends so I didn't need much reminder of the facts so what's left is pretty distilled. Each page is a heading from the syllabus, the cases, and the Restatements. So you get a hypo on the exam and you first scroll down the list of pages on the right. Is this set of facts a "intent to be bound" issue? Is it a consideration issue? Is there a promissory estoppel issue? For each issue that seems likely, you click on the tab, and there are all the cases and restatements you need.
http://i.imgur.com/tjanQ.jpg

thomas7669
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Re: Help me improve/economize my briefing

Postby thomas7669 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:07 pm

Wily, I know that your true loyalties lie underground you sexy asian.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Help me improve/economize my briefing

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:46 pm

Like others said - its fine that your briefs are long at first. Don't economize now - wait until you actually know what is important for you. In due time, you'll see what you need and what you don't. I think it is an important part of the process of learning law to discover on your own what is important in cases and what isn't.

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romothesavior
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Re: Help me improve/economize my briefing

Postby romothesavior » Sun Aug 26, 2012 11:52 pm

delusional wrote:
kalvano wrote:You can improve your briefing by not wasting your time briefing.
BS. You have to do what works for you - and that means trying what you think will work. I did not brief first semester, and there were other things that I did based on what TLS said, against my better judgment, and I regretted it. Spring semester, I did what I had planned, and I killed it.

I'm sort of in between the two of your posts. I personally think briefing is a colossal waste of time, but to each their own when it comes to law school studying methods. You have to find what works for you. Based on your above post though, it doesn't really sound like briefing was what led to your improvement.

OP, enjoy briefing for a few weeks, but odds are you'll join the 90%+ of your classmates who don't do it, many of whom will land in the top of the class.

NYC2014
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Re: Help me improve/economize my briefing

Postby NYC2014 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:33 pm

You need to prepare in a way that makes sense for your professor's exams. Speaking of which, if you haven't looked at old exams yet, you're doing it wrong.

Miller32
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Re: Help me improve/economize my briefing

Postby Miller32 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:39 pm

NYC2014 wrote:You need to prepare in a way that makes sense for your professor's exams. Speaking of which, if you haven't looked at old exams yet, you're doing it wrong.


Disagree. Way too early. There's no way they have a clue what's going on yet, and trying to apply the law now would just be confusing and possibly frustrating.

As to the briefing, agree with Romo. You should do it for the first few weeks. Most people slowly stop because it's really time-consuming, and doesn't help that much. If, after a few weeks, you still find it helpful then keep doing them.

LOLyer
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Re: Help me improve/economize my briefing

Postby LOLyer » Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:26 pm

I (and almost everyone else) would say that the first step is to stop wasting time briefing. If you're super worried about how smart you appear in class, maybe mark the important stuff in your textbook (color-coded highlighters are popular). I personally think the best policy is to let your grades speak for your intelligence, not your class participation. I think actually briefing the case is a huge time sink. You're much better off if you use the time to work on outlines or something.

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quiver
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Re: Help me improve/economize my briefing

Postby quiver » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:36 pm

Miller32 wrote:
NYC2014 wrote:You need to prepare in a way that makes sense for your professor's exams. Speaking of which, if you haven't looked at old exams yet, you're doing it wrong.


Disagree. Way too early. There's no way they have a clue what's going on yet, and trying to apply the law now would just be confusing and possibly frustrating.

As to the briefing, agree with Romo. You should do it for the first few weeks. Most people slowly stop because it's really time-consuming, and doesn't help that much. If, after a few weeks, you still find it helpful then keep doing them.
I always look at exams before classes start. Obviously don't try to take the exams but just seeing the exam format gives a significant clue about what to hone in on during the semester. Of course, most people don't look at exams until later in the semester and many of those people do just fine as well. To each their own.

Agree about briefing.




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