suggested not to read casebook. AT ALL

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sangr
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suggested not to read casebook. AT ALL

Postby sangr » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:06 am

so i met an upper classmen who suggests to me not to read the casebook and use an outline along with lectures to follow along

is this actually a viable method?

the outlines just have the important concepts:
ie assault definition, what can count as assault, and what not.

IF such a method is viable...

is it possible that just knowing these overlying rules (and the rules that come from cases) is enough knowlege in some cases?

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20130312
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Re: suggested not to read casebook. AT ALL

Postby 20130312 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:09 am

Knowing the law is one thing, but knowing how to apply law to a fact pattern is something different. Reading the cases will help you see why judges decide them the way that they do. Plus, if you have an issue spotter exam, you will need to know not just the relevant laws but how to apply them to the fact pattern. Reading cases will help you with that.

sangr
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Re: suggested not to read casebook. AT ALL

Postby sangr » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:12 am

thanks.

could you gimme an example of applying law to a certain fact pattern?
i get the underlying principle of that but its just still not clicking 100 percent for me...and we are a month into classes...

JDcandidate
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Re: suggested not to read casebook. AT ALL

Postby JDcandidate » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:15 am

Yeah, you need to know how to spot issues / read a case. But once you've gotten a hold of it, cases generally become a dime a dozen (with the exception of classes like Con Law or Crim Pro that rely on SCOTUS opinions). My study time during 1L was most efficiently spent using supplements to build exam taking skills, and to get an understanding of issues my professors dropped the ball on. Reading all the cases after you've grasped a basic understanding of case structure / issue spotting is busy work for a lot of people. They'll feel like they're doing something and actively engaged in "learning the law," but tangibly, come semester's end, it might not have been the best use of your study time.

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bk1
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Re: suggested not to read casebook. AT ALL

Postby bk1 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:18 am

It's possible to do this and be successful, but everyone learns differently. That being said, I doubt it's worth it for most people.

Most people read the casebook. I would if I were you just in case it helps.

sangr
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Re: suggested not to read casebook. AT ALL

Postby sangr » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:20 am

in bird v jones a gentleman was stopped by two police officers from going into a certain direction, being permitted only to go to the exit
he sued for false imprisonment

verdict: if he was not confined from leaving where he was, it is not imprisonment

dissent: being stopped from going anywhere i want is false imprisonment

could any of u guys just help me in what i gotta "derive" out of this? applying fact pattern to law?

so fact pattern: he was obstructed from going somewhere, but was allowed to leave in a certain direction

rule: if one is not confined, its not false imprisonment


is that what i gotta "Take away" from this case? i know that we gotta think of "hypos" but that is a bit difficult to in that i dont know how to go about it

any input at alll would help a lot! thanks

***btw i know i have so many questions but its just ive been bustin my ass reading like crazy for the past few weeks but after all those hours of reading i literally am blank..as in i dont know if i even take anything away from reading all that. i guess i still havent figured things out it hasnt been cleared in my head"

thanks

PMan99
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Re: suggested not to read casebook. AT ALL

Postby PMan99 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:27 am

The CW is probably the other way around: Casebook necessary, but lectures not.

Ultimately it all comes down to the specific prof though.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: suggested not to read casebook. AT ALL

Postby Bildungsroman » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:37 am

Don't be lazy. Do the reading.

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gaud
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Re: suggested not to read casebook. AT ALL

Postby gaud » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:40 am

Bildungsroman wrote:Don't be lazy. Do the reading.


This. Cases are interesting if you simply think about them as mini stories. Also, to second what InGoodFaith said, eventually you're going to need to learn legal reasoning and what better way to see how it's done than by reading how other people do it?

sangr
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Re: suggested not to read casebook. AT ALL

Postby sangr » Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:43 am

yeah thanks for the tips guys

but like i said above...the legal reasoning part is destroying me.
i read through all these cases, etc in the casebook but i dont derive anything out of it.
its like everything is cluttered in my brain and i dont know what im supposed to learn.

could u guys give just a really brief explanation or example of what i need to have as my goal?

i posted an example on my last post but im not sure if thats applicable

Black-Blue
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Re: suggested not to read casebook. AT ALL

Postby Black-Blue » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:56 pm

Not reading casebook at all can work for some people. I would say that it works for people with some combination of the following:

1. Those who are good at first understanding legal rules without needing the context of the cases and without needing to appreciate the intricate academic/policy background of the rules

2. Those who apply legal rules without relying on a heavily ingrained example of applying that legal rule (on the exam, is your thinking process more like "this looks like case x, case x says that the rule is y, so the answer is z" or "the rule is y, and therefore the answer is z").

