Why Are We Reading This Case?

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carsondalywashere
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Why Are We Reading This Case?

Postby carsondalywashere » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:43 pm

I've read it's important to figure out why a professor selected a case for a class to read. While I am having some moderate success understanding why a case was selected in some classes, in others I have no idea. Is this because it is still early in the semester? Is learning the rule/holding all I need to take from a case, should I be following the reasoning for a decision and the arguments made for the alternative, or something else entirely?

Redfactor
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Re: Why Are We Reading This Case?

Postby Redfactor » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:23 pm

Some early cases I read as a 1L were more like history lessons in the way that the law has developed than providing contemporary rules that will be applied on exams. They're still teaching how opinions build off of or reject prior opinions. There were times where we would read a case and discuss it in class only have the next reading assignment include the case that reversed its holding.

Certain cases have a minority opinion which is more important than the majority opinion. Those tend to either be (1) the position a minority of jurisdictions have adopted, or (2) the position which eventually becomes the dominate rule as the law evolves. If you haven't read the subsequent cases, it can be confusing why the "losing" argument is the focus in class.

Early on, I wouldn't be too concerned with trying to get into the mind of the professor. As long as you understand the case's holding and know the facts which dictate the legal analysis, you'll be fine. Later, you'll look at past exams and try and figure out your professor.

Hope this helps, and as always when it comes to this kind of thing, YMMV.

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mjb447
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Re: Why Are We Reading This Case?

Postby mjb447 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:34 pm

I wouldn't be concerned about not understanding why you're reading every case this early (often it starts to fall into place more around Thanksgiving as you look back on the semester, and it varies by class and student), but you should generally be noting the "reasoning for a decision and the arguments made for the alternative" - that's where a lot of the points on an exam are.

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emkay625
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Re: Why Are We Reading This Case?

Postby emkay625 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:24 pm

What cases? Happy to help.

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QuentonCassidy
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Re: Why Are We Reading This Case?

Postby QuentonCassidy » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:04 pm

emkay625 wrote:What cases? Happy to help.

My money is on Pennoyer

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UVA2B
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Re: Why Are We Reading This Case?

Postby UVA2B » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:15 pm

QuentonCassidy wrote:
emkay625 wrote:What cases? Happy to help.

My money is on Pennoyer


Just wait for Erie. Everything totally makes sense from that point onward.

carsondalywashere
Posts: 464
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Re: Why Are We Reading This Case?

Postby carsondalywashere » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:42 pm

mjb447 wrote:I wouldn't be concerned about not understanding why you're reading every case this early (often it starts to fall into place more around Thanksgiving as you look back on the semester, and it varies by class and student), but you should generally be noting the "reasoning for a decision and the arguments made for the alternative" - that's where a lot of the points on an exam are.

Should I be spending more time reading my cases? How important is specific knowledge of each case? I've been working with the mindset I need to know the rule/holding and the reasoning for and against, but I'm not sure if that's enough. I typically read the case once or twice and then turn to an online supplement like Quimbee to make sure I didn't miss anything important.
Last edited by carsondalywashere on Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

carsondalywashere
Posts: 464
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:33 pm

Re: Why Are We Reading This Case?

Postby carsondalywashere » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:43 pm

Redfactor wrote:Some early cases I read as a 1L were more like history lessons in the way that the law has developed than providing contemporary rules that will be applied on exams. They're still teaching how opinions build off of or reject prior opinions. There were times where we would read a case and discuss it in class only have the next reading assignment include the case that reversed its holding.

Certain cases have a minority opinion which is more important than the majority opinion. Those tend to either be (1) the position a minority of jurisdictions have adopted, or (2) the position which eventually becomes the dominate rule as the law evolves. If you haven't read the subsequent cases, it can be confusing why the "losing" argument is the focus in class.

Early on, I wouldn't be too concerned with trying to get into the mind of the professor. As long as you understand the case's holding and know the facts which dictate the legal analysis, you'll be fine. Later, you'll look at past exams and try and figure out your professor.

Hope this helps, and as always when it comes to this kind of thing, YMMV.

How do I get better with the bolded? Can you elaborate on what this exactly means?

foregetaboutdre
Posts: 349
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Re: Why Are We Reading This Case?

Postby foregetaboutdre » Tue Sep 05, 2017 1:14 pm

carsondalywashere wrote:I've read it's important to figure out why a professor selected a case for a class to read. While I am having some moderate success understanding why a case was selected in some classes, in others I have no idea. Is this because it is still early in the semester? Is learning the rule/holding all I need to take from a case, should I be following the reasoning for a decision and the arguments made for the alternative, or something else entirely?


Read the chapter/section heading before the case and that heading name will be why you are reading the case.

cavalier1138
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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Why Are We Reading This Case?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:01 pm

carsondalywashere wrote:
Redfactor wrote:Some early cases I read as a 1L were more like history lessons in the way that the law has developed than providing contemporary rules that will be applied on exams. They're still teaching how opinions build off of or reject prior opinions. There were times where we would read a case and discuss it in class only have the next reading assignment include the case that reversed its holding.

Certain cases have a minority opinion which is more important than the majority opinion. Those tend to either be (1) the position a minority of jurisdictions have adopted, or (2) the position which eventually becomes the dominate rule as the law evolves. If you haven't read the subsequent cases, it can be confusing why the "losing" argument is the focus in class.

Early on, I wouldn't be too concerned with trying to get into the mind of the professor. As long as you understand the case's holding and know the facts which dictate the legal analysis, you'll be fine. Later, you'll look at past exams and try and figure out your professor.

Hope this helps, and as always when it comes to this kind of thing, YMMV.

How do I get better with the bolded? Can you elaborate on what this exactly means?


Read the facts. Figure out what facts are controlling for the issue. Think about what you could change in the fact pattern to change the outcome of the case.

carsondalywashere
Posts: 464
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:33 pm

Re: Why Are We Reading This Case?

Postby carsondalywashere » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:19 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
carsondalywashere wrote:
Redfactor wrote:Some early cases I read as a 1L were more like history lessons in the way that the law has developed than providing contemporary rules that will be applied on exams. They're still teaching how opinions build off of or reject prior opinions. There were times where we would read a case and discuss it in class only have the next reading assignment include the case that reversed its holding.

Certain cases have a minority opinion which is more important than the majority opinion. Those tend to either be (1) the position a minority of jurisdictions have adopted, or (2) the position which eventually becomes the dominate rule as the law evolves. If you haven't read the subsequent cases, it can be confusing why the "losing" argument is the focus in class.

Early on, I wouldn't be too concerned with trying to get into the mind of the professor. As long as you understand the case's holding and know the facts which dictate the legal analysis, you'll be fine. Later, you'll look at past exams and try and figure out your professor.

Hope this helps, and as always when it comes to this kind of thing, YMMV.

How do I get better with the bolded? Can you elaborate on what this exactly means?


Read the facts. Figure out what facts are controlling for the issue. Think about what you could change in the fact pattern to change the outcome of the case.

That was big for me, thank you!




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