Presentation on theme: "Bar Passage Supplemental Program"— Presentation transcript:
1 Bar Passage Supplemental Program The Multistate Bar Exam (MBE)BYU Law School
2 The Supplemental Program The Multistate Bar ExamMay 6 & 8The Multistate Essay ExamMay 10 & 13The Multistate Performance TestMay 15 & 17Talk about the purpose of the Supplemental Program: the big picture and focus on things that you won’t be able to focus on once you’re swamped with subject matter.
4 Typical Bar Exam 2 days, 6-7 hours of testing per day Composed of: MBE (multiple choice)MEE (short essay)MPT (longer essay/work product)These “national” tests are written by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE)Many state bar organizations write their own essays or performance tests (and therefore don’t use the NCBE provided MEE or MPT)All states but Louisiana use the NCBE provided MBESome states require 3 days of testing
6 The UBE Jurisdictions offering the UBE UBE composition and weight AlabamaNew HampshireArizonaNorth DakotaColoradoIdahoUtahMissouriWashingtonMontanaWyomingNebraskaThe UBE is composed of the MBE, the MEE (6 essays), and the MPT (2 performance tests)Grading weight:MBE: 50%MEE: 30%MPT: 20%It is uniformly administered, graded, and scored by user jurisdictions and results in a portable score (for a period of time)
8 MBE Basics and Jurisdictions The multiple choice aspect of the BarAdministered the second day of the bar exam (on the last Wednesday in February and the last Wednesday in July each year)“Purpose is to assess the extent to which an examinee can apply fundamental legal principles and legal reasoning to analyze given fact patterns.”Given by all jurisdictions except LouisianaEach jurisdiction determines its own policy with regard to the relative weight given to the MBE and other sections
9 The MBE TestContains 200 multiple choice questions, 190 of which are scoredThe 10 unscored are being evaluated for future useThere are 4 possible answers on each questiona, b, c, dMorning testing session:100 questions in 3 hoursAfternoon testing session:Subject areas: Constitutional Law (31), Contracts (33), Criminal Law and Procedure (31), Evidence (31), Real Property (31), and Torts (33).
10 MBE ScoringThe MBE is scaled. This is a form of curve grading based on the difficulty of the particular exam you are taking and how others taking it perform in comparison.EXAMPLE: a raw score of 50% would probably put you close to the bottom 10% of those taking the test, while a raw score of 70% would probably put you in the top 10%THIS MEANS that you can get questions wrong and still get a great score. It also means that you don’t have a lot of wiggle room.Each jurisdiction individually determines what a “passing” score is. UBE jurisdictions use the same standard.
11 MBE Timing 100 questions in 3 hours Shoot to spend 1.8 minutes per questionTry to answer 33 questions per hourRemember that an incredibly long Rule Against Perpetuities question counts the same as a short and easy criminal law question.Be prepared to skip a few questions—and when you skip, truly skipYou can always come back if you have time (only to the 100 you’re currently answering)Truly skip:
12 MBE Strategy Typical approach: Identify the area of law by reading the call of the questionScan the answer choices (be careful not to jump to conclusions!)Read the fact pattern critically and carefullyRe-read the call of the question, and carefully read each answer choiceApply the rule and exception to the fact patternEliminate incorrect answer choicesChoose “best” answer, not the only “right” answerNo more Roman Numeral or Series questions
13 Implement MBE Strategy Identify the area of law by reading the call of the questionScan the answer choices (be careful not to jump to conclusions!)Read the fact pattern critically and carefullyRe-read the call of the question, and carefully read each answer choiceApply the rule and exception to the fact patternEliminate incorrect answer choicesOne morning in a Laundromat, a defendant approached a man and said, “If you don’t pay me $500 by July 2, I’ll beat you to a pulp.” A week later, on July 2 the defendant met the man at a local bar and demanded the money. The man handed the defendant $500. After receiving the money, the defendant then punched the man in the stomach and hurriedly left the bar.Under modern statutory law, the defendant will most likely be found guilty of which of the following crimes?Extortion and batteryExtortion and robberyAssault and batteryAssault and robberyAnswer: A(A)—correct: Statutory extortion covers threats to do future bodily harm. The crime of robbery by intimidation requires that the threat be to do immediate harm. Since the defendant threatened the man with future bodily harm, he would be found guilty of extortion, not robbery. He should also be found guilty of criminal battery (unlawful application of force). Assault does not require such physical contact.(B)—incorrect: he is not guilty of robbery because there was no threat of immediate harm(C)—incorrect: he is not guilty of assault since there was actually physical contact(D)—incorrect: same reasons as above
14 MBE Strategy Eliminate an answer choice if: The answer mischaracterizes or adds to the factsThe answer choice assumes a fact in disputeThe answer’s reasoning is legally incorrectThe law is stated incorrectlyThe answer applies a minority ruleA rule of law is correct, but inapplicableThe answer is not the “best” answerThe answer is partly true, and partly false
15 The Answer Mischaracterizes the Facts An owner of a storage facility stores flammable gases under high pressure in large spherical tanks. The facility was constructed for the owner by a company that specializes in the construction of such facilities. After the facility had been in use for three months, one of the tanks ruptured, causing a spillage and loss of the chemicals. The owner sued the company for strict liability, claiming that the storage tank had been defectively manufactured.At trial, the owner called a photographer who testified she was hired by the owner to photograph the ruptured tank after the accident. She further testified that the roll of film was sent to a commercial film lab where the photographs were developed. Thereupon, the owner’s attorney showed the photographer the photographs, which she identified as the ones she had taken and given to the owner.The owner’s attorney offers 10 photographs into evidence. Upon objection by the company’s counsel, which of the following is the best reason to exclude the photographs from evidence?The photographer was not shown to be an expert or professional photograph.There was an unaccountable break in the chain of custody from the time the photographs were taken to the period when the negatives were processed.No testimony can be offered that the photographs accurately portrayed the ruptured tank.The photographs are not the best evidence to prove how the tank ruptured.Answer: C(A): incorrect—there is no requirement under the rules that the photographer be qualified as an expert or professional.(B): incorrect—answer mischaracterizes the facts—it is predicated on facts that are not contained in the fact pattern (no evidence of break in chain of custody).(C): correct—lack of proper authentication would preclude admissibility if no testimony were offered that the photographs accurately portrayed the ruptured tank.(D): incorrect—the best evidence rule only applies when the contents of a writing, recording, or photographs are at issue.
16 The Answer Assumes a Fact in Dispute A contractor learned that a city intended to open a new grammar school and was going to ask for bids to construct the school. The contractor decided to submit a bid to do the construction. The contractor contacted all of the subcontractors she had worked with in the past, informed them of the specifics of the school construction project, and asked each to submit a bid for the work they would be requested to perform. An insulation company submitted a bid of $25,000 to do the required insulation work in the new school. Based on that and other subcontract bids, the contractor prepared a general bid and submitted it to the city.Three days after the contractor submitted the bid to the city, the insulation company notified the contractor that it had overbooked its workforce and would be unable to perform the insulation work. The next day, the city notified the contractor that she had won the bid to build the school. The contractor was forced to find another company to do the insulation work. The other company charged the contractor $30,000 to do the work.Which of the following arguments supports the claim for $5,000 by the contractor against the insulation company?The contractor had made an offer to the insulation company that the latter accepted when it submitted its bid.The insulation company had made an offer that the contractor accepted by using the insulation company’s bid in computing the bid it submitted to the city.The insulation company’s bid was an offer that it was obligated to hold open, because the insulation company and the contractor were merchants.An option contact was created, because the contractor used the insulation company’s bid in computing the bid it submitted to the city and notified the insulation company of that fact.Answer: D(A): incorrect—assumes an offer was made—the initial communication from the contractor was not an offer but a request for submission of bids.(B): incorrect—assumes an offer was made—the act of using the subcontract bid in general is not acceptance.(C): incorrect—the fact that the parties might be merchants is only relevant when dealing with the sale of goods.(D): correct—the subcontractor is bound by the doctrine of promissory estoppel. The Restatement provides that “an offer which the offeror should reasonably expect to induce action or forbearance is binding as an option contract to the extent necessary to avoid injustice.”