3. Those who would read slowly and would get excessively bogged down by the casebook's verbiage (and are better off spending time doing practice problems or something)

4. Those who feel that the best way to get ahead of the curve is to do something different from the rest (otherwise, you'd be demoralized in your nonconformist approach)

5. Perhaps the particular topic is so intuitive to you that you don't need to read the case book.

maudio129
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Re: suggested not to read casebook. AT ALL

Postby maudio129 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:27 pm

We did not have to read the case that you listed above, but this is what I would write (on an exam)

The issue is whether or not a person is falsely imprisoned if he is restrained from going in a certain direction, but another reasonable exit exits. According to section 35 of the R2D, the police officers will be subject to false imprisonment if 1) they act intending to confine the actor within fixed boundaries created by that actor, 2) his act results directly or indirectly in the confinement in the other, and 3) the other is conscious of the confinement, or his harmed by it.

Although P may have been restricted in going where he wanted to go, the confinement must be a total one; that is, P must have been confined in an area bounded in all directions so that no reasonable exit or means to escape exists. In this case, an exit was available to him and the police officers clearly presented him with the pertinent information about where the exit was located. However, false imprisonment would ensue if the exit was not reasonable (one could exit through the window, but the window might be on the third story of a building).

(I would also go on to say that the police officers clearly did not have the necessary intent, but the main issue here is whether there was a confinement of P)

Hopefully this helps, and with any luck I did not err in the reasoning behind my answer or miss any main points...
Last edited by maudio129 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sangr
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Re: suggested not to read casebook. AT ALL

Postby sangr » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:08 pm

thanks,

i see that you've solved the issue of whether or not he was falsely imprisoned in this case.
are you assuming that the scenario was just given on an exam?

i ask b/c i listed a case where the decision was already made (he wasnt falsely imprisoned as he had a choice to go out the other direction. there WAS a dissent)

are u just "interpreting" the scenario from your own knowledge of precedent (and essentially ignoring the verdict of the court) for the sake of answering my question?


thanks so much!!

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grrrstick
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Re: suggested not to read casebook. AT ALL

Postby grrrstick » Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:40 am

The cases are a waste of time, but are an important hazing ritual for all of us. By the time you are a 3L you will have figured out how to look at the case for 5-10 minutes and get what you need to write down in the margin for the final, but for now just read the whole thing. Everyone will tell you how important it is to be able to conceptualize what is going on in the cases, but the reality is that for an exam you need to memorize a series of relatively simple rules to apply them to relatively simple facts, no matter how complicated the professor makes the law or facts seem. Law school in general is a huge time sink, but the professors need to feel like they are doing something and we need a piece of paper at the end, so indulge them for at least a year.

Con law would be extraordinarily difficult to do well on without reading the cases, if my exam was any indication. Crim could be the same way depending on how it is taught. That said, I read about fifteen pages total of contracts, civ pro and torts all semester, got an outline the last week of class, and got very good grades. I wouldn't bank on this strategy, however.

LSATNightmares
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Re: suggested not to read casebook. AT ALL

Postby LSATNightmares » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:16 am

I had a class where people told me the same thing. I still found that the book was important. It helps provide context and clarify things that the professor didn't explain very well. I usually just skimmed the book. And I still ended up with a B+ in that class.

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drmguy
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Re: suggested not to read casebook. AT ALL

Postby drmguy » Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:23 pm

I got As in Civ Pro and Con Law after giving up on reading the casebook half way through. Why did I do that? The professors obviously weren't going to test from the book. There isn't a set rule for every class. Do what your professor wants.

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Mick Haller
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Re: suggested not to read casebook. AT ALL

Postby Mick Haller » Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:03 pm

I did not even purchase the casebook for most of my 2nd and 3rd year courses, and my grades improved. Taking good notes + 3-4 old outlines = win

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englawyer
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Re: suggested not to read casebook. AT ALL

Postby englawyer » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:19 pm

maudio129 wrote:We did not have to read the case that you listed above, but this is what I would write (on an exam)

The issue is whether or not a person is falsely imprisoned if he is restrained from going in a certain direction, but another reasonable exit exits. According to section 35 of the R2D, the police officers will be subject to false imprisonment if 1) they act intending to confine the actor within fixed boundaries created by that actor, 2) his act results directly or indirectly in the confinement in the other, and 3) the other is conscious of the confinement, or his harmed by it.

Although P may have been restricted in going where he wanted to go, the confinement must be a total one; that is, P must have been confined in an area bounded in all directions so that no reasonable exit or means to escape exists. In this case, an exit was available to him and the police officers clearly presented him with the pertinent information about where the exit was located. However, false imprisonment would ensue if the exit was not reasonable (one could exit through the window, but the window might be on the third story of a building).

