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Fall 2010 Schedule Preview :)

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Mar 31, 2010 in The 1L Life

Fall semester of your 2L year at the N.C. Central University School of Law is when students get to take their first batch of elective courses.

In general they also end up choosing between two different “tracks” of classes, taking Evidence and Constitutional Law together or taking Business Associations and Federal Income Tax together.1

Classes for 2L Fall

Given my affinity for mock trial, I decided to go the Evidence+ConLaw route so I’m better prepared for competition next year :angel:

That left me with ~3 elective spots to fill in. In an effort to get as many required courses knocked out as early as possible — so I can spend 3L year studying stuff I enjoy — I decided to sign up for both Decedents’ Estates I and Legal Letters.

Honestly, I’m not looking forward to DE. When I worked for the Wake County Clerk’s Office back in 2003/2004, my office was on the 12th floor of the Courthouse on the edge of the Wills & Estates section. It was a very drab and somber atmosphere since it pretty much exclusively deals with… well… dead folks and their stuff. I know it’s an important area of the law but seeing folks in tears while trying to partition a loved one’s property isn’t really my cup of tea :beatup:

Not sure what to think about Legal Letters. From the course description it deals with crafting demand letters, responses and such, which was one of the things I did as a paralegal. Hopefully that means it’ll be easy, but also probably as exciting as watching grass grow :(

So my only “true” elective is Domestic Violence Law. One of the 3Ls I frequently hit up for advice suggested avoiding the class because it gets very intense/emotional. But if I’m going to make a living throwing people in prison, I figure I should start delving into the intense/emotional stuff sooner rather than later.2

Beyond the actual classes I’m taking though, do you know the highlight of this semester? The one perk that outshines all others?

No Friday classes! :D

I’m looking forward to having a 3-day weekend every single week of the year. Haven’t had a class schedule like this in years :)

That’s it from me tonight, have a great evening everybody!! :D

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From the archives –

  1. On an unrelated side note, how sad is it that our tax code is so complex you can teach an entire law course on it? :crack: []
  2. And my preexisting philosophy on people who commit domestic violence is to strap their ass to a chair and flip the switch. I doubt the course will change that. []

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On UNCASG, $1, and the UNCCH Daily Tar Heel

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Mar 30, 2010 in Student Government

Good evening folks! :D

I’ve actually got a pair of “real” posts drafted that I was going to put up tonight and tomorrow. But…

…this is gonna be another SG-related entry :beatup:

See when I logged in I saw a comment that got left this morning at Sunday’s entry, asking if I had a rebuttal to some patently false reporting in the UNCCH Daily Tar Heel regarding the Association I happen to run and how its budget was allocated this weekend.

I was actually writing the rebuttal on Facebook at the very moment that comment was submitted, but if one reader here at law:/dev/null is interested, my guess (hope? :oops: ) is that others might be too :)

If you’re on Facebook, feel free to check out the original entry here — there’s actually been a lot of commentary on the note that included some good historical information as well.1)  Plus the formatting is prettier! :beatup:

You should be able to access it even if we’re not Facebook friends… and if in the process you want to friend me, you’re more than welcome to do so ;)

The note appears below in its entirety:

[Note: by default I’m tagging all of my ASG Vice Presidents, committee chairmen and senior leadership, the NCSU SBOs, and a few extra people on the side. If you don’t want to be tagged in future editions of T Greg’s Tomes, just shoot me a Facebook message :) -TGD]

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Past Editions of T Greg’s Tomes:

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T Greg’s Tomes: Things that surprise no one (Musings re the UNCCH DTH)

The sun rose this morning.

Somewhere, a dog barked.

And the Daily Tar Heel Editorial Board wrote another ill-conceived editorial that misinforms UNCCH students.

You’ve probably got your own list, but for me these are the things that let me know the world is still functioning normally ;)

The downside of course is that it means dozens of student leaders enjoy the privilege of having their hard work dismissed out-of-hand simply because folks at the DTH have injured pride, and an entire campus’s worth of students get fed bad information in the process.

