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Old 01-25-09, 05:09 PM   #1
Nerdanel 
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Take Out Your Pencils and Begin

I gave two law school final essay exams in December 2008, one in Remedies and one in Civil Procedure. Much thanks to you all for the help you unknowingly gave me in drafting the exams.
I wrote the Remedies problem a day or two after the Dean informed me I would not be getting my sabbatical next year. Here's the set up for the problem:
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Prudence quit her job as a lawyer, loaded her bicycle with camping gear and everything she needed for a year on the road, and set out to cycle across the United States and write a book. After several weeks of cycling and camping, she was looking pretty grubby but having a wonderful time. As she was pedaling through an upscale residential area of Los Diablos County in the state of Westmoreland, she was stopped by Deputy Dean of the Los Diablos Sheriff’s Department (“LDSD”), who said residents had complained of a vagrant in their neighborhood. Prudence explained that she was not a vagrant. The deputy told her she should not be riding her bicycle in the street and, as there were no sidewalks in this part of the county, she was required to walk her bike out of the area and be on her way. Prudence protested that she had consulted the Westmoreland Vehicle Code before entering the state, and correctly informed the deputy that not only was cycling in the street permitted, it was against the law to prohibit bicycles on any public street in the state other than limited access highways. Deputy Dean thereupon took Prudence into custody and confiscated her bicycle and gear.
Prudence winds up being injured when the upper bunk in her cell collapses on her. Meanwhile her 10-year-old bicycle, originally $4000 and made by a now deceased craftsman, disappears. Students are to discuss damages, injunctions, restitution, etc.

Having very little imagination I used the same plaintiff for the Civil Procedure problem. Darren gets served with a nearly incomprehensible complaint by Prudence.:
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Darren’s story. Darren’s auto insurance company assigned Arthur the Attorney to represent Darren in this action. Darren told Arthur that he had, in fact, been involved in a collision at the corner of Broad and High in Los Diablos on April 1, 2007. The intersection has stop signs in all directions and is not very busy. Darren said he was driving on High Street going north. He said he came to a complete stop, thought the intersection was clear, and carefully proceeded into the intersection where he struck someone on a bicycle going west on Broad Street. He said he did not see the cyclist until it was too late to avoid her, and guessed maybe she ran the stop sign or something. Police and paramedics came to the scene and the cyclist was taken to the hospital. No traffic citations were issued.
Carol’s Report. Darren’s insurance company gave Arthur a report made by Carol the Claims Adjuster who investigated the accident for the insurance company six months after the accident. The report includes a memo of a conversation between Carol and Prudence which Prudence does not remember having, a statement from Witness 1 who said neither Prudence nor Darren had stopped at the stop signs before the accident, and a statement from Witness 2 who did not see Prudence before the accident, and said that Darren had stopped before proceeding but had been talking on his hand-held mobile phone when the accident occurred.
The questions in this exam concerned steps taken in the lawsuit. Ultimately,
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After deliberating, the jury returned a verdict for Prudence in the amount of $100,000, about equal to Prudence’s medical expenses and lost wages. When Arthur interviewed them after the jury was discharged, the jurors told him that they doubted that either party had stopped because nobody ever does. However, they ruled in favor of Prudence because several of the jurors, who were regular bicycle commuters, convinced the rest of the jury that they needed to send a message to all drivers to be more careful and look out for bicycles.
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Old 01-25-09, 05:14 PM   #2
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Dear Lord, this brings back memories. Bad ones.
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Old 01-25-09, 08:21 PM   #3
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This reminds me of a problem in engineering school about shooting a 500 pound gorrilla, who was pouncing from a tree, with an automatic BB gun until he was either killed, blown back away from you by the force of the BB gun ( his weight increasing with each BB which entered his tender body), or else he smashed you flat. It required a differential equation, much like questions with no firm answers.

It's above my pay grade.

I'm going to forward a link to #2 son's fiancee, who just passed the bar in two states and is now, thankfully, fully employed.

I'll get back you.
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Old 01-25-09, 08:44 PM   #4
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I am a former lawmaker. This would send us into caucus forever....
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Old 01-25-09, 08:55 PM   #5
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Well that does it! I am NOT going to law school.
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Old 01-25-09, 09:27 PM   #6
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Well that does it! I am NOT going to law school.
Smart. With your grace, your stealthy moves, your ability to make yourself invisible and to fly, you really should be in Ninja school. Either that or the Bloomingdale's junior executive program.
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Old 01-26-09, 05:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Monoborracho View Post
This reminds me of a problem in engineering school about shooting a 500 pound gorrilla, who was pouncing from a tree, with an automatic BB gun until he was either killed, blown back away from you by the force of the BB gun ( his weight increasing with each BB which entered his tender body), or else he smashed you flat. It required a differential equation, much like questions with no firm answers.

