Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

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MelaPela

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby MelaPela » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:29 pm

whats an updog wrote:
gotsomequestions wrote:
LSSS wrote:If you are sticking to the directed study schedule, what percentage have you completed?

I am at 41% and I am concerned that I am behind.


I started 5/23 and will be at 52% at the end of today.


Will be at 44% a the end of today. This is pretty much as fast as I can go though, so not gonna stress about it.


Am at around 44% as well, started May 22 and took a few days off. Like whats an updog, I'm not worried.

LSSS, you're probably totally fine if the goal is to complete 75%!

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby LSSS » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:58 pm

Great. Thanks all for sharing. I feel much better about my progress.

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby michelle3908 » Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:45 pm

MelaPela wrote:Has anyone else watched the lectures by Birdthistle (lol @ his name) and find that he speaks super quickly? I don't know if my brain is just slow today or if he is a speed talker - I usually watch the lecture at 1.5x or 2x and can't follow him at 1.5x.


Its not you! He is fast and then it seems he's not directly following the outline. I've had to watch him at 1 because I was missing stuff at 1.5. And the flow in the way he talks makes it hard to go any faster with the video speed. I just have agency corporations and partnership videos with him, and thankfully they're not that lengthy.

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby Bass » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:23 pm

Am I missing something again? Is there a rule in the Themis outline that explains this question? Wills practice essay question:

[+] Spoiler
Question

Two years ago, Testator purchased a $50,000 life insurance policy and named Niece as beneficiary.

One year ago, Testator invited three friends to dinner. After dessert had been served, Testator brought a handwritten document to the table and stated, “This is my will. I would like each of you to witness it.” Testator then signed and dated the document. The three friends watched Testator sign her name, and immediately thereafter, they signed their names below Testator’s name.

...

State law explicitly disallows “all holographic wills and codicils.” To be valid, a will must be “acknowledged by the testator to the witnesses and signed by the testator in the presence of at least two attesting witnesses, who shall sign their names below that of the testator within 30 days.”

1. Is Testator’s will valid? Explain.

Answer:

A holographic will is in a testator’s handwriting, signed by the testator, and need not be witnessed. Under the state’s law, holographic wills and codicils are not recognized. To be valid, a will must be acknowledged by the testator and signed in the presence of at least two attesting witnesses, who also sign the will within 30 days. Here, although Testator’s will is handwritten, it is valid because it complies with the state’s law. Testator signed her will in the presence of three witnesses, and the witnesses signed their names below the Testator’s name that same day. Testator acknowledged to the witnesses that she intended the document to be her will. Therefore, Testator’s will complies with state law and is valid.


I knew I should have made an argument for the will's validity...the answer couldn't be a one-liner citing the rule against holographic wills, but model answer seems to go against express wording of the law...is there something in the Themis outline I'm missing? 8)

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby Leagle_Beagle » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:42 pm

Bass wrote:Am I missing something again? Is there a rule in the Themis outline that explains this question? Wills practice essay question:

[+] Spoiler
Question

Two years ago, Testator purchased a $50,000 life insurance policy and named Niece as beneficiary.

One year ago, Testator invited three friends to dinner. After dessert had been served, Testator brought a handwritten document to the table and stated, “This is my will. I would like each of you to witness it.” Testator then signed and dated the document. The three friends watched Testator sign her name, and immediately thereafter, they signed their names below Testator’s name.

...

State law explicitly disallows “all holographic wills and codicils.” To be valid, a will must be “acknowledged by the testator to the witnesses and signed by the testator in the presence of at least two attesting witnesses, who shall sign their names below that of the testator within 30 days.”