So despite the risk of repeating myself for the n-th time, in recognition of those students I’m writing a note (again) to dispel some of the foolishness flowing on the pages of the DTH.

====================
I. SOME CONTEXT
====================

The editorial that prompted this note can be found online here — I also made a PDF copy for future reference that I can provide if you need it.

Now the Daily Tar Heel is no stranger to playing fast and loose with the facts when it comes to the Association, particularly over the past year. For just a few of examples where I’ve responded here on Facebook, you can read my letters in March ’09 (on UNCCH involvement in ASG), August ’09 (on ASG advocacy), September ’09 on two occasions (on the ASG budget and UNCCH withdrawing), and even earlier this month (on textbooks).

And those are just the times I had the patience to sit at a computer and actually consider their arguments.

There’s a consistent theme among all of the DTH’s editorials for that period: they’re all riddled with factual errors, despite accurate info being reported by their News Department or provided directly by me (often in lengthy phone interviews that would apparently be better invested watching paint dry).

Don’t just take my word for it — I’d encourage you to pull up every one of those notes, and the corresponding DTH editorials that prompted them, and judge for yourself.

Rather than make an effort to improve their editorials, the Daily Tar Heel instead seems to prefer the Las Vegas approach to journalism — double down with more editorials, more vitriol… and more errors.

No one likes getting called out over and over (and over) again, so I guess I can’t really blame them for responding that way. But after ragging on Technician for years over its shoddy editorials I’d be remiss if I didn’t do the same to their more polished cousin up the road ;)

====================
II. THE ERRORS AND MISREPRESENTATIONS
====================

One spot where the DTH has “improved” is swapping genuine quantitative errors for good ol’ weasel words, a technique I can only assume they picked up from the Pope Center.

The first example:

**********
Snippet #1:
ASG is no stranger to charges of misappropriation of funds.

Student Body President Jasmin Jones opposed ASG’s current budget priorities during discussion of the 2010-11 budget at this month’s meeting — and with good reason.
**********
We’ll sidestep the intentional implication that having a difference in priorities is tantamount to “misappropriation.” Misappropriation, for those not near a dictionary or otherwise unfamiliar with its meaning, is dishonestly taking something for one’s own use — in other words, the exact opposite of a totally open and transparent deliberation over a budget, allocated to further students’ interests, taking place over two separate months.

The curious part is citing President Jones as having “opposed ASG’s current budget priorities.” To be sure, President Jones and several other SBPs had very strong and well-reasoned opinions on where the Association’s money was going. The debate was lengthy and thorough.

But you can access a PDF copy of ASG’s amended budget for FY2010-11 online here — the total dollar amount at issue ($5,500) comprises a whopping 2.7% of the Association’s recurring budget.

So President Jones and the other SBPs supported 97.3% of the Association’s “current budget priorities”… but are cited as justification that those priorities are misplaced.

Moving on…

**********
Snippet #2:
Of the nearly $207,000 it receives from 2009-10 student fees, 97 percent of it goes toward expenses relating to officer compensation, meeting expenses, operational costs and miscellaneous expenses next school year.

And less than 3 percent goes back to special projects, programming and advocacy.
**********
You can tell from the awkward wording of the first sentence that weasel words had to be brought out to make the point DTH wanted.

But it also highlights the patent disingenuousness of the Editorial Board.

First, the DTH confines its analysis to the $206,750 in new student fee money the Association is expected to collect next fiscal year. But this isn’t the Association’s entire budget — every year it always has at least $17K in one-time, non-recurring surplus to distribute (we’ll get to that in Snippet #3 below).

So this is a pretty obvious attempt at cherry-picking data to prove a point, something they tried when they last covered the ASG budget back in August.

More disturbing is the Editorial Board’s intentional misreading of the Association’s budget categories.

