how detailed should your explanations get?

unclej
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 9:36 pm

how detailed should your explanations get?

Postby unclej » Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:50 pm

I was looking at sample baby bar essay answers online and I noticed some passing essays are so brief.

Example:
battery is the intentional harmful or offensive touching of another. Here, John punched Kevin. Therefore, John is liable for battery.

my torts teacher would require something like this:
battery is the intentional harmful or offensive touching of another. Harmful means the act is injurious. Offensive means the general society would find the touching offensive. Skin to skin contact is not required. Even contact with an object held by the plainitiff could be harmful or offensive. The act must be volitional. If defendant was sleepwalking, then his act would not be volitional and he would not be liable for battery. Here, John punched Kevin. Therefore, John is liable for battery.

since there is a time limit, I dont want to include things that won't get me points. How do I know how much detail to include?

law-school-hacker
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:22 pm

Re: how detailed should your explanations get?

Postby law-school-hacker » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:25 pm

Is this an actual example?

I think the second one is too long, describing a lot of the law without doing a real "linking law to fact" analysis. "Skin to skin contact is not required" does not seem useful here as a punch is clearly the "offensive touching." And mentioning an object "
held by the plaintiff" -- that bit of law is irrelevant here, as we are told straight up that John punched Kevin (and not that he, say, kicked Kevin's cane).

The first example, however, is just a touch too brief -- it does not on its face even touch on all of the elements of battery. "John punched Kevin" just reaches "harmful or offensive touching of another." You might add a quick line that there the punch appears not to be an accident or done sleepwalking, and was non-consensual (an element in some places, a defense in others). That would at least cover intent.

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banjo
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Re: how detailed should your explanations get?

Postby banjo » Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:55 pm

law-school-hacker wrote:The first example, however, is just a touch too brief -- it does not on its face even touch on all of the elements of battery. "John punched Kevin" just reaches "harmful or offensive touching of another." You might add a quick line that there the punch appears not to be an accident or done sleepwalking, and was non-consensual (an element in some places, a defense in others). That would at least cover intent.


+1. Both examples in the OP seem like bad exam writing to me. What the quoted poster is doing -- exploring and rejecting other possibilities -- is what profs want you to do.

e: oops realized this was bar exam stuff. I'll go away now.

BarZombie
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:51 am

Re: how detailed should your explanations get?

Postby BarZombie » Fri May 01, 2015 10:47 am

Just be linear in your discussion and follow a template approach…meaning element by element…be short and to the point.

No matter what, underline important elements….don’t over do it…and write for a 5 year old.

Graders do not read…at least for the CBX…I know as I repeated the GBX…make it easy to find the checklist elements and don’t paddle…just write for someone who really doesn’t want to read…and if they do read, chances they are nitpicky and sadistic…don’t give them a reason to not give you a passing grade.

On that note…it’s only a passing grade you need.

Best of luck.

See sample below…not the best…did it in a minute…but it highlights the elements you need to give a good impression… They get a vibe for what they will give a grade the instant they skim the first page.




1. Is John guilty of battery?

Battery is the intentional infliction of a harmful or offensive contact. Intent to contact one person can be transferred to another. The requisite elements necessary to find John guilty of battery require an act, intent, and causation and a concurrence between the actus reus and mens rea (act and intent) leading to causation of a harmful or offensive contact constituting a battery.

Intent
Here, John….insert fact pattern points…ex. John was angry upon discovering his wife in bed screwing Ralph. His anger is demonstrated by his yelling “I’m going to pummel you for diddling my wife” …etc. At this point John lunged toward John with a clenched fist intending to strike John.

Thus, the requisite element for intent is satisfied when John lunged with clenched fist toward Ralph after making the affirmative statement that he would “pummel” Ralph.

Act
Here, John’s motion with clenched fist constitutes an act demonstrating his intent to strike Ralph…add facts…keep short. Add supported/discussed Supra.

Thus, the act when coupled with the intent to strike Ralph discussed Supra satisfy the concurrence requirement between the mens rea and actus reus.

Causation
To be guilty of battery John must actually cause a harmful or offensive contact and there must be a concurrence between act and intent. (Discussed Supra). Causation is satisfied in that John struck Ralph and knocked his tooth out.

Harmful and offensive?
Here, knocking a tooth out and being struck…blah…blah..blah would be
viewed as harmful and offensive….etc…

Thus, causation is satisfied.

Conclusion
Given the material facts discussed Supra, John can be charged with…and is likely to be found guilty of battery.




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