1. Is Testator’s will valid? Explain.

Answer:

A holographic will is in a testator’s handwriting, signed by the testator, and need not be witnessed. Under the state’s law, holographic wills and codicils are not recognized. To be valid, a will must be acknowledged by the testator and signed in the presence of at least two attesting witnesses, who also sign the will within 30 days. Here, although Testator’s will is handwritten, it is valid because it complies with the state’s law. Testator signed her will in the presence of three witnesses, and the witnesses signed their names below the Testator’s name that same day. Testator acknowledged to the witnesses that she intended the document to be her will. Therefore, Testator’s will complies with state law and is valid.


I knew I should have made an argument for the will's validity...the answer couldn't be a one-liner citing the rule against holographic wills, but model answer seems to go against express wording of the law...is there something in the Themis outline I'm missing? 8)


Hi all,

I just created an account to join in on Themis' July 2017 course (I'm taking UBE).

To answer your question,
[+] Spoiler
The will the testator created is not a holographic will. Just because it is in his handwriting does not make it holographic. To be a holographic will it must be in his handwriting and signed by him. That's it.

To be a valid will (not holographic) it must be signed by witnesses, it does't matter it it is handwritten or typed. Here, although it is in the testator's handwriting, it is signed by witnesses. The key distinction is the witnesses.

Holographic= Handwritten and signed by testator.
"Normal" will= Handwritten or typed and signed by witnesses and testator.

Does this make sense?

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Bass

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby Bass » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:00 pm

Leagle_Beagle wrote:
Hi all,

I just created an account to join in on Themis' July 2017 course (I'm taking UBE).

To answer your question,
[+] Spoiler
The will the testator created is not a holographic will. Just because it is in his handwriting does not make it holographic. To be a holographic will it must be in his handwriting and signed by him. That's it.

To be a valid will (not holographic) it must be signed by witnesses, it does't matter it it is handwritten or typed. Here, although it is in the testator's handwriting, it is signed by witnesses. The key distinction is the witnesses.

Holographic= Handwritten and signed by testator.
"Normal" will= Handwritten or typed and signed by witnesses and testator.

Does this make sense?


That makes perfect sense - many thanks! :oops:

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby helpappreciated » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:48 pm

At 32%. Gonna ramp it up.

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Bass

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby Bass » Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:13 am

Anyone skip most of the lectures and just click through them to get the completion percentage up? I'm guilty 8)

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby Puffman1234 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:16 am

Bass wrote:Anyone skip most of the lectures and just click through them to get the completion percentage up? I'm guilty 8)


I haven't been confident enough to skip the lectures entirely but after that insane waste of time that was Schott's evidence lecture I may have to change my approach

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby lavarman84 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:23 am

Bass wrote:Anyone skip most of the lectures and just click through them to get the completion percentage up? I'm guilty 8)


I did that with the outlines but definitely not with the lectures. I've found them quite useful for the MBE.

My plan right now is to figure out what I'm struggling with and then circle back to the outlines to learn those specific sub-topics for each subject.

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby star fox » Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:09 am

lavarman84 wrote:
Bass wrote:Anyone skip most of the lectures and just click through them to get the completion percentage up? I'm guilty 8)


I did that with the outlines but definitely not with the lectures. I've found them quite useful for the MBE.

My plan right now is to figure out what I'm struggling with and then circle back to the outlines to learn those specific sub-topics for each subject.

In finding reading the outline subsection when I get a practice question wrong is helpful

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby SeewhathappensLarry » Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:14 am

Bass wrote:Anyone skip most of the lectures and just click through them to get the completion percentage up? I'm guilty 8)


I listen to the lectures, though evidence was a complete waste. I do quickly fill in "D" for all the assessment questions, since I don't find those useful in the slightest

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby lavarman84 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:40 am

star fox wrote:
lavarman84 wrote:
Bass wrote:Anyone skip most of the lectures and just click through them to get the completion percentage up? I'm guilty 8)


I did that with the outlines but definitely not with the lectures. I've found them quite useful for the MBE.

My plan right now is to figure out what I'm struggling with and then circle back to the outlines to learn those specific sub-topics for each subject.