The section of the budget the DTH cites as only 3% of expenditures is entitled “Advocacy, Programming, Service Projects and Other Discretionary Funds.” As you can probably guess from the context of the title, these are discretionary events that come and go depending on who is running the organization. Just in case there was any confusion, the subportion on advocacy events is even titled “Advocacy & Service Project Allocations” and lists the specific advocacy events.

In other words, these expenditures are different from the mandatory “core” operations of the Association that happen on a regular basis.

And yes, advocacy happens to be one of those core operations.

When an Association official, delegate, Student Body President or anyone else affiliated with the organization goes to a Board of Governors meeting to advocate for students (as they’ve done almost every month for 2 years), or heads to the General Assembly to lobby (as they’ve done almost every month for 2 years), or participates in any of the activities we have going on every month (as they’ve done almost every month for 2 years), how do they get there? Did engineers at NCSU invent transporter technology that only UNCASG gets to use?

Of course not. They typically travel, and if it’s a multi-day event (like BOG meetings) they typically need a hotel.

So in the interests of transparency in the budget, when I took office I reclassified those sections to fall under a “Meetings, Lodging, Travel and Outreach” section. Sure I could follow past budget practice and throw the word “Advocacy” in front of everything, but in doing so we’d just be mucking up the document for the sake of political appearances.

The Daily Tar Heel knew all of this, considering ASG has been following the same practice for 2 years now and they were provided a copy of our final end-of-year budget from the fiscal year that ended 06/30/09 — containing every single expense, down to the penny, and where in the budget it went.

Moving on…

**********
Snippet #3:
Proponents of ASG often laud the success of the association’s annual emergency fund.

Leftover money not used by July of each academic year becomes a source of funding for projects on campuses — usually about $17,000.

But for our University, the only tangible benefit of belonging to the ASG this year has been a $1,000 grant for installing NextBus on the P2P.
**********
First, no one “laud[s] the success” of a group’s emergency fund unless there’s an emergency.

No one in the Association has “laud[ed] its success,” I haven’t “laud[ed] its success,” and no rational person “laud[s] its success.” It’s just a generally required practice of budget management. You set aside either 1 month’s or 3 months’ worth of revenue for emergencies, depending on the structure of your organization or business.

Now it’s true that the emergency reserve works like a savings account. Since it’s a recurring expense that gets “paid” every year (e.g. deposited into the fictional savings account), the old “savings” can get used elsewhere when the new budget year starts. In ASG’s case that’s a minimum of $17K every year if there’s no emergency.

But that just means the DTH Editorial Board is admitting a couple sentences later that it was cherry-picking its revenue data a couple sentences earlier.

I’ll address what UNCCH gets out of this reserve, as well as the Association in general, in Section III.

Moving on…

**********
Snippet #4:
To note, ASG does have potential. For instance, Jones worked with ASG to lobby members of the N.C. General Assembly to return the $200 tuition increase. And Medlin is looking forward to helping ASG function in a more campus-oriented way.

But we won’t know the fruits of their labor until next year.
**********
True, the DTH “won’t know the fruits” of SBP-elect Medlin’s labor until next year.

But the fruits of President Jones’s labor has already been seen… and already criticized by the Daily Tar Heel despite saving students millions of dollars.

Go back to that August 2009 letter for more info.

A letter that, coincidentally, went to the DTH Editorial Board.

====================
III. WHAT UNCCH “GETS OUT OF” THE ASSOCIATION
====================

Behind the factual errors and weasel words, the Daily Tar Heel Editorial Board tries to resurrect its argument that UNC Chapel Hill students just don’t get a return on their $1/yr investment.

I hoped I had adequately dissected the DTH’s arguments back in September when they misrepresented the Association’s budget back then. But I realized I didn’t address it from a UNCCH-centric viewpoint, so I’ll attempt to do so here.