17 The Answer’s Reasoning is Legally Incorrect A defendant was a senior pre-med student at a state university. Before a big football game with their arch rival, the defendant attended a pep rally at the university football field. During the pep rally the students drank beer, sang songs, and gave members of the football team fervent cheers. After the rally ended, the defendant was walking toward his car when he felt the need to relieve himself. He then strutted across the street to a municipal park and urinated against a tree. In this jurisdiction, urinating in public is a misdemeanor.Unknown to the defendant, a parking enforcement officer who was ticketing cars in the area witnessed the incident and wrote down the license number of the defendant’s vehicle as he drove off. She immediately gave the information to the police who did a check and learned the defendant’s identity and home address. Within an hour, the police went to the defendant’s house and forcibly entered the dwelling without a search warrant. While searching his home, they found the defendant studying in an upstairs bedroom. After giving him his Miranda warnings, the defendant confessed to the crime.The defendant was thereafter prosecuted for the misdemeanor. If the defendant moves to suppress evidence of the statement he made to police when he was apprehended, the motion should bedenied, because the defendant received Miranda warnings and was not compelled to incriminate himself.denied, because the defendant volunteered the confession.sustained, because the police lacked probable cause to search the defendant’s home.sustained, because the defendant’s statement was the product of a warrantless entry of his home.Answer: D(A): incorrect—wrong conclusion: even where Miranda warnings are given after the illegal police conduct but before the confession the confession is regarded as inadmissible fruit.(B): incorrect—same reasoning as A(C): incorrect—reasoning is legally incorrect: this choice gives the wrong justification for excluding the defendant’s confession.(D): correct—The exclusionary rule is a remedy for 4th, 5th, and 6th amendment violations by which evidence obtained through illegal searches and seizures is inadmissible, including additional evidence that is tainted as “fruits of the poisonous tree.” As a result of their illegal, warrantless search of the home the defendant’s confession will be properly excluded.
18 The Law is Stated Incorrectly A pedestrian was walking down the sidewalk past a building that was being painted. A ladder used by the painters fell and struck the pedestrian, causing an injury to his shoulder.In an action by the pedestrian against the painting company based on the theory of negligence, which of the following is the most accurate statement regarding the burden of proof?The pedestrian must prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the painting company was negligent.The pedestrian must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the painting company was negligent.The painting company must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that it was not negligent.There is a rebuttal presumption of negligence on the part of the painting company under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur.Answer: BRule of law: In civil actions the burden of proof does not require that the jury be convinced beyond all reasonable doubt, but only be persuaded that the evidence is in favor of the party sustaining the burden.All answers but (B) state this incorrectly.
19 The Answer Applies the Minority Rule A man purchased a new automobile from a local car dealer. After driving the car a total of 2,000 miles over the course of several months, the man sold it to a woman. The woman loaned the auto to a friend. As the fried was operating the vehicle within the posted speed limit, the brakes suddenly failed because of a manufacturing defect. Unable to stop the car, the friend struck a taxi that was being driven by a driver. The colliding cars ended up on the sidewalk, injuring a pedestrian. The collision was due solely to the defective brakes on the woman’s car.If the pedestrian asserts a strict products liability action against the car dealer, the dealer will most likely beliable, because the car was defective when it was sold to the man.liable, because the car dealer failed to make a reasonable inspection of the car before selling it to the man.not liable, because the pedestrian was not the purchaser of the car.not liable, because the pedestrian could have avoided the accident by exercising reasonable care.Answer: A(A): correct—sellers of a product can be held strictly liable for harm resulting from the product being “in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer of his property.” Strict liability can apply to every entity in the chain of distribution of the product, including manufacturer, distributer, or retail seller. The plaintiff must show the defect existed at the time the product left the defendant’s hands and that the defendant was engaged in the business of selling the product.(B): incorrect—strict liability does not require poof of negligence or other fault by the defendant.(C): incorrect—strict products liability claim can be brought by anyone injured by the product, not just the person who was the purchaser, consumer, or user.(D): incorrect—applies a minority rule—on the MBE you should assume that pure comparative fault applies unless the question indicates otherwise. Under pure comparative fault, the plaintiff’s negligence might reduce the recovery of damages to some extent, but it would not completely bar the plaintiff’s claim. If the question told you that the events occurred in a state that uses traditional contributory negligence rules, rather than comparative fault, choice D would still be incorrect—but it mostly incorrect here because it applies a minority rule.
20 The Rule of Law or Statement is Correct, but Inapplicable Several years ago, Bart purchased Goldacre, financing a large part of the purchase price by a loan from Mort that was secured by a mortgage. Bart made the installment payments on the mortgage regularly until last year. Then Bart persuaded Pam to buy Goldacre, subject to the mortgage to Mort. They expressly agreed that Pam would not assume and agree to pay Bart’s debt to Mort. Bart’s mortgage to Mort contained a due-on-sale clause stating, “If Mortgagor transfers his/her interest without the written consent of Mortgagee first obtained, then at Mortgagee’s option the entire principal balance of the debt secured by this Mortgage shall become immediately due and payable.” However, without seeking Mort’s consent, Bart conveyed Goldacre to Pam, the deed stating in pertinent part “ , subject to a mortgage to Mort [giving details and recording data].”Pam took possession of Goldacre and made several mortgage payments, which Mort accepted. Now, however, neither Pam nor Bart has made the last three mortgage payments. Mort has brought an appropriate action against Pam for the amount of the delinquent payments.In this action, judgment should be forPam, because she did not assume and agree to pay Bart’s mortgage debt.Pam, because she is not in privity of estate with Mort.Mort, because Bart’s deed to Pam violated the due-on-sale clause.Mort, because Pam is in privity of estate with Mort.Answer: A.(A): correct—if the transferee does not assume the mortgage, and payments are not made, the mortgagee may foreclose but there is no personal liability upon the transferee(B): incorrect—this is true, but is not the reason that Pam should win(C): incorrect—this may be true if Mort was bringing an action against Bart (but he is bringing an action against Pam)(D): incorrect—this is not true
21 The Answer is not the Best Answer Fran, who was driving at an excessive speed, applied her brakes to stop at a traffic light. Due to damp, fallen leaves, her car skidded and came to a halt perpendicular to the roadway. Sid, who was also driving at an excessive speed and was immediately behind Fran, saw Fran’s car perpendicular to the roadway. Although Sid had sufficient distance to come to a slow, controlled stop, he decided not to slow down but, rather, to swerve to the left in an effort to go around Fran’s car. Due to oncoming traffic, the space was insufficient and Sid’s car collided with Fran’s car, severely injuring Fran.Fran filed a personal injury action against Sid in a jurisdiction in which contributory negligence is a bar to recovery.Will Fran prevail?Yes, if the jury finds that Sid was more than 50% at fault.Yes, if the jury finds that Sid had the last clear chance.No, if the jury finds that Fran’s conduct was in any way a legal cause of the accident.No, if the jury finds that, in speeding, Fran assumed the risk.Answer: B(A) incorrect—percentage of fault is irrelevant for contributory negligence(B) correct—the last clear chance rule provides a basis for recovery even where plaintiff is contributorily negligent if the D had the last chance to avoid the injury.(C) incorrect—this is true but not the BEST answer (last clear chance still trumps)(D) incorrect—this is true but not the BEST answer (last clear chance still trumps)
22 The Answer is Partly True, Partly False A state labor code provided that no employer in the state shall knowingly employ an alien who is not lawfully residing in the United States if such employment would have an adverse effect on lawful residents’ right to work. A group of immigrant farm workers were continually refused employment contracts by the labor contractors in the state. Instead, the labor contractors had employed many alien workers since they would toil longer hours for less wages. The immigrant farm workers now bring suit in state court pursuant to the above-mentioned statutory provision.Which of the following determinations would most likely result as a consequence of the immigrant workers’ lawsuit?The court would declare the statute unconstitutional as violative of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.The court would declare the statute constitutional as within the realm of rights reserved to the states by the Eleventh Amendment.The court would declare the statute unconstitutional since the regulation of immigration is preempted.The court would declare the statute constitutional since the states are not preempted in the area of economic regulation of illegal aliens.Answer: D(A): incorrect—the equal protection clause provides heightened protection for groups whose legal classifications are suspect and for groups whose legal classifications are quasi suspect. The illegal immigrants may have been the subject of discrimination by the legislature, but they are not members of a suspect or quasi-suspect class. Only rational review will be applied, which the state will likely pass with ease.(B): incorrect—partly true, partly false—the eleventh amendment applies only when someone is suing the federal government.(C): incorrect—it is clearly within the state’s police powers to regulate the employment relationship of illegal aliens.(D): correct—the court in DeCanas v. Bica held a California Labor Code statute that “prohibits an employer from knowingly employing an alien who it not entitled to lawful residence in the US if such employment would have an adverse effect on lawful resident workers” constitutional as a regulation of immigration.
23 MBE Strategy—Other Tips NEVER assume factsIf two answers are exactly opposite, one is probably trueFocus on conjunctions (“because,” “if,” “only if,” “unless”)Be leery of absolutes (“always,” “never,” “all,” “any,” “every” etc.)Avoid skipping aroundAfter each question, let it go, even if you’ve marked it to come back laterDo as many practice questions as you possibly canThis isn’t just answering questions—it’s carefully going through the explanation/annotated answer for each question and understanding why the answers are right or wrong.Identify which subjects are difficult for you, and memorize and then practice again.