In finding reading the outline subsection when I get a practice question wrong is helpful


I'm just reading the answer explanations in the question sets for now. If I can learn it and commit it to memory without going to the outline, that saves me time.

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby shaynislegend » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:14 am

Love nothing more than when you get an answer wrong because "no reasonable person would find . . ." yet 40-50% of the people thought the conduct was reasonable.

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MelaPela

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby MelaPela » Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:22 am

lavarman84 wrote:
star fox wrote:
lavarman84 wrote:
Bass wrote:Anyone skip most of the lectures and just click through them to get the completion percentage up? I'm guilty 8)


I did that with the outlines but definitely not with the lectures. I've found them quite useful for the MBE.

My plan right now is to figure out what I'm struggling with and then circle back to the outlines to learn those specific sub-topics for each subject.

In finding reading the outline subsection when I get a practice question wrong is helpful


I'm just reading the answer explanations in the question sets for now. If I can learn it and commit it to memory without going to the outline, that saves me time.


I do the same - just copy & paste all the explanations into a Word doc under topic headings.

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MelaPela

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby MelaPela » Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:12 pm

I'm realizing that a lot of the Themis MBE questions seem to test specific nuances that are only in the outline - and they seem to go directly to a point in the outline. I don't know if this is representative of the actual MBE questions but as someone who doesn't read the outline before doing questions, this is getting super frustrating.

I'm considering not doing any more of the Themis questions and just moving on to Adaptibar full time. Anyone having similar thoughts?

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby SplitMyPants » Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:15 pm

as in you just haven't read the outline at all and just jump right into MBE pq's?

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby MelaPela » Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:17 pm

SplitMyPants wrote:as in you just haven't read the outline at all and just jump right into MBE pq's?


I skim it, but definitely don't read it fully. I watch the lectures and review Critical Pass notecards before doing the MBE questions, mostly because I learn better by doing/practicing rather than just by reading.

I do review relevant sections for the questions I got wrong on the practice MBE qs, which is how I started to notice that Themis writes questions to the outline. It just makes me think that the Themis questions are really not representative of the actual MBE questions.

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whats an updog

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby whats an updog » Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:53 pm

I agree that there is some peculiarity with the Themis questions, but think it's worth it to do the Themis MBEs because it does familiarize you with some nuance and there aren't that many questions really. I am also doing adaptibar and think it's questions are more representative (being actual MBE qs after all), but the Themis answer explanations are often clearer.

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MelaPela

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby MelaPela » Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:12 pm

whats an updog wrote:I agree that there is some peculiarity with the Themis questions, but think it's worth it to do the Themis MBEs because it does familiarize you with some nuance and there aren't that many questions really. I am also doing adaptibar and think it's questions are more representative (being actual MBE qs after all), but the Themis answer explanations are often clearer.


That's really good to know - I guess I'll keep going with Themis's questions then! I haven't used Adaptibar very much yet but will probably start ramping up now that I've finished the Themis MBE lectures.

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby saywhat88 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:52 pm

to crim pro experts,

i never took the course, but the themis lecture suggests that for automobile warrantless searches police can search if (1) arrestee is within reach of passenger compartment (or an area where there could be concealment of something that could endanger the cop) or (2) if the police have probably cause that the automobile contains contraband. it also states that the police can search the care after its been impounded.

my critical pass flashcards state that if a cop has probable cause, then the police can search the entire vehicle. does probable cause = contraband?

which is correct for mbe purposes?
thanks.

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby changing_names » Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:19 pm

Hi all, I was wondering if anyone here has any advice regarding studying for MBE Evidence? I can't seem to break the 55% barrier on my practice sections. I don't know what it is about this subject that has turned it into my pain point (is that even an expression?). I am using Themis, Critical Pass, and AdaptiBar. The Evidence MBEs keep tripping me up, issues of impeachment and hearsay. I seem to fundamentally misunderstand what the question is trying to get at. I will think it's an admissibility issue but instead the main point of the question will be something else. For example, I will think D is the answer because the evidence can be used for bias and the answer will be A due to some other reason.
Do you guys think this is something that with volume will get better? Meaning, the more questions I do, the more of my correct/incorrect answers I review, the more I will develop a feel for their intent/purpose? Thanks in advance and I hope someone out there is enjoying their weekend.

