Torts Final

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Torts Final

Postby leximex21 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:17 pm

5 days, shitty professor, have plenty of supplements and outlines but overall not confident with the class as whole, professor basically hid the ball all semester.

Any advice on torts exams? What to look for, what professors like to see/how to write a successful exam? Feeling a little lost. Thanks in advance!

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Re: Torts Final

Postby sap » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:52 pm

I did well in 1L torts and think I just did well on the essentially advanced torts exam I just took, so here are my thoughts.

Practice your quick draw. Torts exams, in my experience, are the racehorsiest of exams. You need to be able to apply the rules quickly and accurately, without spending as much time outlining as you might on your CivPro exam. I think this is because torts exams are generally the ones where you want to actually address issues you know are largely irrelevant, because in the real world, torts plaintiffs throw everything at the judge and hopes something sticks. So you want to go through and be like "plaintiff will probably bring suit for intnetional x, recklessness x, negligence x" even if plaintiff has like a .01 chance of making an intentional case - just address it in one sentence and be like "it obviously wasn't intentional because the defendant was sleepwalking" or whatever the fact pattern says.

Figure out where your professor wants the analysis to stop. The other thing that can get tricky about torts is that prettymuch everything is a "reasonableness" analysis. And you can almost always say more about why something is or isn't reasonable. There's a real instinct in a lot of people - or at least myself - to spend a lot of time showing all the reasons something is unreasonable. Look at your professor's model exam answers or talk to former students and figure out how much she wants to know about reasonableness. Does she JUST want case analogies? i.e. "this is obviously not proximate enough because it's basically another one of those cases about whether failing to trim your hedges causes rape" or does she want more about the policy behind the reasonableness analysis: "and also holding people liable for x is ridiculous because everyone does x, and we don't want to cause result y. This can also clue you in to how much she wants you to pick out the irrelevant issues and say "plaintiff will try to bring this suit but it will fail." If she wants a lot of reasonableness analysis, she wants you to spend less time pointing out the unsuccessful cases. If she basically is just looking for the analogies, she wants you to find all of the analogies.

Also, be sure you know the jurisdictional nuances that your professor pointed out. Acknowledge that torts are tricky and the success of a plaintiff's claim will be squishy, but there are some places that obviously have a stricter standard for things - like negligent infliction of emotional distress, or how comparative negligence works. There are just some places that, no matter how reasonable a plaintiff's NIED claim is, don't care if there wasn't a physical component, or don't care if the physical component was to your boyfriend instead of your husband. This matters a lot: if you say "it was foreseeable that causing this type of injury would lead to emotional distress in bystanders, so the claim will go forward," that answer is wrong, and you will get less credit.


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Re: Torts Final

Postby thegrayman » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:11 pm

I did well in torts 1L year

- torts is a typing test
- I would place 100% emphasis on getting the BLL down COLD
- the extra stuff like the different lines of reasoning in cases or different justices opinions, etc, I would place very little emphasis on. I wouldn't place any emphasis whatsoever on any dissents
- above advice looks legit as well

Knock it dead op!

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Re: Torts Final

Postby Pleasye » Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:29 pm

The above advice looks solid. Torts is the type of test where you essentially write your outline into exam soft and then fill it in with your analysis of the fact pattern.

Agree that you need to know the BLL cold. Forget about dissents and different justices opinions (if you even talked about those in class - we didn't) those are for classes like con law.

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