The benefits to UNCCH students generally fall into three categories:

**********
1) UNCCH gets the same things as everyone else.
**********
The Association represents all 17 institutions in the University of North Carolina, so the things that benefit everyone also benefit UNC Chapel Hill.

Consider, for example, the state budget adopted by the Legislature last August and that letter I already mentioned.

All University students were slated to pay an 8% tuition increase that we dubbed a “student tax,” where 100% of the extra tuition money raised went to the state’s coffers to balance its budget. UNCASG mobilized throughout the year to have that increase replaced with tuition rates set by the UNC Board of Governors — where the money raised stayed on each individual campus — and in the budget that was adopted we were successful.

A back-of-the-napkin estimate is that success saved ~$11,119,848 for undergraduates (multiplying the Board’s rates and the General Assembly’s rates by the number of full-time students at each individual university, and summing up the difference between the two). The actual savings are even larger if someone wants to do more detailed math, but for the purpose of this note I figured this would be a sufficient figure.

If UNCASG was only 2% responsible for that legislative success — a number that I think downplays the significance of student input considering UNCGA was justifiably focused more on enrollment growth funding and financial aid — that means we saved university students ~$222K.

In other words, students got $1.68 in savings for the $1 they paid into the Association.

And that ignores every single other thing ASG did for the entire year.

**********
2) UNCCH gets what UNCCH puts into the Association.
**********
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone that 7 of the past 10 elections for ASG President have been won by a student from N.C. State, and the other 3 were won by students at UNC Wilmington, N.C. Central, and East Carolina respectively.

A UNCCH student has won 0.

Similarly, the ASG’s Senior Vice President has been from FSU 3x, ECU 2x, and NCCU / NCSU / UNCG / WCU 1x apeice. A UNCCH student won 1 time by default in 2000, when she lost the presidency to an NCSU student in a special election where the runner-up became VP.

The reason for the huge disparity in electoral success? The student leaders at the victorious institutions worked aggressively to develop the Association and improve how it represented students. Meanwhile the delegations from UNCCH typically spent their time complaining about the Association, refusing to participate in its work, or “participated” by gumming everything up with anal-retentive interpretations of the Association’s governing documents unsupported by any fair reading of Robert’s Rules of Order.

Contrast that with the past 2 years. The delegates from UNCCH brought their criticisms, but also brought ideas. UNCCH students who weren’t affiliated with the delegation applied for positions in ASG’s Executive Branch. And all of them brought a work ethic to go with it.

The net results? UNCCH had more Executive Officers than any institution, one of its delegates became a committee chairman, a second became a committee vice chairman, a third was just nominated for Delegate of the Year, and the fourth was just nominated to become the Association’s Senior Vice President for next year.

UNCCH might gain $28K by withdrawing from the Association, but at the cost of permanently losing the ability to influence where the Association goes and what it does. And that ability to influence will only come from its leaders’ continued willingness to engage other delegates of the Association reliably and in good faith.

**********
3) UNCCH gets what UNCCH chooses to get.
**********
NC State started its fee referenda process 3 years ago based on information exchanged at ASG meetings. East Carolina created a publicly-elected Student Senate the same year. The UNC School of the Arts has largely rebuilt its Student Government from scratch. Western Carolina has more candidates running for office now than ever before. And many of the HBCU’s are refining their own SG structures to make them more accountable to students.

All of that was a direct result of bringing together the top student leaders from each of our 17 diverse institutions, putting them in the same room, and letting them talk about themselves.

Information on SG structure, policy battles, tuition and fees, and a host of other issues are discussed at length every single month among UNCASG delegates. They’re often discussed even further on Facebook and via email / telephone / text message conversations in between the meetings.

And the net result is improvements to campus representation, all of which charge students far more than the $1 that goes to the Association.

Now sure, UNCCH’s student leaders could take the position that their structure is perfect, their knowledge of the issues omniscient, and their use for other folks’ opinions is nonexistent.

