Bar Exam Hypotheticals: Law School False Pretenses

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29th, 2010 by bl1y

In lieu of posting some later afternoon news (because all anyone in the legal blogosphere is talking about is The Kagan, and I really don’t care unless she says something balls stupid), here’s a bar review hypothetical.  But first, some background:

According to my Kaplan Bar Review Flashcards:

The crime of false pretenses consists of (1) a false representation of (2) a present or past material fact by the defendant (3) that causes the victim to pass title to his property (4) to the defendant (5) who knows his representation to be false (6) and intends thereby to defraud the victim.

Example: A offered to sell B a watch for $50, claiming it is worth $100.  If A knows it is actually worth only $50 and accepts B’s payment of $50, A has committed false pretenses.

We will assume that Kaplan has the law correct (and this is the MBE, not state specific rules).  In the example it is important to note that A’s valuation was not mere puffery.  Stating an actual value is a material fact, whereas if A had only said “You’re getting a great deal at $50″ this would be puffery, and no false pretenses would have occurred.

Also, keep in mind that handing over money counts for passing title, even though it’s not what you normally think of with that phrase.

Discuss whether any of the following four scenarios gives rise to liability for false pretenses:

(1) Amy, a law school admissions officer tells admitted (but not yet enrolled) students about the value of a law degree.  Amy states that a law degree offers career stability, as lawyers are always in demand, and says a law degree is very flexible, opening doors in all fields from staring in Monty Python films to being President of the United States.

(2)(a) Baker School of Law represents to admitted students that 97% of its students are employed within 9 months of graduation.  10% of those students are employed at the law school after failing to find jobs elsewhere.  Another 10% are working as solo practitioners.  And, a final 10% of those students are at jobs they have only because the school is subsidizing their salaries.

(2)(b) Baker School of Law represents to admitted students that 97% of its students are employed within 9 months of graduation.  However, not all students respond to the school’s survey.  While 97% of respondents were employed, only half of the students responded.  Assume unemployed students are less likely to respond to the survey than employed students.

(3) Charles, the Director of Baker School of Law’s Legal Writing and Research Program writes an article published in the North Davey State University Journal of Legal Education, a journal typically read by other professors, rather than prospective law students, though available to the public at large.  The article claims that 1L students in the Baker Legal Writing and Research Program undergo a “painstaking” critique of each of their exercises.  The largest exercise of the year is an oral argument, after which the students receive some feedback from their mock judge (a volunteer not associated with the school), and no feedback from their professor (who was not even present for the argument).

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The People’s The Rapist

Posted in Uncategorized on May 26th, 2010 by bl1y

Every once in a while a blog will come along talking about “rape culture” and blaming men at large for all the evils of the world, but none of them is titled so awkwardly as The People’s The Rapist.  I guess the title is supposed to mean that all of us, “The People” are rapists, because we live in a society in which rapes occur, or some liberal nonsense like that.

Or…I’m misreading that and it’s The People’s Therapist.  Hm…that would explain all the posts about psychology and the legal profession.

Be sure to check out Will Meyerhofer’s tips for surviving bar exam stress.

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Reason Not to Go to Law School #24

Posted in Reasons Not to Go to Law School on January 28th, 2010 by bl1y

Bar applications.

After going through the Sisyphean nightmare that is law school, and then spending money to have another company prepare you for the bar, you have to go through one of the most obnoxious administrative processes ever: applying to the bar.

This is something a lot of non-lawyers don’t even know about.  Passing the bar exam does not mean you can practice law.  You still have to get admitted to your state’s bar.  Having gone through this once already and being admitted in New York, I thought this would be easy a second time around.  Not so.

In Alabama you have to complete your application to the bar before you can even take the test, which is particularly ridiculous because Alabama has one of the earliest application deadlines (in other states, there’s just a deadline for the exam, and rolling admissions for being admitted).

The application involves a lot of stuff you’d expect, like where you went to school, prior legal jobs, that sort of thing.  But then there’s a lot of obnoxious stuff too.  In Alabama you have to provide a list of every place you’ve lived since you were 18; I had 6.  You have to list every job you’ve had since you were 16; I had 7; plus, you have to provide information for what you were doing for any period when not employed.  So, if like most students, all you had were summer jobs, you have a ton of unemployment periods.

And finally, the worst part, you need to get character references.  In NY you needed two people who have known you for at least 3 years and were not currently applying to the bar (no quid pro quo with your classmates); they prefer one of the people to be an attorney.  That’s not too terrible.

In Alabama you need 3 attorneys who have been admitted to the bar for at least 5 years.  If you don’t come from an upper class family and didn’t get a good summer job, I don’t know how anyone does this.  I e-mailed a few of the partners I did some work for at my old job, but only 2 of the 3 replied.  What the hell?

Luckily, last night I was stuffing envelopes at the home of the House candidate I’m volunteering for, and was talking with someone else about bar admissions and mentioned the obnoxious character references rule when the candidate offered to write me a letter.  I’ve known him only about a week, but Alabama doesn’t ask for a minimum time on the relationship.  He’s a pretty prominent attorney here and a county commissioner, so hopefully his recommendation will go a long way.

And finally, just for Ss&Gs, gratuitous hottie:

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