Obligatory Finals Kvetching


I just handed in my 24-hour take-home exam in Legal Ethics. The fact that it was an ethics test made me want to do something unethical with it, like post my answer on the Internet or make a bunch of copies of the test and hand them out willy-nilly. Then I realized that these things would help other people to my own detriment, and such altruism has no place in anti-ethics. So I contented myself with almost killing a maintenance worker on my way into the computer lab.

Finals season started off on a bit of a sour note, since my final trial in my Civil Trial Practice class didn't go very well. Apparently the best way to win a trial in the class is by introducing extraneous facts that nullify key points in the hypo. Despite the fact that this is explicitly outlawed by the rules of the course, a few sneakier students have pulled this off with varying degrees of success. It ended up being outcome-determinative in my final trial. Fortunately it was a hung jury rather than an actual loss -- the opposing counsel merely confused the jury to the point where they couldn't reach a verdict in 20 minutes. It'll be nice to see how these students fare in the real world, where they won't be able to win trials by altering the fabric of reality. But enough of my bitching.

Next on the horizon is an in-class MC/Essay Evidence exam. This particular professor had a line out the door at the Dean's office after his exam last semester, with numerous students (many of them 3Ls) claiming that it was the single worst exam they had taken in law school. At the beginning of the semester this time around he owned up to the fact that his previous exam was terrible and vowed to try and correct himself.

The final final will be another 24-hour take-home, but instead of the usual 5-7 page fact pattern it'll be an 80-page case file. So over the course of a day we'll have to read the 80 pages and write a memo based on the case file, the other seventeen 80-120 page case files we've worked through this semester, and a textbook from another course.

To summarize, whenever I start feeling down about the fact that I only have a year of school left before I start working 60+ hours a week until I die, I comfort myself with the knowledge that absurd assignments like these will be much more palatable when the checks are coming in instead of going out.

To the flashcards!


Nonsense. Offering new facts that confuse the central issue is a fabulous way to win. Score one for reality!

they weren't just new facts, they were new facts that were in direct opposition to the required stipulations in the case. i imagine that sort of rapscallionry is frowned upon in Our Judicial System.

Oh. So like, the kinds of facts that aren't really facts at all, but are more like anti-facts, that explode when they touch real facts?

Or real facts that the crappy hypothetical doesn't let you use because it would be inconvenient if reality intruded on the carefully-constructed unreality of moot court? (I had some potentially brilliant arguments during my moot court that I couldn't use because the rules didn't allow actual facts, but rather relied upon anti-facts. Very frustrating. Probably made it fair for the other team, but still frustrating.)

it's definitely frustrating when the crappy NITA case files conflict with reality. in this particular case the case file listed specifications for an actual gun that were incorrect in the real world. but i think that, given the spirit of the class, it's appropriate to limit the scope of the exercise to the anti-facts within the case file. ideally NITA would do better research, but hey, you know? i mean, hey.

Which NITA file? What did you did when the false facts were introduced?

State v. Diamond.

i didn't object when the false facts came in (there's no federal rule against "fighting the hypo"), instead i had the offending witness read the stipulation on cross.

Blah blah blah blah NITA blah blah docket blah blah hypo blah blah facts. Blah stipulations blah blah blah lawyer blah blah blah LSAT.

Heh. You said, "Outcome Determinitive." Hey! That reminds me, I guess I should study for my Civ. Pro Exam later today. Nobody expects rule 19, right!?!

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This page contains a single entry by hb published on May 11, 2004 10:58 AM.

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