July 2015 California Bar Exam

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:44 pm

BuenAbogado wrote:Trying to crowdsource a bit here.

1. Can people bring up instances in essays where CEC has led to an alternate or substantial likelihood of an alternate result vs. the FRE? I'm trying to determine which exceptions to really focus on.

2. (A) Also, is a defendant considered unavailable for purposes of statement against interest, dying dec., etc. if he is present but merely refuses to testify? (B) How about party admission?

July 2007 part 1 might have gotten in under the present sense impression exception but would not under CA's contemporaneous statement exception. In CA the contemporaneous statement must be about the speaker's own conduct.

Also July 2009 part 1. Statement of fault while offering to pay medical expenses is admissible under FRE, inadmissible under CEC.

To your second point, this is something that differs between FRE and CEC. FRE says if the guy refuses to testify he is unavailable, CEC has no such general exception. CA's only exception there is if someone refuses to testify because they have been threatened for doing so.

Party admission is no problem because it does not require unavailability. It just always gets in.

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BuenAbogado
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby BuenAbogado » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:01 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
BuenAbogado wrote:Trying to crowdsource a bit here.

1. Can people bring up instances in essays where CEC has led to an alternate or substantial likelihood of an alternate result vs. the FRE? I'm trying to determine which exceptions to really focus on.

2. (A) Also, is a defendant considered unavailable for purposes of statement against interest, dying dec., etc. if he is present but merely refuses to testify? (B) How about party admission?

July 2007 part 1 might have gotten in under the present sense impression exception but would not under CA's contemporaneous statement exception. In CA the contemporaneous statement must be about the speaker's own conduct.

Also July 2009 part 1. Statement of fault while offering to pay medical expenses is admissible under FRE, inadmissible under CEC.

To your second point, this is something that differs between FRE and CEC. FRE says if the guy refuses to testify he is unavailable, CEC has no such general exception. CA's only exception there is if someone refuses to testify because they have been threatened for doing so.

Party admission is no problem because it does not require unavailability. It just always gets in.


Awesome. Thanks.

Follow up questions: Are there any different incentives for a Defendant to choose not to testify between CEC and FRE? Also, what are the rules for co-defendants and are they different between CEC and FRE?

IceManKazanski
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby IceManKazanski » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:13 pm

So I made the mistake BarBri warns you not to make.

I hardly looked at essays/model answers much less actually wrote them out. I spent a lot of time just trying to learn the law and doing a ton of MBE questions, but I am now realizing the essays are a different ballgame.

I am going over them now and feeling overwhelmed and doomed.

Any tips - tactical or spriritual - would be appreciated.

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robinhoodOO
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby robinhoodOO » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:15 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
BuenAbogado wrote:Trying to crowdsource a bit here.

1. Can people bring up instances in essays where CEC has led to an alternate or substantial likelihood of an alternate result vs. the FRE? I'm trying to determine which exceptions to really focus on.

2. (A) Also, is a defendant considered unavailable for purposes of statement against interest, dying dec., etc. if he is present but merely refuses to testify? (B) How about party admission?

July 2007 part 1 might have gotten in under the present sense impression exception but would not under CA's contemporaneous statement exception. In CA the contemporaneous statement must be about the speaker's own conduct.

Also July 2009 part 1. Statement of fault while offering to pay medical expenses is admissible under FRE, inadmissible under CEC.

To your second point, this is something that differs between FRE and CEC. FRE says if the guy refuses to testify he is unavailable, CEC has no such general exception. CA's only exception there is if someone refuses to testify because they have been threatened for doing so.

Party admission is no problem because it does not require unavailability. It just always gets in.


Just playing Devil's Advocate:

1. Present Sense Impressions- Doesn't it have to be in relation to an event? Also, it has to be an actual impression/observation, not opinion. I'm only bringing it up because I did that Q yesterday and it seemed like that first statement was clearly hearsay. I'm also aware one of the selected answers said it was a present sense impression, but it wouldn't be the first time they've gotten it wrong.

2. Unavailability under the CEC- You might want to check out Section 240(a)(6). Refusal to testify + contempt = unavailable.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:29 pm

robinhoodOO wrote:1. Present Sense Impressions- Doesn't it have to be in relation to an event? Also, it has to be an actual impression/observation, not opinion. I'm only bringing it up because I did that Q yesterday and it seemed like that first statement was clearly hearsay. I'm also aware one of the selected answers said it was a present sense impression, but it wouldn't be the first time they've gotten it wrong.