24 Answer Choice Assumes Facts Karen was crossing Main Street at a crosswalk. John, who was on the sidewalk nearby, saw a speeding automobile heading in Karen’s direction. John ran into the street and pushed Karen out of the path of the car. Karen fell to the ground and broke her leg.In an action for battery brought by Karen against John, will Karen prevail?Yes, because John cold have shouted a warning instead of pushing Karen out of the way.Yes, if Karen was not actually in danger and John should have realized it.No, because the driver of the car was responsible for Karen’s injury.No, if John’s intent was to save Karen, not to harm her.Answer: B.(A) incorrect—a warning would not be required in this situation(B) correct—a rescuer may act, and have a defense from battery only if plaintiff is in real danger or a reasonable mistake was made about the danger(C) incorrect—assumes facts not included in fact pattern (where driver is not responsible)(D) incorrect—intent is not all that matters here--for battery it only matters if there was an intention to do the action (push her out of the way)
25 If Two Answer Choices are Exactly Opposite, One is Probably True In 1998, a landowner owned a 30-acre tract located just inside the city. The tract included the family home, a decaying mansion, and a smaller second house that was once occupied by tenants who framed the city. The second house, however, had long been vacant as a result of the economic decay of the surrounding area.Prosperity burst upon the city in 1999 and the landowner began selling acre lots in the tract. By 2006, the landowner had sold 25 acres, retaining five acres that included the antebellum mansion and former tenant’s house.On May 19, 2007 the landowner entered into a valid written contract with a buyer. According to the terms of their agreement, the landowner agreed to sell and convey his remaining interest in the tract for a consideration of $500,000. The land sale contract provided a closing date of November 19, 2007 and stipulated that “time was of the essence.”On July 2, 2007, a fire destroyed the antebellum mansion. The landowner had the mansion insured for $450,000 against fire and loss and collected that amount from the insurance company. At the closing on November 19, the buyer tendered a cashier’s check for $50,000 and demanded a deed conveying a fee simple interest in the property. Conversely, the landowner tendered a deed of conveyance and demanded the full purchase price of $500,000. The buyer refused the landowner’s demand.In an appropriate action for specific performance against the buyer, the landowner demanded $500,000. If the landowner prevails, which of the following is the best rationale for the outcome?The fact that the antebellum mansion was insured for $450,000 is irrelevant.The landowner and the buyer each had an insurable interest in the property.The doctrine of equitable conversion has been abolished.The doctrine of equitable conversion requires such a result.Answer: D(A): incorrect—it could be argued that the court awarded the landowner $500,00 because the court chose to ignore the policy, but this does not explain fully why the particular result was required (factually correct, but not the BEST answer)(B): incorrect—even if both the landowner and the buyer each had an insurable interest in the property, this still does not explain why the landowner was awarded the fully $500,000.(C): incorrect—this is the exact opposite of the correct answer and would be a reason NOT to awarded the landowner $500,000.(D): correct—An executory contract for the sale of land requiring the the seller to execute a deed conveying legal title upon payment of the full purchase price works an equitable conversion in order to make the purchaser the equitable owner of the land and the equitable seller the equitable owner of the purchase price. The result is that the purchaser, as equitable owner in the land, takes the benefit of all subsequent increases in value and, at the same time, becomes subject to all losses not occasioned b the fault of the seller. The purchaser, to protect himself, either must procure his own insurance, or by an appropriate provision in the contract, cast the risk upon the seller.
26 Focus on ConjunctionsA seat in a movie theater collapsed, causing the customer sitting in that seat to fall to the ground and suffer a back injury.In a personal injury action by the customer against the theater, the customer will most likelyRecover, because the theater was under an absolute duty of care to make the premises safe for the protection of its customers.Recover, only if the theater had prior knowledge of the dangerous condition of the seat.Not recover, because the theater was under no obligation to inspect the premises to discover unknown dangers.Not recover, unless the theater failed to make a reasonable inspection of the seats for the safety of its customers.Answer: D(A): incorrect—the duty owed to an invitee is to warn and inspect for dangerous conditions, but it is not an absolute duty(B): incorrect—the customer will not recover only if the theater had prior knowledge but also if the theater failed to make a reasonable inspection of the premises.(C): incorrect—the theater was under duty to make a reasonable inspection of the safety of the premises for its customers.(D): correct—A person who enters the premises of a business that concerns the occupier, and on his invitation, is an invitee. The occupant of the property is under a duty to protect invitees against known dangers, and those which with reasonable care he might discover. The business/occupier must inspect the premises to discover possible dangerous conditions of which he does not know.
27 Focus on ConjunctionsA customer in a restaurant ordered a bowl of the restaurant’s famous Manhattan clam chowder. While eating the chowder, the customer broke a tooth on a pebble in the soup, which a reasonable inspection would not have discovered. When the customer complained to the restaurant’s owner, the owner admitted that the chowder was not, in fact, homemade, but that it had been poured from a can of chowder purchased from a wholesale distributor of food products.In a strict liability action by the customer against the restaurant, he will most likelyRecover, if a reasonable customer would not expect the presence of such a pebble in the chowder.Recover, but only if the restaurant had received prior notice of the defective condition in the soup.Not recover, because a reasonable inspection of the soup would not have disclosed the existence of the pebble.Not recover, because the soup would not constitute an unreasonably dangerous product when it was served to the customer.Answer: A(A): correct—A “reasonable consumer expectations test” would be used here. Most courts ask whether the presence of the harmful item in the food would have been anticipated by a reasonable consumer. If a reasonable consumer would not have expected a pebble to be in the chowder, he would be able to recover for the injured tooth.(B): incorrect—there is no requirement that the defendant have prior notice of the defect(C): incorrect—strict liability is available in these circumstance—so a reasonable inspection would not be enough(D): incorrect—liability could be imposed on the restaurant if the presence of the pebble in the chowder was something that a reasonable customer would not expect.
28 MBE Strategy MOST IMPORTANTLY KNOW THE LAW You know how to study for this—it’s very similar to any other multiple choice law school examUse commercial/course outlines to make your own condensed versionMEMORIZE rules and exceptions to rulesThen practice, practice, practice
29 Next Time… MBE subject areas and subject matter outlines What you might not have learned in law school…Specific example questionsAnswers to first 33 homework questions
30 When to eliminate an answer choice MBE Strategy ReviewMBE Question StrategyWhen to eliminate an answer choiceIdentify the area of law by reading the call of the questionScan the answer choices (be careful not to jump to conclusions!)Read the fact pattern critically and carefullyRe-read the call of the question, and carefully read each answer choiceApply the rule and exception to the fact patternEliminate incorrect answer choicesThe answer mischaracterizes the factsThe answer choice assumes a fact in disputeThe answer’s reasoning is legally incorrectThe law is stated incorrectlyThe answer applies a minority ruleA rule of law is perfectly stated, but inapplicable to the issueThe answer is not the “best” answerThe answer is partly true, and partly false
32 Constitutional Law Subject Matter Outline The nature of judicial reviewRelationship of state and federal courtsJurisdictionJudicial reviewThe separation of powersPowers of CongressPowers of PresidentFederal interbranch relationshipsThe relation of nation and states in the federal systemIntergovernmental immunitiesFederalism-based limits on state authorityIndividual rightsState actionDue processEqual protectionTakingsP&I Clause, Contracts clause, Bills of Attainder, Ex Post FactoFirst Amendment freedomsNCBE is kindest when it comes to Con Law—typically students score very high on this areaMost tested: Relation of Nation and States, First AmendmentOverall, though, questions are pretty evenly distributed.Love to throw in due process, P&I clause and Contracts clause to answer choices (usually as a red herring)Visit to find full outlines
33 What did you didn’t learn in Constitutional Law… Judicial Review (Administrative Law)“case or controversy requirement”: standing, ripeness, mootness“adequate and independent state ground”JusiticiabilitySeparation of Powers (Administrative Law)Powers of Congress, the President, and interbranch relationshipsIndividual Rights (Fourteenth Amendment)Due processEqual ProtectionTakingsFirst Amendment Freedoms (First Amendment)Freedom of religion and separation of church and stateFreedom and expressionFreedom of the pressFreedom of association
34 Sample Constitutional Question #1 The navy wanted to build a naval base on the north shore of an island in Hawaii. Situated along the north shore of this island were coral reefs which are the home of a very rare species of fish that are found only along the north shore area.Congress conducted hearings to decide whether to authorize the construction of the naval base. During the hearings, one of the speakers who addressed the congressional committee was a famous expert on oceanography and marine biology. The expert vehemently opposed the naval plan and stated that the construction would, in his opinion, result in the extinction of the rare species of fish. Congress thereafter approved the construction of the naval base and passed a bill providing necessary authorization and funding for the project.The expert has filed an action in federal district court seeking to enjoin the construction of the naval base on ecological grounds. Does the expert have adequate standing?Yes, because he has a person stake in the litigation.Yes, because he is a recognized expert on marine biology and he testified at the congressional hearings.No, because he suit presents a nonjusticiable political question.No, because he is not suffering any actual harm or injury.Answer: DSTANDING(A): incorrect—the professor has not suffered nor will suffer any personal injury. His grievance can be shared by anyone who is interested in preventing damage to the environment.(B): incorrect—the expert’s expertise cannot compensate for his lack of personal injury.(C): incorrect—the extinction of a rare species of fish may present serious environmental problems but does not present issues that are related to the political question doctrine.(D): correct—standing is limited to those who allege that they personally have suffered or will imminently suffer an injury.
