Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Bar Exam for Shitheads

The following fact pattern applies to questions 1 - 4

Pauline and Dave live in the State of Abel. One day in 2001, Dave was hunting ducks on his property while Pauline, who lived on the lot adjacent to Dave's, was sunning herself on hers. Dave shot a duck over his own property, but the momentum from the bullet and the duck's own flight carried it over Pauline's property where it struck her head and knocked her unconscious. When she came to, she saw Dave standing at the lot line, shaking his fist and demanding "Give me back my bird, bitch!"

Pauline suffered several ill effects from the incident over the next few years. She suffered from chronic neck and head pain, and whenever a duck flew overhead, she experienced crippling panic attacks.

The State of Abel Civil Code provides:

SECTION 69. Any person harmed by the reckless reenactment of a law school tort hypothetical by another person may bring an action in State Court to recover compensatory and punitive damages and all costs and fees incurred prosecuting the action.

In 2007, Pauline sued Dave under this statute. The jury returned a verdict in her favor in the amount of $27,780,500.17. Dave appealed.

1) How should the appellate court rule?

A) Affirm the judgment, as Pauline proved all the elements of the tort, and jury verdicts are given much deference.

B) Affirm the judgment because Pauline is a sympathetic victim.

C) Reverse the judgment and remand to the lower court to determine whether or not duck is a protected species.

D) Reverse the judgment because Pauline is a "bitch".

Same facts as above, except assume that the State of Abel has a limitations provision that provides:

SECTION 96. All actions pursuant to Section 69 shall be brought no later than 5 years after the tortious act giving rise to the action. Any action filed later than the limitations period is barred absolutely and the issue may be raised by the defendant or the court at any time in the proceeding or during subsequent appeals.

2) How should the Court of Appeals rule?

A) Reverse the lower court and dismiss the action as time-barred.

B) Affirm, because appellate court judges can't read.

C) Affirm, because otherwise the patriarchy will succeed in its oppression once again!

D) Affirm, because hunters are redneck hicks.

Same facts as above, but assume that the appellate court throws out the action pursuant to the statute of limitations. Pauline appeals that decision to the Supreme Court arguing that her suit is not time-barred because every panic attack she experiences constitutes another "tortious act" by the defendant, and therefore the limitations period starts anew each time. Since she's had a panic attack within the last five years, her suit is valid and the jury verdict should be restored.

3) How should the Supreme Court rule?

A) Pat the plaintiff's attorney on the head while saying "nice try," explain that Pauline's panic attacks are not a "tortious act" by the defendant, and politely but firmly affirm the Court of Appeals.

B) Reverse, because 5 of the Justices on the court didn't attend law school the day the torts professor taught the difference between a "tortious act" and "damages."

C) Reverse, because the legislature has no business promulgating limitations provisions, so the court should just ignore them.

D) Reverse. It's the patriarchy people!!!!

4) Suppose the Supreme Court affirms the decision to toss the case. Suppose further that you are a blogger. Why are you outraged by the Supreme Court's decision?

A) I have a friend who's an attorney, therefore a fortiori, I know what I'm talking about. My outrage is enough. I don't have to explain it to you plebes.

B) The Separation of Powers is a dead doctrine. The courts should be allowed to do whatever they want regardless of what the legislature says the law is. I for one welcome our new robed overlords and pledge my loyalty should they ever need a lightly paid dickless propagandist.

C) I believe that my focusing my overwrought outrage over a slam dunk decision on statutory interpretation toward the irrelevant aspect of the decision (i.e the victim was a glorious womyn) will bolster my feminist cred and help me get dates.

D) It's bound to work eventually.

E) *sigh* I'm such a loser.

F) A, B, C, and E only.

ANSWERS: 1) A; 2) A; 3) A; 4) F

Anyone scoring lower than 75% should immediately cease blogging on things about which they haven't a clue.

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