The barbri answer said it might get in as a present sense impression. It was an impression of how the brakes looked, which itself is an event that would qualify. The issue is if he didn't say it as he was perceiving the brakes, but instead said it a few minutes later, then it would not be a present sense impression. The facts don't really tell us if he said right as he perceived it (or immediately thereafter) or if it took a while.

redblueyellow
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby redblueyellow » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:29 pm

Fed Civ Pro - Subject Matter JX for "common and undivided" claims (Diversity)

Alright, multiple Ps cannot aggregate claims against a D, or multiple Ds (?), if the claims are not common and undivided (even if they are the same transaction or occurrence).

How does this practically work?

Brother (P1) + Sister (P2) from CA own a car together with joint title. D from NV completely destroys the car. P1 + P2 can sue for damages of 80k in fed ct and have proper SMJ.

P, from CA, sues Father (D1) and Son (D2), both from NV. P sues D1 for $50k and D2 for $30k for damage D1 and D2 did to P's house. Valid SMJ exists in CA Fed Dist Ct?

EDIT:

P (from CA) is walking down the street in CA.
Father (D1) and Son (D2), both from NV, own a drone together. D1 is operating the drone, and D2 is calling out instructions.
P sues D1 for $40k and D2 for $60k.
Valid SMJ exists in CA fed dist ct?
Last edited by redblueyellow on Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:32 pm

redblueyellow wrote:P, from CA, sues Father (D1) and Son (D2), both from NV. P sues D1 for $50k and D2 for $30k for damage D1 and D2 did to P's house. Valid SMJ exists in CA Fed Dist Ct?

Wouldn't be valid unless D1 and D2 were jointly liable and P could recover more than 75k from either one.

redblueyellow
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby redblueyellow » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:32 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
redblueyellow wrote:P, from CA, sues Father (D1) and Son (D2), both from NV. P sues D1 for $50k and D2 for $30k for damage D1 and D2 did to P's house. Valid SMJ exists in CA Fed Dist Ct?

Wouldn't be valid unless D1 and D2 were jointly liable and P could recover more than 75k from either one.


And in that hypo, since they both did damage to property and are otherwise not "linked," I would not be able to show joint and several liability, correct?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:48 pm

redblueyellow wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
redblueyellow wrote:P, from CA, sues Father (D1) and Son (D2), both from NV. P sues D1 for $50k and D2 for $30k for damage D1 and D2 did to P's house. Valid SMJ exists in CA Fed Dist Ct?

Wouldn't be valid unless D1 and D2 were jointly liable and P could recover more than 75k from either one.


And in that hypo, since they both did damage to property and are otherwise not "linked," I would not be able to show joint and several liability, correct?

You can imagine facts going either way. If D1 and D2 work for the same company the company is gonna be on the hook for the whole thing so you're good to go in federal court. Or if D1 was the contractor and D2 the sub D1 is likely liable for all the damage.

But if D1 put the roof on negligently and D2 messed up the plumbing and they had no other connection except that they both worked on your house neither will be responsible for the other's screw up so federal court is a no-go.

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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby redblueyellow » Thu Jul 23, 2015 6:52 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
redblueyellow wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
redblueyellow wrote:P, from CA, sues Father (D1) and Son (D2), both from NV. P sues D1 for $50k and D2 for $30k for damage D1 and D2 did to P's house. Valid SMJ exists in CA Fed Dist Ct?

Wouldn't be valid unless D1 and D2 were jointly liable and P could recover more than 75k from either one.


And in that hypo, since they both did damage to property and are otherwise not "linked," I would not be able to show joint and several liability, correct?

You can imagine facts going either way. If D1 and D2 work for the same company the company is gonna be on the hook for the whole thing so you're good to go in federal court. Or if D1 was the contractor and D2 the sub D1 is likely liable for all the damage.

But if D1 put the roof on negligently and D2 messed up the plumbing and they had no other connection except that they both worked on your house neither will be responsible for the other's screw up so federal court is a no-go.


Perfect, thanks!