But how many people, even at UNCCH, actually believe that?

The Association of Student Governments provides a forum uniquely suited for collaboration and the exchange of information. We’ve also refined it over the last 2 years in a way to ensure its continued success.

With that forum likely existing for years ahead, UNCCH will get out of the Association what it chooses to get out of the Association.

====================
IV. CONCLUSION
====================

There’s not really much to say here that hasn’t already been said.

The Daily Tar Heel Editorial Board stands on a legacy built through the hard work and rational analysis of its forebears, and seems focused like a laser on shredding that legacy as quickly as possible.

In contrast, the Association is going to keep moving forward and doing what it does best — advocating for the interests of the students in the consolidated University of North Carolina.

And that should surprise no one.

  1. For example, the Association’s initial budget approved by the UNC Board of Governors in May 2002 allocated 67% of the budget to compensation ($110,146.85 out of a base budget of $165,000.00). We’ve reduced that amount to 41% over the 8 years since the fee was created ($84,930.50 out of a base budget of $206,500.00), shifting resources to more advocacy-oriented efforts that bring better returns to the students we serve. Keep that in mind as you read numerous editorials and other polemics on the Association not using its budget for its intended purposes… ; []

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Best Week Ever?

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Mar 28, 2010 in The 1L Life

Maybe, maybe not — but definitely much improved over the week before :D

  • Sunday: Knocked out my closing argument for NCCU Law‘s annual Mary Wright 1L Closing Argument competition.
  • Monday: Successfully registered for all the Fall 2010 classes I wanted… most of which were completely filled 2 minutes later :crack: 1Ls edged out the 2Ls in the annual Law Week basketball game, winning on a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
  • Tuesday: Raised some eyebrows (in a good way) with my no-bullshit candidate speech for SBA Treasurer. 1Ls stomped the 3Ls in the Law Week basketball championship, winning by double digits.
  • Wednesday:  Not entirely sure what happened, but I’m assuming it was good since I don’t remember :beatup:
  • Thursday: SBA Election Day :) Also got to visit some of my Wolfpack family at the candidate forum for N.C. State‘s CALS1  Agri-Life Council.
  • Friday: Celebrated turning not-quite-30 :D Day #1 of the monthly UNCASG meeting went smoothly.
  • Saturday: UNCASG Day #2 not only went smoothly but was incredibly productive too. Enjoyed a post-meeting birthday dinner with about 20 of the delegates+officers (and continued carousing at the hotel afterwards). Also  in mid-celebration get an update on the Law Week Banquet taking place back in the Triangle: got 3rd place in the Mary Wright competition, and also got elected SBA Treasurer :D

Not sure this upcoming week will compare favorably, but at least I’ll have mid-80º temps to look forward to… ;)

Have a great night everybody! :)

  1. College of Agricultural & Life Sciences — the only 1 of NCSU’s 4 largest colleges from which I didn’t have a major or a minor :beatup: []

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Happy birthday… to me :)

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Mar 26, 2010 in Randomness

This’ll be the last year I can legitimately say I’m in my 20s :beatup:

I’m not a particularly celebratory type — not really into parties or presents or that sort of stuff — but it was/is incredibly humbling to have folks just wish me a happy birthday. Getting random phone calls and text messages from folks I haven’t had a chance to talk to in months/years. Hearing from people I’m not Facebook friends with who I’d never expect to remember my birthday but somehow they did. Etc.