35 Sample Constitutional Question #2 Congress enacted a statute designed to make the stabilization of rents more effective throughout the United States. The statute will be applicable to all leasehold contracts hereafter entered into between landlords and tenants involving residential and commercial properties. The new federal statute is intended to protect tenants from spiraling rents and profiteering by landlords without curtailing the supply of rental units or depriving landlords of substantial constitutional rights.The new federal statute would be most clearly constitutional as applied toThe rental of a state-owned office building by a state to a privately owned business.The rental of residential property located in the District of Columbia by an individual landlord to a family of six.The rental of an apartment located by a real estate company to an individual tenant.The rental of an office building to a city by an individual landlord.Answer: BPOWERS OF CONGRESS(A): incorrect—for purposes of the controlling clause (see below) a state does not fall within Congress’s federal jurisdiction.(B): correct—Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 gives Congress power “to dispose of and make all needful rules and regulations respecting lands of the United States.” Since DC is under federal jurisdiction, B is the best answer.(C): incorrect—This relationship could be governed by the state, but not the federal government.(D): incorrect—A city does not fall within Congress’s federal jurisdiction.
36 Sample Constitutional Question #3 There are 2,000 insurance agents licensed under the general licensing laws of a state. The state legislature recently passed a highly controversial bill that, inter alia, reduces “good driver” automobile insurance rates and prohibits price fixing and discrimination by insurance companies. This bill passed despite a well-financed and intense lobbying effort mounted by the insurance industry. After this law was enacted, an insurance agent who is a resident of the state, was interviewed by the local newspaper and publicly stated, “the legislature is a bunch of self-serving crooks.” After the statement made newspaper headlines, the state legislature enacted a statute providing that “the state insurance license of the insurance agent is henceforth revoked.” Astonished by the legislature’s action, the insurance agent, who remains unrepentant, seeks your legal advice.Your should advise the insurance agent that the state statute revoking her state insurance license isConstitutional, because a state license is a privilege and not a right and, therefore, is not protected by the due process clause.Unconstitutional, because it denies her the equal protection of the laws.Unconstitutional, because it is a prohibited bill of attainder.Unconstitutional, because it is a denial of a privilege or immunity protected by Article IV.Answer: CBILLS OF ATTAINDER/INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS(A): incorrect—A state-issued license can be a right protected under the due process clause. Here the agent did not receive fair notice and a hearing, normal requirements of due process.(B): incorrect—The equal protection clause provides heightened protection for groups whose legal classifications are suspect and quasi suspect. The insurance agent may have been the subject of discrimination by the legislature but not because she is a member of one of these classes.(C): correct—A bill of attainder is any form of legislative punishment of a named group or individual without a judicial trial. Under Article I federal and state governments are prohibited from enacting bills of attainder.(D): incorrect—The P&I clause would prevent the state legislature from discriminating against those who are out-of-staters.
37 Sample Constitutional Question #4 A state enacts a statute that will allocate funds generated by state taxes to pay for one-half of the annual salaries of teachers of private schools, whether the school of public or private, as long as the schools satisfy the requirements established by the United States Department of Education.In an action brought by several state taxpayers, all avowed atheists, to challenge the constitutionality of the statute, the enactment will most likely be declaredUnconstitutional, as violative of the First Amendment’s establishment clause.Unconstitutional, as violative of the First Amendment’s establishment clause as applied through the Fourteenth Amendment.Constitutional, as nonviolative of the First Amendment’s establishment clause.Constitutional, as being within the area of compelling state interest.Answer: BFIRST AMENDMENT(A): incorrect—this is true, but not the best answer.(B): In Lemon v. Kurtzman the Supreme Court held unconstitutional a statute that provided payment for salary supplements to parochial schoolteachers who taught solely secular subjects. This is applied to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause. The Establishment Clause, on its face only prevents “Congress” from establishing a religion.(C): This conclusion directly contradicts the holding in Lemon.(D): It is unlikely that the Court will deem this interest to be compelling.
38 Sample Constitutional Question #5 Congress has recently enacted a statute requiring all males between the ages of 18 and 30 to take a physical examination each year. The results of the exam are sent to a government data information center for the purpose of keeping information about men who may be drafted into the military.A 25-year-old law school graduate has herpes. He has recently sent resumes to many governmental agencies. Fearful that the information about his herpes condition will become available, he seeks a declaratory judgment that would forbid the government from requiring him to take a physical examination.Which of the following is the best constitutional basis in support of the federal law?The commerce clause.The dormant commerce clause.To raise and support an army and navy.To provide for the general welfare.Answer: CCONGRESSIONAL STATUTE ENACTMENT(A): The commerce clause is inapplicable here—there are no commercial transactions taking place.(B): No congressional statute can be unconstitutional because it is violative of the dormant commerce clause, the concept of the DCC pertains only to local governments who pass laws that discriminate against out-of-staters or places an undue burden on interstate commerce.(C): Under Article I Congress has a wide war power authority. Certainly the draft and selective service systems have been repeatedly upheld as a proper exercise of this power.(D): The Supreme Court has taken the reference to “general welfare” in Article I to mean that Congress enjoys great discretion in how it chooses to allocate money for the public.
40 Contracts Subject Matter Outline Formation of ContractsMutual assent (offer and acceptance)ConsiderationDefenses to EnforceabilityIncapacityDuressUndue InfluenceMistake, MisunderstandingFraud, MisrepresentationIllegalityStatute of FraudsParol Evidence and interpretationPerformance, Breach, DischargeConditionsImpracticability and Frustration of PurposeDischarge of dutiesWarrantiesAnticipatory RepudiationRemediesThird Party RightsMost tested: Formation, Breach and Discharge of DutiesLOVE to use confusing dates and complex fact patterns that are difficult to apply the rules to or mask the true issue they’re testingVisit to find full outlines
41 What did you didn’t learn in Contracts… Remedies:Measure of damages and expectation interestsConsequential damages: causation, certainty, and forseeabilityLiquidated damages and penaltiesMitigationRecission and reformationSpecific performance; injunction against breach; declaratory judgmentRestitutionary and reliance recoveriesRemedial rights of breaching partiesThird-party rights:Third-party beneficiaries (intended, incidental, impairment of, and enforcement)Assignment of rights and delegation of duties
42 Sample Contracts Question #1 Bye Bye telegraphed Vendor on June 1, “At what price will you sell 100 of your QT- Model garbage-disposal units for delivery around June 10?” Thereafter, the following communications were exchanged:Telegram from Vendor received by Bye Bye on June 2: “You’re in luck. We have only 100 QT’s, all on clearance at 50% off usual wholesale of $120 per unit, for delivery at our shipping platform on June 12.”Letter from Bye Bye received in U.S. mail by Vendor on June 5: “I accept. Would prefer to pay in full 30 days after invoice.”Telegram from Vendor received by Bye Bye on June 6: “You must pick up at our platform and pay C.O.D.”Letter from Bye Bye received in U.S. mail by Vendor on June 9: “I don’t deal with people who can’t accommodate our simple requests.”Telegram from Bye Bye received by Vendor on June 10, after Vendor had sold and delivered all 100 of the QT’s to another buyer earlier that day: “Okay. I’m over a barrel and will pick up the goods on your terms June 12.”Bye Bye now sues Vendor for breach of contract. Which of the following arguments will best serve Vendor’s defense?Vendor’s telegram received on June 2 was merely a price quotation, not an offer.Bye Bye’s letter received on June 5 was not an acceptance because it varied the terms of Vendor’s initial telegram.Bye Bye’s use of the mails in response to Vendor’s initial telegram was an ineffective method of acceptance.Bye Bye’s letter received on June 9 was an unequivocal refusal to perform that excused Vendor even if the parties had previously formed a contract.Answer: DOFFER AND ACCEPTANCE (UCC)(A): incorrect—the June 2 telegram was an offer that wasn’t accepted(B): incorrect—both are merchants so mirror image is not required (UCC)(C): incorrect—both are merchants, UCC allows for acceptance to be given in any reasonable manner(D): correct—Bye Bye had previously refused to perform and therefore was in breach of any contract formed so Vendor was no longer bound