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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby InTheWideLand I Walk » Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:26 pm

BuenAbogado wrote:Understandable. But let me ask you this: are the statistics re: top schools passing fabricated? If this was skewed to make top students fail, wouldn't third tier have a much higher pass rate than T14?


Some people have such a good memory, that they pass even if they miss the arbitrary issues. there is a memory component to the exam as well. not all issues are arbitrary (i.e. if the question asks whether there is a valid contract, I wouldn't consider offer/acceptance/consideration/ect../ as arbitrary issues)

and there are people who graduated from Berkeley who have failed. I know them personally. the dean of Stanford also failed. Meanwhile, people from online law schools you have never even heard about have passed the first try.

robinhoodOO wrote:
Of course not. Guy sounds like he's got a chip on his shoulder because he failed prior.

No offense, guy...But, Jesus: You're making some wild and baseless accusations. Tone it down a bit.


no, not really the case. I will have no emotion until 7/30/15 once the PT is over. I initiated the debate to explain the seemingly ambiguous circumstances surrounding a previous comment made about why sample answers brought up prop 8 in a CA civil evidence case. yes, agreed that my theory is just a theory, but is totally rational explanation in my opinion and I swear on my mothers grave I was told this by multiple seasoned attorneys who had a straight face. sure, the attorneys are kind of cynical-- but after working on multiple cases with them - I understand why. You are entering into a profession where you will see shady shit. crooked cops, crooked judges, crooked clients, crooked families, ect.. sometimes on a daily basis. You may even see conspiracies (yes, this happens, crimes involving a large group of criminals working together)

back to the issue of prop 8 in civil evidence cases- this is not the first time this has ever happened:

1.) Felony murder has come up as an issue even when no felony was remotely committed.
2.) The commerce clause has been an issue when congress did not appear in the fact pattern.
3.) the 11th amendment was an issue in multiple fact patterns did not mention the suit was in federal court.
4.) Preemption has been an issue even if there is no state law in the facts.
5.) The issues of mode of analysis, valid contract, breach of contract, anticipatory repudiation, and parol evidence have come up as an issues in the same fact pattern when the question explicitly asks about the remedies (you guys should know this by now, the courses know about this arbitrary trick and they should have taught it to you).
6.) Duty to communicate came up when the attorney hired an expert witness.
7.) subject matter jurisdiction came up as an issue on feb 2015, even when the fact pattern explicitly said subject matter jurisdiction was valid
8.) former testimony was an issue on an evidence exam where a passenger in a vehicle made a statement about what she saw prior to the accident, and then died, and her statement was being offered by the driver of the vehicle in court to prove the other side's negligence.

I can go on and on, but I need to study so I am going to stop here.

This is a repeating circumstance. and knowing all of this, the july 2014 bar had the lowest pass rate its been on a july bar in ten years. The pass rate for the feb 2015 bar was 38%.

coincidence?

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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby redblueyellow » Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:10 pm

What are the child support rules/exceptions in community property? Assume one spouse has to pay child support from a previous marriage.

1. SP funds of the debtor spouse is available when CP funds were used to make the child support payments
2. SP funds of the debtor spouse is not available when CP funds were used to make the child support payments
3. At divorce, are child support payments considered liabilities only for the debtor spouse (and only their SP is used)?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:30 pm

redblueyellow wrote:What are the child support rules/exceptions in community property? Assume one spouse has to pay child support from a previous marriage.

1. SP funds of the debtor spouse is available when CP funds were used to make the child support payments
2. SP funds of the debtor spouse is not available when CP funds were used to make the child support payments
3. At divorce, are child support payments considered liabilities only for the debtor spouse (and only their SP is used)?

Premaritial debts are the responsibility of both spouses, but if the earnings of the non-debtor spouse are kept in a separate account and not commingled they can't be used to pay off those debts.

The community can be reimbursed when SP was available but CP was used for child support payments.

I take the above to mean a judge could assign some of the ex-spouse's child support payments to the other spouse at divorce, just like any other liability. Can't find anything to the contrary but would welcome other thoughts.

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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby 2807 » Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:37 pm

IceManKazanski wrote:So I made the mistake BarBri warns you not to make.

I hardly looked at essays/model answers much less actually wrote them out. I spent a lot of time just trying to learn the law and doing a ton of MBE questions, but I am now realizing the essays are a different ballgame.