Weird, I know. But yeah :oops:

So if you were/are one of those people and happen to also read law:/dev/null, I just want to say THANK YOU — it means a lot :)

Getting ready to head to bed — the first day of the March UNCASG business meeting went well, now just have to get Day 2 knocked out so I can finally relax! Have a great night everybody!! :D

 
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A Tale of Two Accents

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Mar 25, 2010 in Randomness

It’s been truly, truly humbling to have both regular readers here at law:/dev/null and my fellow Legal Eagles enjoying the performance I posted yesterday of my closing argument in NCCU Law‘s annual Mary Wright 1L Closing Argument competition :)

But there was one unexpected side effect to folks who don’t normally hear me talk all of a sudden watching me on video:  apparently I have completely different accents depending on the venue :beatup:

I mentioned on Monday that I was running for Treasurer of our Student Bar Association, and on Tuesday all of the candidates had an opportunity to give speeches to about 50ish students.  The video from my particular speech is below — which I’m told is how I normally talk.

The odd thing is that I generally don’t “hear” myself when I give a speech, so I don’t even notice the accent (or lack thereof) at any particular point in time. Not entirely sure where it comes from or where it goes…

On a totally unrelated side note, sorry for bombarding y’all with videos of me over the past few weeks! I’ll probably go on a video hiatus here shortly and stick with text entries for the next little while :)

I’m off to go work on UNCASG meeting prep. Have a great night everybody! :D

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Alice in Wonderland

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Mar 24, 2010 in The 1L Life

Hey everybody! :D

I mentioned back on Sunday that I participated in NCCU Law‘s annual Mary Wright 1L Closing Argument competition. The videos were posted online today, so I downloaded a copy and threw it on YouTube to share with y’all :)

The student workers who did the recording apparently took a coffee break around the 4min mark — the camera just keeps on panning into the wall, so for the last minute you’ll just have to listen to my voice. Hopefully you can still figure out the theme to the closing ;)

That whole experience showed me how weird it is to watch yourself after giving a speech. At the time I thought I was talking incredibly fast — I finished with 35+ seconds left, even though every time I’d practice I’d only have 3-5 seconds left — but watching it after the fact it doesn’t seem that bad.

If you want to check out the fact pattern for the case, download “People v. Andrew Madison” from this URL at streetlaw.org.

Anyhow, hope y’all enjoy :) I’m off to study for CivPro then to prepare for this weekend’s UNCASG meeting. Have a great night! :D

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Spring ’10 Midterm Grades (or, “@#$% Ks”)

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Mar 23, 2010 in NotFail

I promised y’all yesterday to post a review of midterms “some time this week,” so I’m getting it knocked out now — with the March UNCASG meeting this Friday-Sunday, I don’t want to risk getting caught up with something and then find people telling me I can’t keep my promises :P

Given my uninspiring performance last semester — seriously botching the final exam in Ks and doing poorly on the finals in both CivPro and Property after acing their respective midterms — I changed my study habits going into the midterm exams this semester.

Gone were the hours and hours and hours of studying with outlines as long as Congressional bills.  Instead I’d study for no more than 1-2 hours the night before, first skimming through the textbook pages we covered on the syllabus and then my class notes; after that, anything I read that was suitable for flash cards got written down and gone over on the drive to class (or in between exams).

As absolutely bass-ackwards as it probably sounds, that process appears to have been far more effective for me learning the material despite spending less time studying :beatup: Not sure if it’s a fluke or not; we’ll see in about a month.

Here’s the class-by-class rundown, alphabetically by subject…

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CIVIL PROCEDURE II
====================

Last semester in CivPro was focused predominantly on jurisdiction, notice, etc and this semester is covering the Erie Doctrine and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Most of the class (myself included) seemed to be of the opinion that the midterm could have been much harder… but even so, it was sufficiently difficult that the raw class average was 9 of 20 (e.g. a 45/F).

I missed 1 of the multiple choice questions because I apparently misread one of the cases in the textbook1 but I got the rest, and did fairly well on the essay despite running out of time on part of my Erie analysis.

Expected midterm grade: A-
Actual midterm grade: D+ (raw) / A- (curved)

Synopsis: Can’t complain about the grade, but now there’s so much material to be covered on the final that wasn’t on the midterm that I’m a little worried. We’ll see how it turns out…

====================
CONTRACTS II
====================

This was the last grade to get returned to us, we got it late on Friday afternoon, and there was no feedback written anywhere on it — just the essay score on the essay, and our overall score on an index card.