43 Sample Contracts Question #2 A written construction contract began with the following recital: “This Agreement, between Land, Inc. (hereafter called ‘Owner’), and Builder, Inc., and Boss, its President (hereafter called ‘Contractor’), witnesseth:” The signatures to the contract appeared in the following format:LAND, INC. By /s/ Oscar LandPresidentBUILDER, INC. By /s/ George MasonVice President/s/ Mary Boss,Builder, Inc., became insolvent and defaulted. Land, Inc., sued Boss individually for the breach, and at the trial Boss proffered evidence from the pre-contract negotiations that only Builder, Inc., was to be legally responsible for performing the contract.If the court finds the contract to be completely integrated, is Boss’s proffered evidence admissible?Yes, because the writing is ambiguous as to whether or not Boss was intended individually to be a contracting party.Yes, because the evidence would contradict neither the recital nor the form of Boss’s signature.No, because the legal effect of Boss’s signature cannot be altered by evidence of prior understandings.No, because the application of the “four corners” rule, under which the meaning of a completely integrated contract must be ascertained solely from its own terms.Answer: A.PAROL EVIDENCE RULEA: correct—this is a completely integrated contract—parties intend K to represent the “complete and exclusive” statement of terms. But, if introduced to explain or interpret an ambiguous point in the K, it is admissible (as long as it doesn’t supplement)B: incorrect—The evidence can’t bring in any supplemental terms at all if writing is completely integrated even if they are not contradictory.C: incorrect—Evidence of prior understandings is allowed if ambiguity exists.D: incorrect—The contract’s meaning is still being ascertained from four corners, the evidence simply explains the four corners
44 Sample Contracts Question #3 On March 1, Mechanic contracted to repair Textiles’ knitting machine and to complete the job by March 6. On March 2, Textiles contracted to manufacture and deliver specified cloth to Knitwear on March 15. Textiles knew that it would have to use the machine then under repair to perform this contract. Because the Knitwear order was for a rush job, Knitwear and Textiles includedin their contract a liquidated damages clause, providing that Textiles would pay $5,000 for each day’s delay in delivery after March 15.Mechanic was inexcusably five days late in repairing the machine, and, as a result, Textiles was five days late in delivering the cloth to Knitwear. Textiles paid $25,000 to Knitwear as liquidated damages and now sues Mechanic for $25,000. Both Mechanic and Textiles knew when making their contract on March 1 that under ordinary circumstances Textiles would sustain little or no damages of any kind as a result of a five-day delay in the machine repair.Assuming that the $5,000 liquidated damages clause in the Knitwear-Textiles contract is valid, which of the following arguments will serve as Mechanic’s best defense to Textiles’ action?Time was not of the essence in the Mechanic-Textiles contract.Mechanic had no reason to foresee on March 1 that Knitwear would suffer consequential damages in the amount of $25,000.By entering into the Knitwear contract while knowing that its knitting machine was being repaired, Textiles assumed the risk of any delay loss to Knitwear.In all probability, the liquidated damages paid by Textiles to Knitwear are not the same amount as the actual damages sustained by Knitwear in consequence of Textiles’ late delivery of the cloth.Answer: B.DAMAGES(A): incorrect—this is an untrue statement that mischaracterizes the facts.(B): correct—looking solely at Mechanic-Textiles contract, this is a true statement and the best defense(C): incorrect—this is not necessarily true—they expected to have it done by March 6 with time to complete the order(D): incorrect—this answer assumes facts not contained in the fact pattern.
45 Sample Contracts Question #4 On April 1, Owner and Buyer signed a writing in which Owner, “in consideration of $100 to be paid to Owner by Buyer,” offered Buyer the right to purchase Greenacre for $100,000 within 30 days. The writing further provided, “This offer will become effective as an option only if and when the $100 consideration is in fact paid.” On April 20, Owner, having received no payment or other communication from Buyer, sold and conveyed Greenacre to Citizen for $120,000. On April 21, Owner received a letter from Buyer enclosing a cashier’s check for $100 payable to Owner and stating, “I am hereby exercising my option to purchase Greenacre and am prepared to close whenever you’re ready.”In a later suit against Owner, Buyer prevailed. Which of the following is buyer entitled to recover?Nominal damages only, because the remedy of specific performance was not available to Buyer.The fair market value, if any, of an assignable option to purchase Greenacre for $100,000.$20,000 plus the amount, if any, by which the fair market value of Greenacre on the date of Owner’s breach exceeded $120,000.The amount, if any, by which the fair market value of Greenacre on the date of Owner’s breach exceeded $100,000.Answer: DREMEDIESA: incorrect—this is an untrue statement—even if specific performance is not available nominal damages are not the only optionB: incorrect—this would be too difficult for the court to calculate and this is not really what he lostC: incorrect—this is simply a complex statement to throw test-takerD: correct—this answer defines the buyer’s expectation damages (what he really lost)
46 Sample Contracts Question #5 In exchange for a valid and sufficient consideration, Goodbar orally promised Walker, who had no car and wanted a minivan, “to pay to anyone from whom you buy a minivan within the next six months the full purchase-price thereof.” Two months later, Walker bought a used minivan on credit from Minivanity Fair, Inc., for $8,000. At the time, Minivanity Fair was unaware of Goodbar’s earlier promise to Walker, but learned of it shortly after the sale.Can Minivanity Fair enforce Goodbar’s promise to Walker?Yes, under the doctrine of promissory estoppel.Yes, because Minivanity Fair is an intended beneficiary of the Goodbar-Walker contract.No, because Goodbar’s promise to Walker is unenforceable under the suretyship clause of the statute of frauds.No, because Minivanity Fair was neither identified when Goodbar’s promise was made, nor aware of it when the minivan-sale was made.1998 question 172.Answer is B.THIRD PARTY BENEFICIARIES(A): incorrect—promissory estoppel is inapplicable in this situation(B): correct—Minivanity is creditor beneficiary and has the right to seek enforcement against a breaching promisor(C): incorrect—this is inapplicable (but sounds important…)(D): incorrect—this is not necessary to become an intended beneficiary
48 Criminal Law Subject Matter Outline HomicideIntended killingsUnintended killingsOther CrimesTheftReceiving stolen goodsRobbery and BurglaryAssault and BatteryRapeKidnappingArsonInchoate CrimesOffenses and parties to crimeGeneral PrinciplesActs and omissionsState of mindCausationJustificationJurisdictionConstitutional Protection of AccusedArrest, Search and SeizureConfessions and privilege against self-incriminationLineups and right to counselFair Trial, Guilty Pleas, Double JeopardyBurdens of proof and persuasionPretty even distribution of questions in these areas (about half are crim law, half are crim pro)Always test the distinctions between theft crimes (i.e. robbery, burglary, larceny) AND focus on searches and seizures and right to counsel in procedure area. Also focus on common law v. majority law rules.Rules can easily be memorized and this is one of the easiest areas of the MBE as far as application.Visit to find full outlines
49 What did you didn’t learn in Crim Law/Pro… Other Crimes:Theft: larceny, embezzlement, false pretensesReceiving stolen goodsRobberyBurglaryAssault and batteryKidnappingArsonPossession offenses
50 Sample Criminal Question #1 After being fired from his job, Mel drank almost a quart of vodka and decidedto ride the bus home. While on the bus, he saw a briefcase he mistakenly thoughtwas his own, and began struggling with the passenger carrying the briefcase. Melknocked the passenger to the floor, took the briefcase, and fled. Mel was arrestedand charged with robbery.Mel should be:Acquitted, because he used no threats and was intoxicated.Acquitted, because his mistake negated the required specific intent.Convicted, because his intoxication was voluntary.Convicted, because mistake is no defense to robbery.Answer: BSPECIFIC INTENT CRIMES AND DEFENSES(A): incorrect—threats are inapplicable, intoxication only matters when it negates the required specific intent(B): correct—theft crimes are specific intent crimes—requiring more than just actus reus and his mistake can negate that required specific intent(C): incorrect—voluntary intoxication is a defense to a crime when it negates the required mental state (required mental state wasn’t present in the first place)(D): incorrect—not true—specific intent is required in this situation so mistake can be a defense (rule of law stated incorrectly)
51 Sample Criminal Question #2 In which of the following situations would Defendant’s mistake most likely constitute a defense to the crime charged?A local ordinance forbids the sale of alcoholic beverages to persons under 18 years of age. Relying on false identification, Defendant sells champagne to a 16-year-old high school student. Defendant is charged with illegal sale of alcoholic beverages.Mistaking Defendant for a narcotics suspect, an undercover police officer attempts to arrest him. Defendant, unaware that the person who has grabbed him is an officer, hit him and knocks him unconscious. Defendant is charged with assault.Defendant, aged 23, has sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old prostitute who tells Defendant that she is 18. Defendant is charged with the felony of statutory rape under a statute that makes sexual relations with a child under 16 a felony.Relying on erroneous advice from his attorney that, if his wife has abandoned him for more than a year, he is free to marry, Defendant remarries and is subsequently charged with bigamy.Answer: BMISTAKE(A): incorrect—strict liability crime, mistake is no defense(B): correct—self defense is a defense to assault, and this mistake can constitute a defense(C): incorrect—statutory rape is a strict liability crime, mistake is no defense(D): incorrect—mistake of law is generally not a defense