I am going over them now and feeling overwhelmed and doomed.

Any tips - tactical or spriritual - would be appreciated.



Start here... on page 3.
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=220409
(Simple review in this thread starting on page 25)

I have helped many people with this.
Hope it resonates with you.

Read my breakdown of a way to approach all the essays.
There are other ways, but this is the familiar IRAC and will give you confidence.
When you get stuck, just start writing out the issues you see.
The rule will come to you, and the facts supporting the application of the rule will jump off the page.
Keep it simple.
This is not law school.
Be clear, concise, and move on.

Most important:
1. Separate the "topic" from the precise legal issue.
2. State your precise legal issue.. as precise as possible.
3. The Rule will be clear when the issue is stated properly.
4. The relevant facts will be clear when the issue is clear, and the applicable rule is clear.
5. Use these words: "becasue..." "here, becasue..." and, "Therefore, becasue.."
6. Your "essay" can resemble an outline.
7. Use numbers, BOLD, italics, and underlining in a consistent format.
8. Start your Issue statement with the word "Whether..." whenever possible.
9. Issue statement: One sentence
10. Rule: One sentence.
11. Application: Whatever it takes, but no rambling. STAY FOCUSED. Make a NEW IRAC if you veer into new arguments.
12. Conclusion: Separate sentence/paragraph for the conclusion (Therefore....)

If you grasp this concept, spot the issues, and lay out the fundamentals in a clear, consistent, pattern you will be fine.
Your grader will reward you.

Work on your format. Format is a Jedi-Mind-Trick.
You are better off if you write in a manner that has an IMPACT on the grader quickly.

My plan works.
Other plans certainly will too, but you basically already know how to do mine.
You just need to commit to it and practice it.
Being clear and concise is not as easy as rambling on for pages and pages.
Try this way. You can do it.

Good luck !
Last edited by 2807 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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brotherdarkness
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby brotherdarkness » Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:48 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
redblueyellow wrote:What are the child support rules/exceptions in community property? Assume one spouse has to pay child support from a previous marriage.

1. SP funds of the debtor spouse is available when CP funds were used to make the child support payments
2. SP funds of the debtor spouse is not available when CP funds were used to make the child support payments
3. At divorce, are child support payments considered liabilities only for the debtor spouse (and only their SP is used)?

Premaritial debts are the responsibility of both spouses, but if the earnings of the non-debtor spouse are kept in a separate account and not commingled they can't be used to pay off those debts.

The community can be reimbursed when SP was available but CP was used for child support payments.

I take the above to mean a judge could assign some of the ex-spouse's child support payments to the other spouse at divorce, just like any other liability. Can't find anything to the contrary but would welcome other thoughts.


I thought child support payments to a prior spouse were SP and treated as SP at divorce, like educational loans (notwithstanding the reciprocal or 10-year exceptions). Community property isn't my best subject, though.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:01 pm

brotherdarkness wrote:I thought child support payments to a prior spouse were SP and treated as SP at divorce, like educational loans (notwithstanding the reciprocal or 10-year exceptions). Community property isn't my best subject, though.

Looks like you're right. Per Barbri, debts incurred before marriage are separate debts and are given back to the spouse who incurred them when the divorce happens. So the judge first gives back everyone their separate debts, then splits the rest between the two.

What got me is that once the couple is married the guy's child support becomes a community debt. But then on divorce they give it all back to him.

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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby a male human » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:18 pm

IceManKazanski wrote:So I made the mistake BarBri warns you not to make.

I hardly looked at essays/model answers much less actually wrote them out. I spent a lot of time just trying to learn the law and doing a ton of MBE questions, but I am now realizing the essays are a different ballgame.

I am going over them now and feeling overwhelmed and doomed.

Any tips - tactical or spriritual - would be appreciated.


a male human wrote:
atticus89 wrote:Looking for some guidance with limited time remaining. I may get flamed for this post, but I've had trouble dealing with anxiety regarding this test and I was wondering if anyone could reason with me.

