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Nested IRAC

Eggs in nest.

Most students know about the IRAC method, but few know about Nested IRAC. The IRAC method is where you identify the issue, state the rule, provide some analysis, and then state the conclusion. But nested IRAC involves creating a separate IRAC for each issue and sub-issue on the exam. Battery Example Let me demonstrate this through a tortious battery example. If you don't recall the elements to battery, you may want to watch my video on battery first.Derek and John are in the same high school math class. One morning, Derek decides it will be funny to pull out John’s chair just...

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International Shoe Co. v. Washington

Beau Baez holding shoe for International Shoe Co. v. Washington case

Many 1L students struggle to understand the importance of International Shoe Co. v. Washington. In this post you will learn the relevant facts, the rule you need for exam purposes, and an exam tip for nailing the analysis section on an essay exam. Contacts in Washington International Shoe Company was a shoe company incorporated in Delaware with its principal place of business in Missouri. In the State of Washington, International Shoe hired 13 people to solicit orders for the shoes. But the salesmen did not actually sell any shoes in Washington. Once the orders were taken, the salesmen sent the order forms...

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US v Carroll Towing

US v Carroll Towing is one of Judge Learned Hand’s most famous tort opinions. Judge Learned Hand served on the second circuit court of appeals, and is often called the greatest circuit court judge. For more biographical information, here is a good article on Judge Learned Hand. Contract with US Government The case starts off in the New York City harbor during World War II. The Pennsylvania Rail Road was shipping flour owned by the United States government in its railway cars. When the railway cars arrived in New York City, the railroad rented the barge Anna C. from Connors Marine. They...

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Proximate Cause

Raise your hand if you perfectly understand proximate cause (aka "legal cause"). No one? Read to the end as I explain how this concept works and how to use it on an exam. Definition In every tort, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant was not only the actual cause of the injury, but also the proximate cause of the injury. Proximate cause requires the plaintiff’s harm to be a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s wrongful action. In a negligence case, there must be a relatively close connection between the defendant’s breach of duty and the injury.Proximate cause is sometimes difficult...

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Res Ipsa Loquitur

woman with purple hair told to leave meeting. Used for res ips loquitur

Today I want to discuss the Torts concept res ipsa loquitur. A Latin phrase, which translated means “the thing speaks for itself.” Though for something that should speak for itself, it sure causes a lot of confusion! (For some interesting information on the doctrine, consider reading this article on the effect of the res ipsa loquitur doctrine). The Context In negligence cases a defendant can only be found liable if the defendant breached a duty owed to the plaintiff. But sometimes, there is no direct evidence that the defendant did anything to violate the duty of care.For example, suppose that someone owns...

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10 Exam Day Tips

Don't panic sign for exam day tips post

Looking for exam day tips? It’s the end of the semester and most of you are preparing for final exams. DON’T PANIC! By following these 10 exam day tips you can improve your grades. The principle behind these exam day tips is simple: calm students outperform nervous and tired students every single time.Let me tell you about John (name has been changed), one of my friends at the elite law school we attended. John is very intelligent but he had one problem: he got overly nervous before exams. On the first morning of the bar exam I noticed that he...

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Succeeding With a Teachable Spirit

Child learning in clearing with teachable spirit

Students with a teachable spirit will become more successful, regardless of where they start their journey. Do you believe that you have all the answers? Do you believe that your professor is a lousy teacher? I’ve seen it over and over again. Arrogant students who believe they know how to study and to take exams. But most of these students don’t do as well as they thought they would. They then blame the professor for bad exam questions, a forced curve that artificially kept their grade down, or poor grading by the profesor.A few years ago I had a student...

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Study Group How To

study group

Are you wondering whether you should join a study group, or if you're in one, how to make it work better? There is an ancient Japanese proverb that says: “None of us is as smart as all of us.” In general, that is true. But study groups that are not designed well can lead to pooled ignorance. Advantages One advantage of study groups is that it creates accountability. If you know you must complete a group project by a certain date, you're going to get it done. But if you're not convinced, here is a scientific article on the benefits of small...

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Learning Faster with the Feynman Technique

Confused student.

Have you ever left class wondering what your professor was even talking about? The Feynman Technique will help you learn material faster and at a level where you will remember the concept for years to come. Professor Richard Feynman was a Nobel prize winning physicist who had the nickname “the Great Explainer.” By following four steps, you will learn a topic well enough to remember it on the final exam and the bar exam. Step 1 Step one: write the name of the concept you want to learn at the top of a page (try to handwrite as much as possible; see...

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Answer an Essay Question Before You See it!

Word test on chalk board.

Would you like to answer an essay question before you see it!  Want to have more time on exam day to think through your answer? You can have 60% of your essay exam complete before exam day with this preparation method.Ideally, you should already have three sets of notes, as I mentioned in my episode called “Three Sets of Notes Method.”  In addition, you need to create a fourth set of notes, which I call your Exam Answer outline. This is an organizational tool that will allow you to move quickly during the final. Also, you will write a much...

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