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby yeslekkkk » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:08 am

changing_names wrote:Hi all, I was wondering if anyone here has any advice regarding studying for MBE Evidence? I can't seem to break the 55% barrier on my practice sections. I don't know what it is about this subject that has turned it into my pain point (is that even an expression?). I am using Themis, Critical Pass, and AdaptiBar. The Evidence MBEs keep tripping me up, issues of impeachment and hearsay. I seem to fundamentally misunderstand what the question is trying to get at. I will think it's an admissibility issue but instead the main point of the question will be something else. For example, I will think D is the answer because the evidence can be used for bias and the answer will be A due to some other reason.
Do you guys think this is something that with volume will get better? Meaning, the more questions I do, the more of my correct/incorrect answers I review, the more I will develop a feel for their intent/purpose? Thanks in advance and I hope someone out there is enjoying their weekend.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNeFsjTfs2s

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby foundingfather » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:18 am

changing_names wrote:Hi all, I was wondering if anyone here has any advice regarding studying for MBE Evidence? I can't seem to break the 55% barrier on my practice sections. I don't know what it is about this subject that has turned it into my pain point (is that even an expression?). I am using Themis, Critical Pass, and AdaptiBar. The Evidence MBEs keep tripping me up, issues of impeachment and hearsay. I seem to fundamentally misunderstand what the question is trying to get at. I will think it's an admissibility issue but instead the main point of the question will be something else. For example, I will think D is the answer because the evidence can be used for bias and the answer will be A due to some other reason.
Do you guys think this is something that with volume will get better? Meaning, the more questions I do, the more of my correct/incorrect answers I review, the more I will develop a feel for their intent/purpose? Thanks in advance and I hope someone out there is enjoying their weekend.


I'm not sure how much this will help, and please correct me if i'm wrong, but the way I approach evidence questions (or MBE questions in general) is to dumb them down -

- hearsay is either: (i) inadmissible as hearsay or (ii) it's not hearsay because it's admissible as some sort of hearsay exception (e.g. excited utterance) or non-hearsay statement

- character evidence is usually about the defendant (in a criminal or civil case) or the plaintiff (in a civil case) not on the stand so it's not admissible because it's too prejudicial unless a party "opens the door" to character evidence by introducing evidence about their own character

character evidence would be like evidence of something bad the defendant did in the past

- impeachment evidence is introduced to attack the credibility of a witness on the stand during cross-examination for lying or saying something stupid. technically, I guess you could impeach your own witness on direct examination if they go rogue and start lying but that's probably not something they're testing

impeachment evidence is used to prove inconsistent testimony

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Re: Themis Bar Review Hangout - July 2017

Postby Puffman1234 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:23 pm

foundingfather wrote:
changing_names wrote:Hi all, I was wondering if anyone here has any advice regarding studying for MBE Evidence? I can't seem to break the 55% barrier on my practice sections. I don't know what it is about this subject that has turned it into my pain point (is that even an expression?). I am using Themis, Critical Pass, and AdaptiBar. The Evidence MBEs keep tripping me up, issues of impeachment and hearsay. I seem to fundamentally misunderstand what the question is trying to get at. I will think it's an admissibility issue but instead the main point of the question will be something else. For example, I will think D is the answer because the evidence can be used for bias and the answer will be A due to some other reason.
Do you guys think this is something that with volume will get better? Meaning, the more questions I do, the more of my correct/incorrect answers I review, the more I will develop a feel for their intent/purpose? Thanks in advance and I hope someone out there is enjoying their weekend.