So, I haven't had a chance to write a bunch of essays out fully. I've written probably 1-2 for each subject, so probably around 20 total. I've tried to outline an additional 2 essays per subject. Based on the data I've seen that most essay issues repeat from previous exams my essay study has been mostly: skimming outlines, setting general essay structure guides for each subject, and memorizing every rule that appears in the Barbri essays. So, for example, Barbri gives 8 old essays per subject and I made notecards for each rule that appeared and memorized those (there is a lot of repeat stuff and some essays have few rules).

I'm a pretty good writer. I graduated from a top school in the top 5% of my class. I feel like I have a pretty good idea of how to write a law school exam, but I'm growing a little concerned that my style is too verbose for the bar. Since I've memorized a good chunk of rules I tend to hit the major issues and I don't usually run out of time (though I do go right up to the limit in most cases). My essays average about 1900-2200 words depending on the source material and the subject. I tend to go pretty heavy on analysis, though I've practiced somewhat cutting this down on clear issues and instead hitting more issues.

I might be overreacting or unnecessarily freaking out here, but I know that people who graduate at the top of their class fail all the time, especially in CA. By the time studying is over I will have completed probably 85% of my Barbri PSP, but I've also done some extra stuff (completed most of the Qs in Emanuels, did the full day and half day MBEs that are not covered in the PSP). I'm not that worried about the MBE. However, when I started the prep, I was thinking that my MBE and PTs would carry me, but now I'm not sold on that in CA. My MBEs are above average, but I'm definitely not expecting to walk in there and hit an 80+% or some absurd number, especially given the relative uncertainty surrounding Civ Pro. I've written out probably 4 full PTs, but I am by no means confident I'll pull a 65 on both for sure come test day.

On the one hand I feel really dumb for the anxiety because I'm not sure how much more I could have prepared. The biggest factor right now is I have just not been able to get a read for how the CA essays will be graded. Despite what I thought was pretty good writing ability, my Barbri feedback was largely unhelpful (I got 2 65s, 1 60, but all of these were submitted well before I started to focus in on the essays the last 2-3 weeks, and none had helpful substantive feedback -- a Ks essay I turned in was 2200 words, hit every issue except 1 minor quasi-K issue, and got a 65). I split a Baressays account with a friend and I honestly for the life of me can't figure it out. Sometimes I will read answers that miss several major issues, are disorganized, but the right rules are somewhere in there and they'll hit 65s. Then I'll go over 55s for the same essay and the quality is not that different at all. And yet other times I'll see answers that I think are solid -- adequate but not mind blowing -- and they somehow hit 75-80.

Could really use a pep talk if anyone has helpful words to offer. Don't mean to come off as whiny or anything, just seriously having anxiety about all this.

I don't know man. Seems like you're on your way. Your MBE is above average, which is good. You've done 4 PTs, which is also good (as long as your feel comfortable with it). It looks like your concern is that you're not sure what gets you a 65 on essays.

I've never been a grader, but it seems arbitrary to an extent. Accept it.

However, I've noticed that the good essay scores tend to have CLARITY in their answers. That means not making the grader do the work of figuring out what you're saying. This includes:
- clear issue headers (street signs that let them know where you're going) -- bold and/or underline
- clean rule statements (try not to BS too much)
- separated rule and application (don't commingle R and A like a trustee breaching her duties)
- clean conclusion ("Thus, CONCLUSION because SUMMARY OF ANALYSIS.") -- 1-2 sentences
- separated IRACs (e.g., by using clear issue headers)

Good to be humble during preparation. Be arrogant during test day. This is your twice-a-year opportunity to show your stuff. Yes, as a secondary measure, you should make up law and over-include issues.

However, aim to hit as many RELEVANT issues and sub-issues as you can. You can't get to top 5% without doing this, right? Let me know actually because I don't know. You can fudge a couple of rules and applications and get partial credit, but you will get zero credit for an issue you should have sprouted into an IRAC. On the flip side, if you throw in the kitchen sink, you will run counter to what they are looking for per the essay instructions (see the first page of the booklet).

Remember that these graders are people who are incentivized to evaluate your answer in as short a time as possible, being paid $3.25 per booklet (and only $3.75 for PTs!). These people will have seen dozens if not hundreds of similar answers before yours. These people are bored out of their unemployed mind and hate the world and will read your answer while taking a shit or waiting for the red light. These are dangerous people.

Be as gentle on their eyes as possible. Frontload the work for them by doing the above. Make them feel like the $3.25 was a steal, and they just might round up your score...