(I would also go on to say that the police officers clearly did not have the necessary intent, but the main issue here is whether there was a confinement of P)

Hopefully this helps, and with any luck I did not err in the reasoning behind my answer or miss any main points...


this misses a couple of things.

first, on an exam, there will be complicating facts. your answer doesn't discuss any new facts. it just analyzes the facts that were in the original case. instead, the prof will present a new set of facts and it will usually be buried in some larger paragraph.

second, you usually want to consider the alternative/dissent rule as an in the alternative analysis. something like:

ISSUE
RULE OPTIONS: RULE 1 vs RULE 2 vs RULE 3
APPLY RULE 1 TO FACTS
CONCLUSION RULE 1
APPLY RULE 2 TO FACTS
CONCLUSION RULE 2
APPLY RULE 3 TO FACTS
CONCLUSION RULE 3

professors usually make issue spotters take place in fake jurisdictions so that there is no right answer to which rule applies. so you need to consider majority rule, minority rule, dissents of important cases, etc to give your answer depth.


to make it concrete here is an example paragraph from an issue spotter:

"Joe went to the baseball game. While there Joe got a beer and a hot dog. Joe saw the police beating down Steve and Harry while walking back to his seat. The police started doing so because they thought Steve and Harry were wearing weird clothes. While Joe approached the tunnel back to his seat, another officer said "HALT!" and would not let him proceed to his seat. After a couple minutes the police arrested Steve and Harry. The police locked Steve and Harry in the cruiser and took them downtown.

on the exam (analysis assumes other elements like justification/consent/etc are met):

confinement element of false imprisonment

there are two instances of potential false imprisonment claims against the police. I will analyze them in turn.

I will first analyze false imprisonment w/r/t Joe. The merits of the claim would depend on the rule that Lala-land has adopted for false imprisonment. Lala-land might have adopted the majority of x case, in which case the rule would be that the confinement element of a false imprisonment claim will only succeed if the false imprisonment was complete. If Lala-land applies this rules, Joe's claim would not succeed. The police only blocked off one direction: the tunnel to his seat. Joe was still free to walk to other areas of the stadium or even leave the stadium altogether.

alternatively, lala-land might adopt the reasoning of the dissent of x case, under which Joe's claim would probably succeed. the alternative rule is that a false imprisonment claim will succeed even if there is partial imprisonment. Joe was blocked off from the tunnel, obstructing his freedom of movement in at least one direction, the direction back to his seat. This is partial imprisonment so his claim would be successful.

Next, I analyze false imprisonment w/r/t Steve and Harry. Steve and Harry were completely imprisoned because they were locked in the backseat of the car and could not exit in any direction. Even under the stricter majority rule (see above), their claim would be successful so its likely they have a meritorious claim under either rule.

maudio129
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Re: suggested not to read casebook. AT ALL

Postby maudio129 » Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:02 pm

englawyer wrote:
maudio129 wrote:We did not have to read the case that you listed above, but this is what I would write (on an exam)

The issue is whether or not a person is falsely imprisoned if he is restrained from going in a certain direction, but another reasonable exit exits. According to section 35 of the R2D, the police officers will be subject to false imprisonment if 1) they act intending to confine the actor within fixed boundaries created by that actor, 2) his act results directly or indirectly in the confinement in the other, and 3) the other is conscious of the confinement, or his harmed by it.

Although P may have been restricted in going where he wanted to go, the confinement must be a total one; that is, P must have been confined in an area bounded in all directions so that no reasonable exit or means to escape exists. In this case, an exit was available to him and the police officers clearly presented him with the pertinent information about where the exit was located. However, false imprisonment would ensue if the exit was not reasonable (one could exit through the window, but the window might be on the third story of a building).

(I would also go on to say that the police officers clearly did not have the necessary intent, but the main issue here is whether there was a confinement of P)

Hopefully this helps, and with any luck I did not err in the reasoning behind my answer or miss any main points...


this misses a couple of things.

first, on an exam, there will be complicating facts. your answer doesn't discuss any new facts. it just analyzes the facts that were in the original case. instead, the prof will present a new set of facts and it will usually be buried in some larger paragraph.


I didn't want to respond back since I don't really have anything of value to say, but I mentioned in my response that "IF i saw this set of facts on an exam, THEN I would answer the question THIS way." You said that on an exam there would be new facts, and I agree. However, there were no new facts for me to analyze--I was just analyzing the facts that the poster laid out in front of me, in an informative manner.




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