52 Sample Criminal Question #3 Sam and two of his friends were members of a teenage street gang. While they were returning from a dance late one evening, their car collided with a car driven by an elderly woman. After an argument, Sam attacked the elderly woman with his fists and beat her to death. Sam’s two friends watched, and when they saw the woman fall to the ground they urged Sam to flee. Sam was eventually apprehended and tried for manslaughter, but the jury could not decide on a verdict.If Sam’s companions are subsequently tried as accomplices to manslaughter, they should beAcquitted, because Sam was not convicted of the offense.Acquitted, because they did not assist or encourage Sam to commit the crime.Convicted, because they urged him to flee.Convicted, because they made no effort to intervene.Answer: BACCOMPLICES(A): incorrect—this is inapplicable if their individual trial concluded that they were accomplices to manslaughter(B): correct—an accomplice must assist or encourage the commission of a crime and have intent to do so. They did not assist or encourage the actual crime committed.(C): incorrect—the subsequent flight is not the crime committed(D): incorrect—no intervention is required of them
53 Sample Criminal Question #4 Scott held up a drugstore at 10:30 at night, and drove away. His car broke down in an isolated area just outside the small city in which the crime occurred. Scott walked to the nearest house and asked Henry, the homeowner, if he could stay until the next morning, explaining that he had been searching for his sister’s home and had run out of gas. Henry agreed to let him sleep on a couch in the basement. During the course of the night, Henry began to doubt the story Scott had told him. Early the next morning, Henry called the police and said he was suspicious and frightened of a stranger whom he had allowed to stay the night. The police went immediately to the house to assist Henry and walked through the open front door. They found Scott and Henry drinking coffee in the kitchen. When they saw Scott, they realized he matched the description of the drugstore robber. They arrested Scott and in his jacket they found drugs taken during the robbery.Scott moves to suppress the evidence of the drugs.If the court finds that the police did not have probable cause to believe Scott was the robber until they saw him inside Henry’s house and realized he matched the description, the court shouldGrant the motion, because, as a guest, Scott has sufficient standing to contest the entry of the house without a warrant.Grant the motion, because as a guest, Scott has sufficient standing to contest the lack of probable cause at the time of entry.Deny the motion, because Scott had no ownership or other possessory interest in the premises.Deny the motion, because the police had the permission of the owner to enter the house.Answer: D.SEARCH AND SEIZURE(A): incorrect—as a guest and without an ownership interest in the property he does not have standing to contest the entry(B): incorrect—as a guest and without an ownership interest in the property he does not have standing to contest the lack of probable cause—and even if he does have standing to contest, that doesn’t mean the motion should necessarily be granted.(C): incorrect—good answer, but not the best, Scott’s lack of ownership or possessory interest in the premises is not the only reason to deny the motion(D): correct—best answer—what matters here is that the owner gave police permission
54 Sample Criminal Question #5 On May 1, 1987, a car driven by Debra struck Peggy, a pedestrian. On July 1, 1987, with regard to this incident, Debra pleaded guilty to reckless driving (a misdemeanor) and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and a fine of $1,000. She served the sentence and paid the fine. On April 1, 1988, Peggy died as a result of the injuries she suffered in the accident. On March 1, 1991, a grand jury indicted Debra on a charge of manslaughter of Peggy. On May 15, 1991, trial had not begun and Debra filed a motion to dismiss the indictment on the ground of double jeopardy in that her conviction of reckless driving arose out of the same incident, and on the ground that the three-year statute of limitations for manslaughter had run.Debra’s motion should beGranted only on double jeopardy grounds.Granted only on statute of limitations grounds.Granted on either double jeopardy grounds or statute of limitations grounds.Denied on both grounds.Answer: DDOUBLE JEOPARDY and STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS(A): incorrect—crimes constitute the same offense for DJ purposes if one set of facts proves them both—here an additional fact (Peggy’s death) is added after the first trial(B): incorrect—the statute of limitations no longer runs after an indictment is made(C): incorrect—the phrasing of this answer choice is almost always wrong (“or”)(D): correct—for all of the reasons above
56 Evidence Subject Matter Outline Presentation of evidenceIntroduction of EvidencePresumptionsMode and OrderImpeachment, Contradiction, and RehabilitationProceedings to which evidence rules applyRelevancy and reasons for excluding relevant evidenceProbative valueAuthentication and IdentificationCharacter and related conceptsExpert testimonyReal, Demonstrative, and Experimental EvidencePrivileges and other policy exclusionsSpousal immunity, Attorney-Client, and Physician-PatientRemedial MeasuresCompromise, Payment of Medical Expenses, Plea NegotiationsPast Sexual ConductWritings, Recordings and PhotographsHearsay and circumstances of its admissibilityAlmost 30% of evidence tested on the MBE is about hearsay and its common exceptions, and another 30% is on the presentation of evidence.Also easily memorized rules—there’s just a lot of them to know.Visit to find full outlines
57 What did you didn’t learn in Evidence… Introduction of Evidence:Personal knowledge, refreshing recollection, objections and offers of proof, lay opinions, judicial notice, roles of judge and jury, limited accessibilityPresumptionsMode and Order:Control by the court, scope of examination, form of questions, exclusion of witnesses
58 Sample Evidence Question #1 At Defendant’s trial for sale of drugs, the government called Witness to testify, but Witness refused to answer any questions about Defendant and was held in contempt of court. The government then calls Officer to testify that, when Witness was arrested for possession of drugs and offered leniency if he would identify his source, Witness had named Defendant as his source.The testimony offered concerning Witnesses’s identification of Defendant isAdmissible as a prior inconsistent statement by Witness.Admissible as an identification of Defendant by Witness after having perceived him.Inadmissible, because it is hearsay not within any exception.Inadmissible, because Witness was not confronted with the statement while on the stand.Answer: CHEARSAY(A): incorrect—this is not applicable because a prior inconsistent statement must be subject to cross and be sworn(B): incorrect—an identification after perception testimony must also must be sworn and subject to cross(C): correct—no exception for this type of hearsay(D): incorrect—true statement but the question is asking about the Officer’s testimony and whether it is hearsay or an exception—this doesn’t give a reason why the testimony would be inadmissible
59 Sample Evidence Question #2 In an arson prosecution the government seeks to rebut Defendant’s alibi that he was in a jail in another state at the time of the fire. The government calls Witness to testify that he diligently searched through all the records of the jail and found no record of Defendant’s having been incarcerated there during the time Defendant specified.The testimony of Witness isAdmissible as evidence of absence of an entry from public record.Admissible as a summary of voluminous documents.Inadmissible, because it is hearsay not within any exception.Inadmissible, because the records themselves must be produced.Answer : AHEARSAY(A): correct—the absence of a public record exception to hearsay applies (to prove that the record does not exist)(B): incorrect—not applicable (there are no voluminous documents at issue)(C): incorrect—an exception does apply (see A)(D): incorrect—best evidence rule applies only when the content of a writing is in issue (here it’s just whether or not the entry existed)
60 Sample Evidence Question #3 At Defendant’s murder trial, Defendant calls Witness as his first witness to testify that Defendant has a reputation in their community as a peaceable and truthful person. The prosecutor objects on the ground that Witness’s testimony would constitute improper character evidence.The court shouldAdmit the testimony as to peaceableness, but exclude the testimony as to truthfulness.Admit the testimony as to truthfulness, but exclude the testimony as to peaceableness.Admit the testimony as to both character traits.Exclude the testimony as to both character traits.Answer: ACHARACTER EVIDENCE(A): correct—peaceableness is inconsistent with the crime of murder, truthfulness is inapplicable here. Character evidence can be introduced to show character traits inconsistent with the crime.(B): incorrect—this is exactly opposite of A—truthfulness is inapplicable here(C): incorrect—truthfulness is inapplicable here(D): incorrect—truthfulness is inapplicable here