And I did the exact same @#$%ing thing I did on the finals last semester :cry:

After freaking out all weekend over my worst grade to-date in this class, I met with Professor Ks on Monday to go over it. Turns out I only missed 3 multiples (safely above the class average)… the real torpedo to my grade was the essay.

The subject was a breach of contract relating to express and constructive conditions, substantial performance, damages, etc. I hand my essay to Professor Ks to review, and he barely gets past the first paragraph when he goes “I remember this essay, I don’t even have to read the rest. You did a phenomenal job on everything you wrote — you just didn’t talk about constructive conditions at all!”

I take my essay back, certain I had talked about constructive conditions somewhere, and sure enough… nothing. I don’t know if I was just in a zone or what, because unlike last time I even looked back through my essay before turning it in. Constructive conditions were nowhere to be found.

Expected midterm grade: B+
Actual midterm grade: D (raw) / C- (curved)

Synopsis: ::headdesk:: x2

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CRIMINAL LAW
====================

The key issue I knew I missed on the essay cost me half a letter grade, but surprisingly I got all the multiples right. w00t.

Someone in the section also got a near-perfect score, so there was essentially no curve to the grades using Professor CrimLaw’s formula.

Expected midterm grade: B
Actual midterm grade: A- (raw) / A- (curved)

Synopsis: Nothing to really say here. Bring on the final exam :)

====================
LEGAL RESEARCH & PERSUASION
====================

This class replaced Legal Reasoning & Analysis from last semester, and just like LRA the grade is made up from a bunch of assignments throughout the semester (culminating in a legal memo) instead of just a midterm and a final.

Everything has been straightforward so far… it just also hasn’t counted for much of anything :beatup:

Expected grade to-date: A
Actual grades to-date: A (exercises), A (BlueBook quiz #1), A- (BlueBook quiz #2)

Synopsis: Still have ~70% of this class to go… ::sigh::

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PROPERTY II
====================

Property II midterm raw grade distribution

This was our first exam, and honestly I can’t remember what was on it :beatup: Apparently no one else in the class did either because the grades were pretty bad. I put together a chart of raw scores at the right.

The Traveling Professor historically never curves, but I know at least 1 classmate who also got a grade in the A/A- range so my guess is grades were so bad she had to curve at least a little bit.

Expected midterm grade: A-
Actual midterm grade: A- (curved?)

Synopsis: Love the professor. Love the TAs. Hate the material :beatup:

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TORTS II
====================

Torts is proof that lucky guessing can pay off :spin:

I knew I got at least 1 multiple wrong right after I turned in the exam, but amazingly I didn’t miss much beyond that. The class average was 7 out of 15 — we had 6 A’s after the curve, 6 B’s, 24 C’s, and 18 in the D/F range. Somehow by the grace of God I had the top score and got to ride the curve.

Expected midterm grade: B-
Actual midterm grade: B- (raw) / A (curved)

Synopsis: This exam was intense. Hopefully the final will be at least somewhat easier.

====================
FINAL SCORE: SPRING 2010 MIDTERMS
====================

Expected Semester GPA to-date: 3.311
Actual Semester GPA to-date: 3.511 (Law school median: 2.000)

*****

So that’s the rundown through the first half of 1L Spring :) Need to avoid a repeat of last semester — doing well midway through and screwing up at the end — but so far I’m feeling pretty good :D

Heading back to the law school to give a speech for my SBA Treasurer candidacy, then to the gym for a 1L/3L basketball game! :) Forgot to mention that yesterday — the 1Ls beat the 2Ls in the annual 1L/2L game, on a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Wish us luck, and have a great night!! :D

—===—

From the archives:

  1. Relating to pay discrimination against women and what minimum contents were needed in the complaint to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss — apparently I read a dissent thinking it was the Court’s opinion instead :beatup: []

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“…We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming, already in progress.”