I'm not sure how much this will help, and please correct me if i'm wrong, but the way I approach evidence questions (or MBE questions in general) is to dumb them down -

- hearsay is either: (i) inadmissible as hearsay or (ii) it's not hearsay because it's admissible as some sort of hearsay exception (e.g. excited utterance) or non-hearsay statement

- character evidence is usually about the defendant (in a criminal or civil case) or the plaintiff (in a civil case) not on the stand so it's not admissible because it's too prejudicial unless a party "opens the door" to character evidence by introducing evidence about their own character

character evidence would be like evidence of something bad the defendant did in the past

- impeachment evidence is introduced to attack the credibility of a witness on the stand during cross-examination for lying or saying something stupid. technically, I guess you could impeach your own witness on direct examination if they go rogue and start lying but that's probably not something they're testing

impeachment evidence is used to prove inconsistent testimony


That all sounds right, but I'm no expert at evidence. The below is long but it helped me remember all the rules and I think that once you get them down it comes very quickly (I'm fairly certain the below is correct but I can't guarantee it or anything).

As I understand it, the general rule to start with is that you can impeach your opponent's witnesses for bias/perception/contradiction/prior inconsistent statements (PIS)/character for truthfulness (CTV).

So, when it looks like impeachment is happening, you need to figure out which of those categories the impeachment falls into. After that, you can then apply the various rules that are applicable to the particular type. Note that the categories overlap; bringing up a PIS is also impeaching by contradiction, but you can impeach by contradiction without a PIS.

First, CTV. You can attack the opponent's witness' CTV on DIRECT, but only through reputation and opinion evidence. If attacking an opponent's witness on CROSS, you can ASK about prior specific acts that go to CTV, but you must take their answer; you can't prove the prior act occurred with extrinsic evidence (extrinsic evidence is anything other than the person themselves' actual testimony, i.e. another witness' testimony, or physical evidence).

Second, the other types of witness impeachment (anything that is not attacking CTV). You can use extrinsic evidence to prove any of them so long as the issue you're proving is not collateral (i.e. has no independent relevance apart from contradicting the witness). If it's collateral, you can ask, but must take the answer as they give it. Impeaching for bias/perception is NEVER collateral, but impeaching for contradiction (which includes PIS) MAY be collateral. For example, you ask the witness on cross "you said today that when you witnessed the car crash you were eating a hamburger, but isn't it true you told another witness the day the crash happened that you were eating a fish sandwich?" The witness lies and says no. You have a videotape showing they were eating a fish sandwich and not a hamburger. You're still stuck with their answer, it doesn't matter that you can prove they're lying on the stand. Whether they were eating a fish sandwich or a hamburger is collateral. On the other hand, if your question involved their poor eyesight, you could then introduce the witness' eye tests or whatever to show his vision is terrible and he might not have seen the crash properly.

Third, if you can introduce extrinsic evidence, you have to think about what the limitations on extrinsic evidence for that particular type of impeachment is. For example, if you want to introduce extrinsic evidence of a PIS, I think you have to give the impeached witness the chance to explain/deny it and the opposing party a chance to ask the impeached witness about it. So if the witness just disappears after he has testified and you later want to show he's given PIS, you can't prove that he gave a PIS with extrinsic evidence (but you can still ask about it I'm pretty sure).

Finally, keep in mind that the attorney asking about the prior specific act, if they don't otherwise have proof, has to have a good faith belief in it. They can't just flail around. This is never really an issue in real life since who the fuck can read minds, but I've had a couple MBE PQs where the answer was that the attorney asking the questions couldn't ask them because he was just making things up and hoping to get lucky and catch the witness out.

Oh, and the rule for impeaching your own witness on direct is that you can't call a witness on direct for the sole purpose of impeaching them. But if they say a bunch of shit you didn't expect and fuck you over, you can impeach them immediately as if you were crossing an opponent's witness.



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