The above may help strategically but maybe not spiritually or tactically.

Also listen to what legendary unit 2807 has to say.

Also there's a search function for you to first check out keywords related to your question that might have been solved already.

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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby gaagoots » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:21 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
brotherdarkness wrote:I thought child support payments to a prior spouse were SP and treated as SP at divorce, like educational loans (notwithstanding the reciprocal or 10-year exceptions). Community property isn't my best subject, though.

Looks like you're right. Per Barbri, debts incurred before marriage are separate debts and are given back to the spouse who incurred them when the divorce happens. So the judge first gives back everyone their separate debts, then splits the rest between the two.

What got me is that once the couple is married the guy's child support becomes a community debt. But then on divorce they give it all back to him.


Oh it gets even better, the non-obligor spouse has a 3 year statute of limitations for reimbursement when there is sufficient non-exempt SP (FC 920(c)(1). Very easy to blow the SOL during marriage and get screwed at divorce. No model answers ever address this, but it's in BarBri big outline.

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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby 2807 » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:26 pm

a male human wrote:
IceManKazanski wrote:So I made the mistake BarBri warns you not to make.

I hardly looked at essays/model answers much less actually wrote them out. I spent a lot of time just trying to learn the law and doing a ton of MBE questions, but I am now realizing the essays are a different ballgame.

I am going over them now and feeling overwhelmed and doomed.

Any tips - tactical or spriritual - would be appreciated.


a male human wrote:
atticus89 wrote:Looking for some guidance with limited time remaining. I may get flamed for this post, but I've had trouble dealing with anxiety regarding this test and I was wondering if anyone could reason with me.

So, I haven't had a chance to write a bunch of essays out fully. I've written probably 1-2 for each subject, so probably around 20 total. I've tried to outline an additional 2 essays per subject. Based on the data I've seen that most essay issues repeat from previous exams my essay study has been mostly: skimming outlines, setting general essay structure guides for each subject, and memorizing every rule that appears in the Barbri essays. So, for example, Barbri gives 8 old essays per subject and I made notecards for each rule that appeared and memorized those (there is a lot of repeat stuff and some essays have few rules).

I'm a pretty good writer. I graduated from a top school in the top 5% of my class. I feel like I have a pretty good idea of how to write a law school exam, but I'm growing a little concerned that my style is too verbose for the bar. Since I've memorized a good chunk of rules I tend to hit the major issues and I don't usually run out of time (though I do go right up to the limit in most cases). My essays average about 1900-2200 words depending on the source material and the subject. I tend to go pretty heavy on analysis, though I've practiced somewhat cutting this down on clear issues and instead hitting more issues.

I might be overreacting or unnecessarily freaking out here, but I know that people who graduate at the top of their class fail all the time, especially in CA. By the time studying is over I will have completed probably 85% of my Barbri PSP, but I've also done some extra stuff (completed most of the Qs in Emanuels, did the full day and half day MBEs that are not covered in the PSP). I'm not that worried about the MBE. However, when I started the prep, I was thinking that my MBE and PTs would carry me, but now I'm not sold on that in CA. My MBEs are above average, but I'm definitely not expecting to walk in there and hit an 80+% or some absurd number, especially given the relative uncertainty surrounding Civ Pro. I've written out probably 4 full PTs, but I am by no means confident I'll pull a 65 on both for sure come test day.

On the one hand I feel really dumb for the anxiety because I'm not sure how much more I could have prepared. The biggest factor right now is I have just not been able to get a read for how the CA essays will be graded. Despite what I thought was pretty good writing ability, my Barbri feedback was largely unhelpful (I got 2 65s, 1 60, but all of these were submitted well before I started to focus in on the essays the last 2-3 weeks, and none had helpful substantive feedback -- a Ks essay I turned in was 2200 words, hit every issue except 1 minor quasi-K issue, and got a 65). I split a Baressays account with a friend and I honestly for the life of me can't figure it out. Sometimes I will read answers that miss several major issues, are disorganized, but the right rules are somewhere in there and they'll hit 65s. Then I'll go over 55s for the same essay and the quality is not that different at all. And yet other times I'll see answers that I think are solid -- adequate but not mind blowing -- and they somehow hit 75-80.

