Vail67 wrote:Could someone elaborate on what exactly an "issue spotter" exam is, beyond perhaps that it involves spotting issues?
I guess this is one of those things that is hard to explain since most people can't seem to do it well on exams (myself included probably). In fact, "issue spotting" itself is part of the entire mystique of law school.
All law school exams are basically issue spotter exams. There is this big fact pattern with facts that raise relevant premises of law.
I guess to answer your question, we have to define what an issue or "premise" is. Basically, as far as I am concerned, an issue is any "fact that raises colorable applications to the law." This definition is probably not clear at all, but basically issue spotting exams are exams that test if you recognize the applicable law and how it may be interpreted by the courts (or by lawyers) when an event (or set of facts) occur.
I guess examples may help guide you through this enigmatic concept. Basically, if you see someone hitting someone (facts), you need to think about battery/assault/self defense (the law). If you see Tom sending a letter to Jerry (facts), you need to think mailbox rule/offer/acceptance (the law). If you see Paris threw an axe at Rick's head (facts), you need to think homicide/mens reus/targetting a small vulnerable portion of the body (the law). If you see your friend slip and fall (facts), you should be thinking negligence.
Basically, it is an intermeshing or interweaving of law and facts. The issue spotter wants you to put the facts and law together. You have to figure out which facts match up to which law, if there is an applicable law at all.
I have no idea what I'm talking about. I hope other people have better answers.