It's above my pay grade.

I'm going to forward a link to #2 son's fiancee, who just passed the bar in two states and is now, thankfully, fully employed.

I'll get back you.
Yes, but if the gorilla only gets halfway to you during each sample..........................
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Old 01-26-09, 06:18 AM   #8
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Yes, but if the gorilla only gets halfway to you during each sample..........................

I don't think engineering professors are aware of Zeno's paradox, for the most part.
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Old 01-26-09, 11:10 AM   #9
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I like the one about Prudence...Here is another for you.

I watched Rambo "First Blood" last night. This is my 20th time.

Rambo enters a town and looks like a vagrant. He is trying to get something to eat. The sheriff does not like his looks so he escorts him out of town. Rambo, still being hungry, reenters the jurisdiction and the sheriff arrests him for vagrancy.

He is taken to police head quarters where he is non cooperative. The police use unapproved procedures including assault and battery that cause flashbacks to Vietnam which may be related to post stress syndrome. Rambo breaks out of jail fearing for his life and in the process injures several police officers and he steals a motorcycle.

He is hunted by police in the woods and by defending himself from a policeman who is trying to kill him, throws a rock at a helicopter causing the policemen, who is trying to kill him, to fall to his death. In a battle with police, Rambo sets some man made traps and wounds several police but does not kill any more.

He escapes to return to the town where he shoots the place up, and wounds the sheriff with a machine gun he stole from the National Guard. He gives himself up and is arrested.

Discuss the following...

What recourse, if any, does Rambo have to the town, state and National Guard?

Was it lawful for him to escape from jail since he was being assaulted and beaten?

Since he was pursued and being shot at with intent to kill by police was he in a position to legally defend himself which then resulted in the death of a policemen?

What crimes may Rambo have committed?

Did Rambo commit any Federal crimes?

Since you are a professor, you have 5 minutes to answer the questions. Extra points will be awarded for brevity.
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Old 01-26-09, 11:18 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jet Travis View Post
Smart. With your grace, your stealthy moves, your ability to make yourself invisible and to fly, you really should be in Ninja school. Either that or the Bloomingdale's junior executive program.
The ninja thing is out because Chris Farley set the bar too high.

I'm now leaning toward playing in the NBA, although that Bloomingdale's gig does sound tempting.
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Old 01-26-09, 11:46 AM   #11
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The ninja thing is out because Chris Farley set the bar too high.

I'm now leaning toward playing in the NBA, although that Bloomingdale's gig does sound tempting.
You have nowhere near enough tatoos to play in the NBA.
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Old 01-26-09, 12:10 PM   #12
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For Remedies around here, we pretty much just go to the Pharmacy.
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Old 01-26-09, 12:36 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
I like the one about Prudence...Here is another for you.

I watched Rambo "First Blood" last night. This is my 20th time.

Rambo enters a town and looks like a vagrant. He is trying to get something to eat. The sheriff does not like his looks so he escorts him out of town. Rambo, still being hungry, reenters the jurisdiction and the sheriff arrests him for vagrancy.

He is taken to police head quarters where he is non cooperative. The police use unapproved procedures including assault and battery that cause flashbacks to Vietnam which may be related to post stress syndrome. Rambo breaks out of jail fearing for his life and in the process injures several police officers and he steals a motorcycle.

He is hunted by police in the woods and by defending himself from a policeman who is trying to kill him, throws a rock at a helicopter causing the policemen, who is trying to kill him, to fall to his death. In a battle with police, Rambo sets some man made traps and wounds several police but does not kill any more.

He escapes to return to the town where he shoots the place up, and wounds the sheriff with a machine gun he stole from the National Guard. He gives himself up and is arrested.


Discuss the following...

What recourse, if any, does Rambo have to the town, state and National Guard?

Was it lawful for him to escape from jail since he was being assaulted and beaten?

Since he was pursued and being shot at with intent to kill by police was he in a position to legally defend himself which then resulted in the death of a policemen?

What crimes may Rambo have committed?

Did Rambo commit any Federal crimes?

Since you are a professor, you have 5 minutes to answer the questions. Extra points will be awarded for brevity.
None.
No.
No.
Whatever they decide to charge him with.
Yes.

OK, I have 4 minutes left. Following my students' example I will now fill 15 pages with irrelevant rules and an ungrammatical misstatement of the fact pattern, concluding with a note to the professor that I thought you said this wouldn't be on the exam.
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Old 01-26-09, 01:03 PM   #14
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None.
No.
No.
Whatever they decide to charge him with.
Yes.

OK, I have 4 minutes left. Following my students' example I will now fill 15 pages with irrelevant rules and an ungrammatical misstatement of the fact pattern, concluding with a note to the professor that I thought you said this wouldn't be on the exam.
A+

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