Professor Torts unleashed!

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Aug 19, 2009 in The 1L Life | Subscribe

I wasn’t even going to write a second entry today given my sadly predictable start to the morning.

But it’s not every day you get to personally witness a homicide…


Supreme Court of TGD, 2009
10 F.2d 747

TDOT, CHIEF JUSTICE.  The victim was the self-esteem of a 1L student (hereafter dubbed “That Guy”), mercilessly decapitated in plain view of about four dozen witnesses.  The accused claims self defense and accordingly has filed a Motion to Dismiss, citing the deceased’s attempted assault on her intelligence.  The incident took place at approximately 2:15pm in Room 102 of the Turner Law Building at NC Central University.

Defendant was teaching her course in Torts I, and had selected That Guy as the student responsible for debriefing the second case of the day (Spivey v. Battaglia, 258 So.2d 815 (1972)).  That Guy sat in silence for at least 45 seconds, to which the Defendant indicated he could “begin at any time.”  That Guy replied he was just trying to open his brief on the case.  Students adjacent to and behind That Guy noticed he was pulling up an incomplete brief provided by the 2L students to 1Ls as a supplement, containing minimal case information.  That Guy proceeded to recite the information contained in the 2L-originated brief.

Defendant asked the victim a series of questions relating to the case, whereupon it became evident That Guy had read none of the material and was simply trying to bluff his way through his experience with the Socratic method of teaching.  Defendant continued questioning, receiving in response the same minimal information reworded in various ways.

Upon realizing the cluelessness of That Guy, the Defendant proceeded to ask a variety of trick questions.  For example, in an incredulous tone she asked if Battaglia did indeed paralyze Spivey with just a one-armed hug around the neck (he had), to which That Guy replied that he “thought she might have fallen down or something afterward that caused it.”  Defendant corrected That Guy and continued with similar questions.

Defense Exhibit A - Note the different colors for Torts (blue) and Property (red)

Defense Exhibit A. Note the different colors for Torts (blue) and Property (red).

After roughly 10 minutes of questioning, That Guy replied that he was sorry and should have been more thorough with his brief.  Defendant replied that he should ignore what is written in his brief and consult his textbook.  The Court notes at this point that the covers of textbooks for 1L students are in different colors as apparent in Defense Exhibit A.

That Guy turned a couple pages in the open book on his desk and began to speak.  Defendant interrupted the deceased before he could utter a word and noted the book on his desk was (by virtue of its red cover) not the Torts textbook.  In a menacing tone Defendant inquired if That Guy was reading for another course in her class, on the second day of said class, when he was clearly unprepared.  Defendant further interrogated That Guy by asking what exactly he was thinking or how exactly he was expecting to get away with responding to Defendant’s questions with text from another book. The verbal exchange between That Guy and Defendant continued for an unknown period of time until That Guy placed his Property textbook in his bookbag. His face as red as a baboon’s hindquarters with a sunburn, the deceased stammered various indeterminable utterances before the Defendant moved on to the next case.

None of the facts entered into evidence in this matter are disputed by the State.  It is apparent to this Court that the deceased read none of the material required for his class.  It is further apparent that he attempted to mislead the Defendant by reciting information from an incomplete brief that he himself had not completed.  It is still further apparent that he did, in fact, attempt to assault the Defendant’s intelligence by then reading the text of a different course’s textbook in search of suitable answers to Defendant’s questioning.

Based on the record before this Court, the cause cannot be sustained.  The Defendant’s Motion is granted.  Charges dismissed.


Advice to current and future 1Ls:

  • Read the material in the syllabus.
  • If you haven’t read the material, confess your sins and accept the penance imposed upon you.
  • Never try to bluff a professor.  They know more than you do.
  • If you’re going to roll the dice and try to bluff a professor, don’t use a canned/incomplete brief… and make sure you have the right textbook on your desk ;)


Good night everybody! :)

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Aug 20, 2009 at 9:34 PM


Also, remember the daily blog doesn’t have to be long. It just has to exist.

And, self defense is an affirmative defense…and probably not appropriate for a motion to dismiss? Maybe?

Aug 22, 2009 at 8:43 AM

Haha I guess — we haven’t gotten that far in Civil Procedure or Torts yet, and I don’t take Criminal Law I until next semester ;)


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