Relevance of Cases for Crim?

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Relevance of Cases for Crim?

Postby LawTweet » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:55 pm

My professor has made it clear that our criminal law exam will involve applying the Model Penal Code or a fictitious set of laws to a hypothetical fact pattern. How should I be reading my casebook to get ready for the exam? It seems futile to study the rules and holdings as none of those will actually be tested on the exam. Is the only point of cases to show how various judges apply various laws?

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Re: Relevance of Cases for Crim?

Postby mcmand » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:02 pm

I think you've answered your own question.

Cases came up a few times in my crim law final, but you're right to think they aren't permeating your IRACs like they would in any other exam. You should still take good notes on them, because they may be handy for analogizing something, especially if the question you're answering and the case have similar facts and are applying a similar statute.

Criminal law as a class is a weird one compared to other law school finals. But your best prep is the same as it would be for any other final: be comprehensive in outlining and then to do lots of practice exams and test out different ways of answering the questions and compare that to real answers.

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Re: Relevance of Cases for Crim?

Postby arose928 » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:32 am

You can use cases to distinguish or analogize the case on the exam. Or illustrate principles like mens rea or causation.

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Re: Relevance of Cases for Crim?

Postby Gunner19 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:44 pm

Ask your prof if s/he wants cases cited. I didn't cite one case on my crim exam and got an A. My torts prof on the other hand wanted every rule illustrated by a case. I would say don't worry about it but safest bet is to just ask what they want.

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