61 Sample Evidence Question #4 Defendant was charged with attempted murder of Victor in a sniping incident in which Defendant allegedly shot at Victor from behind a bush as Victor drove his car along an expressway. The prosecutor offers evidence that seven years earlier Defendant had fired a shotgun into a woman’s home and that Defendant had once pointed a handgun at another driver while driving on the street.This evidence should beExcluded, because such evidence can be elicited only during cross-examination.Excluded, because it is improper character evidence.Admitted as evidence of Defendant’s propensity toward violence.Admitted as relevant evidence of Defendant’s identity, plan, or motive.Answer: BCHARACTER EVIDENCE(A): incorrect—untrue statement(B): correct—evidence of crimes or other acts are inadmissible to prove conduct in conformity therewith so these acts cannot be let in as character evidence(C): incorrect—evidence of crimes cannot be admitted to prove a propensity or conduct in conformity therewith(D): incorrect—these prior acts do not prove identity, plan, or motive in connection with the attempted murder on trial
62 Sample Evidence Question #5 Plaintiff sued Defendant for personal injuries arising out of an automobile accident.Which of the following would be ERROR?The judge allows Defendant’s attorney to ask Defendant questions on cross-examination that go well beyond the scope of the direct examination by Plaintiff, who has been called as an adverse witness.The judge refuses to allow Defendant’s attorney cross-examine Defendant by leading questions.The judge allows cross-examination about the credibility of a witness even though no question relating to credibility has been asked on direct examination.The judge, despite Defendant’s request for exclusion of witnesses, allows Plaintiffs eyewitness to remain in the courtroom after testifying, even though the eyewitness is expected to be recalled for further cross-examination.Answer: DDIRECT AND CROSS EXAMINATION(A): incorrect—cross examination may not go well beyond the scope of direct for that individual only—doesn’t apply to the testimony of another witness.(B): incorrect—leading questions are allowed on cross(C): incorrect—witness’s credibility may be attacked on cross(D): correct—at a party’s request witnesses must be excluded so that they do not hear another witness’s testimony
64 Real Property Subject Matter Outline OwnershipPresent EstatesFuture InterestsCotenancyLandlord Tenant LawRights in landCovenants at law and in equityEasements, profits, and licensesFixturesZoningContractsCreation and constructionMarketability, Fitness, and SustainabilityEquitable conversionMergerMortgages/Security DevicesTypes of security devices and relationshipsTransfers by morgagor and mortgageePayment, discharges, and defensesForeclosureTitlesAdverse possessionTransfersTitle assurance systemsFocus on present and future interests, rights in land (including crops, fixtures, and water) and a huge focus on mortgages and security devices.One of the most difficult and lowest scoring parts of the bar.DRAW IT OUTVisit to find full outlines
65 What did you didn’t learn in Property… Mortgages and Security DevicesTypes of security devicesTransfers by mortgagorTransfers by mortgageePayment, discharge, and defensesForeclosureSpecial ProblemsAfter-acquired titleForged instruments and undelivered deedsPurchase-money mortgagesJudgment and tax liens
66 Sample Property Question #1 Six years ago, Oscar, owner of Blackacre in fee simple, executed and deliveredto Albert an instrument in the proper form of a warranty deed, purporting to conveyBlackacre to “Albert and his heirs.” At the time, Albert was a widower who had onechild, Donna.Three years ago, Albert executed and delivered to Bea and instrument in the properform of a warranty deed, purporting to convey Blackacre to “Bea.” Donna did notjoin in the deed. Bea was and still is unmarried and childless.The only possibly applicable statute in the jurisdiction states that any deed will beconstrued to convey the grantor’s entire estate, unless expressly limited. Last month,Albert died, never having remarried. Donna is his only heir.Blackacre is now owned byDonna, because Albert’s death ended Bea’s life estate pur autre vie.Bea, in fee simple pursuant to Albert’s deed.Donna and Bea as tenant in common of equal shares.Donna and Bea as joint tenants, because both survived Albert.Answer: BESTATES IN LAND(A): incorrect—an estate pur autre vie (where duration is measured by the life of someone else) is not applicable here.(B): correct—the estate was given in fee simple to Albert, who then transferred the interest in fee simple to Bea(C): incorrect—Donna has no survivorship interest(D): incorrect—Donna has no survivorship interest
67 Sample Property Question #2 Three years ago Adam conveyed Blackacre to Betty for $50,000 by a deed that provided: “By accepting this deed, Betty covenants for herself, her heirs and assigns, that the premises herein conveyed shall be used solely for residential purposes and, if the premises are used for nonresidential purposes, Adam, his heirs and assigns, shall have the right to repurchase the premises for the sum of one thousand dollars ($1,000).” In order to pay the $50,000 purchase price for Blackacre, Betty obtained a $35,000 mortgage loan from the bank. Adam had full knowledge of the mortgage transaction. The deed and mortgage were promptly and properly recorded in proper sequence. The mortgage, however, made no reference to the quoted language in the deed.Two years ago Betty converted her use of Blackacre from residential to commercial without the knowledge or consent of Adam or of the bank. Betty’s commercial venture failed, and Betty defaulted on her mortgage payments to the bank. Blackacre now has a fair market value of $25,000.The bank began appropriate foreclosure proceedings against Betty. Adam properly intervened, tendered $1,000, and sought judgment that Betty and the bank be ordered to convey Blackacre to Adam, free and clear of the mortgage.The common-law Rule Against Perpetuities is unmodified by statute.If the court rules against Adam, it will be becauseThe provision quoted from the deed violates the Rule Against Perpetuities.The Bank had no actual knowledge of, and did not consent to, the violation of the covenant.The rights reserved by Adam were subordinated, by necessary implication, to the rights of the bank as a lender of the purchase money.The consideration of $1,000 was inadequate.Answer: A.RULE AGAINST PERPETUITIES(A): correct—no interest is good unless it must vest, if at all, not later than 21 years after some life in being at the time of the creation of the interest. The interest at issue here will not vest during that time.(B): incorrect—not a valid reason to rule against Adam(C): incorrect—untrue statement(D): incorrect—consideration was adequate
68 Sample Property Question #3 Anna owned Blackacre, which was improved with a dwelling. Beth owned Whiteacre, an adjoining unimproved lot suitable for constructing a dwelling. Beth executed and delivered a deed granting to Anna an easement over the westerly 15 feet of Whiteacre for convenient ingress and egress to a public street, although Anna’s lot did abut another public street. Anna did not then record Beth’s deed. After Anna constructed and started using a driveway within the described 15-foot strip in a clearly visible manner, Beth borrowed $10,000 cash from Bank and gave Bank a mortgage on Whiteacre. The mortgage was promptly and properly recorded. Anna then recorded Beth’s deed granting the easement. Beth subsequently defaulted on her loan payments to Bank.The recording act of the jurisdiction provides: “No conveyance or mortgage of real property shall be good against subsequent purchasers for value and without notice unless the same be recorded according to law.”In an appropriate foreclosure action as to Whiteacre, brought against Anna and Beth, Bank seeks, among other things, to have Anna’s easement declared subordinate to Bank’s mortgage, so that the easement will be terminated by completion of the foreclosure.If Anna’s easement is NOT terminated, it will be becauseThe recording of the deed granting the easement prior to the foreclosure action protects Anna’s rights.The easement provides access from Blackacre to a public street.Anna’s easement is appurtenant to Blackacre and thus cannot be separated from Blackacre.Visible use of the easement by Anna put Bank on notice of the easement.Answer: DEASEMENTS(A): incorrect—recording alone is not all that is required to preserve an easement(B): incorrect—another public street abuts Blackacre(C): incorrect—this is untrue—the easement exists on Whiteacre and can easily be separated(D): correct—notice of the easement was given at the time of the mortgage
69 Sample Property Question #4 Olive owned Blackacre, a single-family residence. Fifteen years ago, Olive conveyed a life estate in Blackacre to Lois.Fourteen years ago, Lois, who had taken possession of Blackacre, leased Blackacre to Trent for a term of 15 years at the monthly rental of $500.Eleven years ago, Lois died intestate leaving Ron as her sole heir.Trent regularly paid rent to Lois and, after Lois’s death, to Ron until last month.The period in which to acquire title by adverse possession in the jurisdiction is 10 years.In an appropriate action, Trent, Olive, and Ron each asserted ownership of Blackacre.The court should hold that title in fee simple is inOlive, because Olive held a reversion and Lois has died.Ron, because Lois asserted a claim adverse to Olive when Lois executed a lease to Trent.Ron, because Trent’s occupation was attributable to Ron, and Lois died 11 years ago.Trent, because of Trent’s physical occupancy and because Trent’s term ended with Lois’s death.Answer: CESTATES IN LAND and ADVERSE POSSESSION(A): incorrect—adverse possession in this case has removed Olive’s reversionary interest(B): incorrect—this is not true—the lease to Trent was completely acceptable(C): correct—Lois died 11 years ago, and since then Ron has had open, visible, notorious, hostile, and continuous possession of the premises, renting to Trent.(D): incorrect—as a renter only, Trent never had possessory interest.