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Mar 22, 2010 in The 1L Life

April can’t get here fast enough :beatup:

I’m currently sitting in an auto repair shop, getting even more work done on my only-8-years-old Ford Focus,1 so I figured I’d use the unexpected downtime to finally catch y’all up on some of the events that precipitated my recent absence.

  • We got midterm grades back last week. I’ll have a thorough review of everything some time this week, but until then I’ll just say the results turned out well… except in Contracts… again :cry:
  • Late Wednesday night was spent working on a “pathfinder” for our Legal Research memos — basically a 15ish page document listing possible citation sources among case law, statutes, law journals, etc. Pretty total waste of time but at least it got done.
  • After Thursday classes, I used the evening to piece together my initial closing argument for NCCU Law‘s annual Mary Wright 1L Closing Argument competition, which is basically the big-time end-of-the-year mirror image to November’s Opening Statement competition that was used to pick the highly successful 1L Trial Team.
  • Friday was devoted to stressing out over that aforementioned closing. The competition starts at 6pm, I leave my apartment around 5:00pm to make sure I’ve got plenty of time to make the 20min drive, and what happens? I get a flat tire :beatup: And even though I’m pretty adept at changing tires and making car repairs in general2 I couldn’t get the doggone thing taken off the car — I bought new tires back in the frigidity of December, they were installed by the shop, and with the warm weather basically the rim got stuck to the brake drum. So I had to frantically get in touch with one of the folks from the trial team and hitch a ride to campus.
  • Luckily I made it to the law school in time to still check in and participate, and did well enough to advance to the final round on Sunday. Then worked for another hour or so after to finally get the dead tire off my car and put the donut on :beatup:
  • On Friday I also filed to run for Treasurer of our Student Bar Association.  Clearly I didn’t learn my lesson from last time. Elections are this Thursday so we’ll see how it goes.
  • Saturday was Wii Day — I cleaned up the house, got the tire patched, talked with Madame Prosecutor about law school miscellany, then spent the entire evening/night playing Wii. Probably should have been studying, but damn it felt good to relax.
  • Then yesterday was spent stressing out about the Closing Argument finals,3 then afterwards heading home and starting to study for Monday classes…
  • …at which point I realized I hadn’t figured out my schedule for Fall 2010 :)
  • Then this morning I woke up bright early, successfully registered for 8am classes (I’ll post the schedule later), went to CivPro, talked to Professor Ks about my dismal Contracts midterm, and then went to the auto shop… where I’ve been sitting ever since :beatup:

So yeah, that catches y’all up on the craziness that has been my life for the past few days :) Hope all of you have a great afternoon! :D

  1. “Define ‘even more,’ you ask? I’ll put it to you like this — I’m never buying another Ford unless I’m given a really sweet deal. []
  2. Because, if you couldn’t tell from the opening sentence, my Ford is a piece of mechanical @#$%. []
  3. Made sure to leave 2 hours early this time, just in case I got another flat :beatup: []

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Soooo… I lied

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Mar 21, 2010 in Randomness

I just wrote that I’d have something more substantive later on today, but when I logged in to write this post I realized I still haven’t figured out my schedule for next semester — and registration starts at 8am :beatup:

So nothing substantive today. But tomorrow? Definitely.

Maybe.

We’ll see :beatup:

Good night folks! :*

 
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“We temporarily interrupt this programming…”

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Mar 21, 2010 in Randomness

Hey everybody! Sorry I’ve been MIA for the past couple days, there’s been lots of stuff going on academic and otherwise :beatup:  Currently at school waiting for the start of the final round in NCCU Law‘s annual Mary Wright 1L Closing Argument competition held by the Trial Advocacy Board (if it’s videotaped I’ll post it for y’all :)) — once it’s done I’ll hopefully have a real post on here later tonight.

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