Could really use a pep talk if anyone has helpful words to offer. Don't mean to come off as whiny or anything, just seriously having anxiety about all this.

I don't know man. Seems like you're on your way. Your MBE is above average, which is good. You've done 4 PTs, which is also good (as long as your feel comfortable with it). It looks like your concern is that you're not sure what gets you a 65 on essays.

I've never been a grader, but it seems arbitrary to an extent. Accept it.

However, I've noticed that the good essay scores tend to have CLARITY in their answers. That means not making the grader do the work of figuring out what you're saying. This includes:
- clear issue headers (street signs that let them know where you're going) -- bold and/or underline
- clean rule statements (try not to BS too much)
- separated rule and application (don't commingle R and A like a trustee breaching her duties)
- clean conclusion ("Thus, CONCLUSION because SUMMARY OF ANALYSIS.") -- 1-2 sentences
- separated IRACs (e.g., by using clear issue headers)

Good to be humble during preparation. Be arrogant during test day. This is your twice-a-year opportunity to show your stuff. Yes, as a secondary measure, you should make up law and over-include issues.

However, aim to hit as many RELEVANT issues and sub-issues as you can. You can't get to top 5% without doing this, right? Let me know actually because I don't know. You can fudge a couple of rules and applications and get partial credit, but you will get zero credit for an issue you should have sprouted into an IRAC. On the flip side, if you throw in the kitchen sink, you will run counter to what they are looking for per the essay instructions (see the first page of the booklet).

Remember that these graders are people who are incentivized to evaluate your answer in as short a time as possible, being paid $3.25 per booklet (and only $3.75 for PTs!). These people will have seen dozens if not hundreds of similar answers before yours. These people are bored out of their unemployed mind and hate the world and will read your answer while taking a shit or waiting for the red light. These are dangerous people.

Be as gentle on their eyes as possible. Frontload the work for them by doing the above. Make them feel like the $3.25 was a steal, and they just might round up your score...


The above may help strategically but maybe not spiritually or tactically.

Also listen to what legendary unit 2807 has to say.

Also there's a search function for you to first check out keywords related to your question that might have been solved already.



Hey AMH !
Good to see ya bud !
Keep up the good work.

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brotherdarkness
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby brotherdarkness » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:31 pm

gaagoots wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
brotherdarkness wrote:I thought child support payments to a prior spouse were SP and treated as SP at divorce, like educational loans (notwithstanding the reciprocal or 10-year exceptions). Community property isn't my best subject, though.

Looks like you're right. Per Barbri, debts incurred before marriage are separate debts and are given back to the spouse who incurred them when the divorce happens. So the judge first gives back everyone their separate debts, then splits the rest between the two.

What got me is that once the couple is married the guy's child support becomes a community debt. But then on divorce they give it all back to him.


Oh it gets even better, the non-obligor spouse has a 3 year statute of limitations for reimbursement when there is sufficient non-exempt SP (FC 920(c)(1). Very easy to blow the SOL during marriage and get screwed at divorce. No model answers ever address this, but it's in BarBri big outline.


I tried to go thru the big outline for community property and also for wills/trusts, but holy shit it's so long. I felt like I was wasting my time learning a lot of irrelevant material, but I never took those classes in law school so maybe I should just grind it out.

redblueyellow
Posts: 465
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:50 pm

Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby redblueyellow » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:36 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
brotherdarkness wrote:I thought child support payments to a prior spouse were SP and treated as SP at divorce, like educational loans (notwithstanding the reciprocal or 10-year exceptions). Community property isn't my best subject, though.

Looks like you're right. Per Barbri, debts incurred before marriage are separate debts and are given back to the spouse who incurred them when the divorce happens. So the judge first gives back everyone their separate debts, then splits the rest between the two.

What got me is that once the couple is married the guy's child support becomes a community debt. But then on divorce they give it all back to him.



Regarding pre-marital debt (ignore any child support payments), would this then be accurate?

H has $20k of credit card debt prior to marriage.
During marriage, H uses $5k of CP to pay off debt.

At divorce:

1. If H's SP was available when CP debt was used to pay $5k, then W can recover $5k to be placed in the CP asset pool?
2. If H's SP was not available when CP debt was used to pay $5k, then W can recover $0k?
3. If H has no SP at divorce, then creditor CAN seek remaining balance of $15k from CP, but cannot recover from W's SP.