70 Sample Property Question #5 Alex and Brenda owned Greenacre in fee simple as tenants in common, each owning an undivided one-half interest. Alex and Brenda joined in mortgaging Greenacre to Marge by a properly recorded mortgage that contained a general warranty clause. Alex became disenchanted with land-owning and notified Brenda that he would no longer contribute to the payment of installments due Marge. After the mortgage was in default and Marge made demand for payment of the entire amount of principal and interest due, Brenda tendered to Marge, and Marge deposited, a check for one-half of the amount due Marge. Brenda then demanded a release of Brenda’s undivided one-half interest. Marge refused to release any interest in Greenacre. Brenda promptly brought an action against Marge to quiet title to an undivided one-half interest in Greenacre.In such action, Brenda shouldLose, because Marge’s title had been warranted by an express provision of the mortgage.Lose, because there was no redemption from the mortgage.Win, because Brenda is entitled to marshalling.Win, because the cotenancy of the mortgagors was in common and not joint.Answer: BMORTGAGES(A): incorrect—there was only a general warranty clause included(B): correct—Brenda only redeemed half of the mortgage and would have to redeem the full value of the mortgage to win (even though she was only a tenant in common)(C): incorrect—marshaling is not applicable here (when a creditor has access to two sources of payment he shall take his payment out of the fun upon which another creditor has no access)(D): incorrect—it wouldn’t matter here whether the cotenancy was joint or in common
72 Torts Subject Matter Outline Intentional TortsAssault, Battery, False Imprisonment, IIED, Trespass, ConversionDefensesNegligenceDuty (failure to act, unforeseeable plaintiffs, etc.)Standard of CareBreach (proof of fault and res ipsa loquitur)CausationLimitations on liability and special rulesLiability for acts of othersStrict LiabilityProducts LiabilityOther TortsNuisanceDefamation and invasion of privacyMisrepresentationIntentional interference with business relationsMost questions (12-15) of the 33 are about negligence. The other most commonly tested topics are intentional torts and strict liability. Also focus on invasion of right to privacy which isn’t generally covered in first year torts classes.Visit to find full outlines
73 What did you didn’t learn in Torts… Products LiabilityManufacture, design, and warning suitsDefensesOther torts:Nuisance and defensesDefamation, invasion of privacy, defamation and constitutional limitationsMisrepresentation and defensesIntentional interference with business relations and defenses
74 Sample Torts Question #1 A young boy and a young girl were playing with a football on the sidewalk next to a street. They were laughing as they pushed and pulled each other, trying to get the ball and keep it away from each other. Just as a car approached on the street, the girl lost her balance and fell of the sidewalk and into the street. The driver of the car tried to swerve to avoid her but ran over her leg. The girl suffered a broken leg.If the girl’s parents assert a claim on her behalf against the driver to recover damages for her injuries, they will most likelyPrevail, unless the driver was driving his vehicle within the posted speed limitPrevail, unless the girl fell because the boy negligently pushed her into the streetNot prevail, unless the driver was driving negligently when the accident occurredNot prevail, unless the driver had the last clear chance to avoid the accident.Answer: CNEGLIGENCE(A): incorrect—even if the driver was not speeding or violating any traffic laws he may still be liable if he was negligent(B): incorrect—the driver may be held liable even if the boy’s negligence was the cause of the accident(C): correct—a person can be held liable for negligence if he fails to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances, and that is an actual and proximate cause of harm to the plaintiff.(D): incorrect—the last clear chance doctrine applies only in the small number of states that use contributory negligence rules (minority rule)
75 Sample Torts Question #2 The warden of State Prison prohibits the photographing of the face of any prisoner without the prisoner’s consent. Photographer, a news photographer, wanted to photograph Mobster, a notorious organized crime figure incarcerated at State Prison. To circumvent the warden’s prohibition, Photographer flew over the prison exercise yard and photographed Mobster. Prisoner, who was imprisoned for a technical violation of a regulatory statute, happened to be standing next to Mobster when the photograph was taken.When the picture appeared in the press, Prisoner suffered severe emotional distress because he believed that his business associates and friends would think he was consorting with gangsters. Prisoner suffered no physical harm as the result of his emotional distress. Prisoner brought an action against Photographer for intentional or reckless infliction of emotional distress.What is the best argument that Photographer can make in support of a motion for summary judgment?No reasonable person could conclude that Photographer intended to photograph Prisoner.Prisoner did not suffer any physical injury arising from the emotional distress.As a news photographer, Photographer was privileged to take photographs that others could not.No reasonable person could conclude that Photographer’s conduct was extreme and outrageous as to Prisoner.Answer: DINTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS(A): incorrect—as long has the photographer intended to take the photograph, who he intended to photograph is not important(B): incorrect—physical injury is not required for IIED—only severe mental distress (unless third party IIED)(C): incorrect—this is an untrue statement(D): correct—the photographer’s conduct towards Prisoner himself was not extreme and outrageous even if it caused him severe mental distress. For IIED to exist there must be an intentional or reckless act amounting to extreme and outrageous conduct that causes the plaintiff severe mental distress
76 Sample Torts Question #3 Vintner is the owner of a large vineyard and offers balloon rides to visitors who wish to tour the grounds from the air. During one of the rides, Vintner was forced to make a crash landing on his own property. Without Vintner’s knowledge or consent, Trespasser had entered the vineyard to camp for a couple of days. Trespasser was injured when he was hit by the basket of the descending balloon.If Trespasser sues Vintner to recover damages for his injuries, will Trespasser prevail?No, unless the crash landing was made necessary by negligence on Vintner’s part.No. unless Vintner could have prevented the injury to Trespasser after becoming aware of Trespasser’s presence.Yes, because even a trespasser may recover for injuries caused by an abnormally dangerous activity.Yes, if the accident occurred at a place which Vintner knew was frequented by intruders.Answer: BDUTY TO TRESPASSSER—LAND POSSESSOR LIABILITY(A): incorrect—this is inapplicable to a trespasser situation(B): correct—there is no duty of care for an unknown trespasser—and a reasonable duty of care for a known trespasser (if he had become known then Vintner would have a duty)(C): incorrect—hot air ballooning is not an abnormally dangerous activity(D): incorrect—a land possessor owes only a reasonable duty of care even to a known trespasser
77 Sample Torts Question #4 Homeowner hired Arsonist to set fire to Homeowner’s house so that Homeowner could collect the insurance proceeds from the fire. After pouring gasoline around the house, Arsonist lit the fire with his cigarette lighter and then put the lighter in his pocket. As Arsonist was standing back admiring his work, the lighter exploded in his pocket. Arsonist suffered severe burns to his leg.Arsonist brought an action against the manufacturer of the lighter based on strict product liability. Under applicable law, the rules of pure comparative fault apply in such actions.Will Arsonist prevail?Yes, if the lighter exploded because of a defect caused by a manufacturing error.Yes, if Arsonist can establish that the lighter was the proximate cause of his injury.No, because the lighter was not being used for an intended or reasonably foreseeable purpose.No, because Arsonist was injured in the course of committing a felony by the device used to perpetrate the felony.Answer: APRODUCTS LIABILITY(A): correct—a manufacturing defect produces strict products liability (where there is a defective product, and the plaintiff is injured using that defective product)(B): incorrect—Arsonist must establish that the lighter was the proximate cause of his injury but needs to do more than just that.(C): incorrect—this is not true—to light something on fire was a intended or reasonably foreseeable purpose.(D): incorrect—the fact that he was using the device to commit a felony is irrelevant.
78 Sample Torts Question #5 Actor, a well-known movie star, was drinking Vineyard wine at a nightclub. A bottle of the Vineyard wine, with its label plainly showing, was on the table in front of Actor. An amateur photographer asked Actor if he could take his picture and Actor said, “Yes.” Subsequently, the photographer sold the photo to Vineyard. Vineyard, without Actor’s consent, used the photo in a wine advertisement in a nationally circulated magazine. The caption below the photo stated, “Actor enjoys his Vineyard wine.”If Actor sues Vineyard to recover damages as a result of Vineyard’s use of the photograph, will Actor prevail?No, because Actor consented to being photographed.No, because Actor is a public figure.Yes, because Vineyard made commercial use of the photograph.Yes, unless Actor did, in fact, enjoy his Vineyard wine.Answer: CDEFAMATION(A): incorrect—consenting to the photograph does not give the photographer or Vineyard the right to use it in public advertising(B): incorrect—even a public figure has a right to decide how their photograph is used commercially(C): correct—commercial use cannot be made in this case without Actor’s consent(D): incorrect—but that’s funny