Correct?

redblueyellow
Posts: 465
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:50 pm

Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby redblueyellow » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:40 pm

Voluntary Intoxication:

If one is voluntarily intoxicated, it would "not insulate him from liability to those he injured while in that state."

Just to confirm, that would mean that specific intent is negated, so a person that's drunk might be criminally liable for battery, but he would be responsible for the damages (hospital bills, etc).

Right?

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2807
Posts: 579
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby 2807 » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:47 pm

redblueyellow wrote:Voluntary Intoxication:

If one is voluntarily intoxicated, it would "not insulate him from liability to those he injured while in that state."

Just to confirm, that would mean that specific intent is negated, so a person that's drunk might be criminally liable for battery, but he would be responsible for the damages (hospital bills, etc).

Right?


Caution....

Don't be so resolute.
Think like an attorney.
There are no right answers, only right arguments.

You would argue that specific intent was negated...
Last edited by 2807 on Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gaagoots
Posts: 212
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:01 am

Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby gaagoots » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:54 pm

redblueyellow wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
brotherdarkness wrote:I thought child support payments to a prior spouse were SP and treated as SP at divorce, like educational loans (notwithstanding the reciprocal or 10-year exceptions). Community property isn't my best subject, though.

Looks like you're right. Per Barbri, debts incurred before marriage are separate debts and are given back to the spouse who incurred them when the divorce happens. So the judge first gives back everyone their separate debts, then splits the rest between the two.

What got me is that once the couple is married the guy's child support becomes a community debt. But then on divorce they give it all back to him.



Regarding pre-marital debt (ignore any child support payments), would this then be accurate?

H has $20k of credit card debt prior to marriage.
During marriage, H uses $5k of CP to pay off debt.

At divorce:

1. If H's SP was available when CP debt was used to pay $5k, then W can recover $5k to be placed in the CP asset pool?
2. If H's SP was not available when CP debt was used to pay $5k, then W can recover $0k?
3. If H has no SP at divorce, then creditor CAN seek remaining balance of $15k from CP, but cannot recover from W's SP.

Correct?


You are getting confused a bit. I'm thinking of FC 910 and 913 and no reimbursement rights similar to CS or improvements to a property that is in one spouses name. The debtor spouse is assigned the debt at divorce and the non debtor spouse is not entitled to be 'reimbursed' if CP paid the cc down if SP was available absent an agreement.

So yes you are on the right track, but reimbursement isn't available for the example above. Doing this on an iPhone is insane

Edited: also don't get confused with reimbursement for necessities when SP is available.

gaagoots
Posts: 212
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 12:01 am

Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby gaagoots » Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:12 am

brotherdarkness wrote:
gaagoots wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
brotherdarkness wrote:I thought child support payments to a prior spouse were SP and treated as SP at divorce, like educational loans (notwithstanding the reciprocal or 10-year exceptions). Community property isn't my best subject, though.

Looks like you're right. Per Barbri, debts incurred before marriage are separate debts and are given back to the spouse who incurred them when the divorce happens. So the judge first gives back everyone their separate debts, then splits the rest between the two.

What got me is that once the couple is married the guy's child support becomes a community debt. But then on divorce they give it all back to him.


Oh it gets even better, the non-obligor spouse has a 3 year statute of limitations for reimbursement when there is sufficient non-exempt SP (FC 920(c)(1). Very easy to blow the SOL during marriage and get screwed at divorce. No model answers ever address this, but it's in BarBri big outline.


I tried to go thru the big outline for community property and also for wills/trusts, but holy shit it's so long. I felt like I was wasting my time learning a lot of irrelevant material, but I never took those classes in law school so maybe I should just grind it out.


What you get from the big outline in community property is details that don't make a huge difference in a passing answer. I think Prof. Bloomberg from UCLA contributed for the most part for the BarBri CP outline. There are Fam Code details that broke BK bar graders wouldn't know when grading your exam, example a child born after the marriage ended is presumed "a child of the marriage" if born within 300 days of the judgment of dissolution. So that one last go before the divorce can create that presumption without having a paternity test. Lean Sheets really does a decent job making it simple, except it should emphasize Lucus/Anti Lucas is only applicable to titled property.




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