Tweet-sized Tuesdays #7

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Oct 13, 2009 in Tweet-sized Tuesdays

Best mile & 400m in my life @ PT this AM… I hurt :beatup: Caught up in Property + CivPro (Asahi Metal is an ugly case). Reading torts til bed! :)

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About those midterms…

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Oct 12, 2009 in Fail

A couple keen observers noticed that my last three entries completely avoided any reference at all to my final two midterm exams in Torts and Property.  The omission was intentional — I discovered on Friday that the N.C. Central School of Law is apparently one of relatively few law schools that even have midterms (which just seems strange to me) so I didn’t want to dwell on the topic in deference to my non-NCCU readers :*

But then we had CivPro this morning…

Now remember I mentioned a few days ago that I thought things turned out better than expected in CivPro. And although I got [K]O’d in Contracts, I also felt pretty good about Property and at least so-so in Torts (I n00b-ishly didn’t watch the clock and ran out of time on the essay, but blazed through the multiples).

And then Mean Dean Green1 took all that confidence — both from myself and other students in the class — and dashed it across the cold, jagged rocks of reality.  He noted we will be having a “debriefing session” on Friday.  That translates to “extra class,” which triggered alarm bells in my mind since a midterm that generally turned out well could just use a snippet of pre-existing class time for review.

He also noted at several points that we would be “kicking it up a notch.” And if that didn’t adequately convey the point, he also noted that “y’all are not where you need to be.”

::cue the little siren GIF from the Drudge Report::

So to satisfy my own morbid curiosity, after class I went to his office hours and inquired about the class grades. He wasn’t willing to divulge much information, except to note that “the class average on the multiples was failing. And the essays I’ve read so far are much, much worse.” :beatup:

I’m going to be pulling out the little bit of hair I have left on my head waiting to get my paper back on Thursday…

Off to study Contracts and Property for tomorrow, and hoping those midterms turned out better.  Have a great night everybody! :)

  1. An appellation that, as previously noted, really doesn’t fit the man at all. []

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A quick shout out to Madame Prosecutor & Q.T.

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Oct 7, 2009 in The 1L Life

Can’t write anything lengthy today — once Torts wraps up this afternoon, I’ll be bunkered in my room studying Contracts all night.

But I did want to say a quick “omgthxusomuchsrsly!!1” to Madame Prosecutor and Q.T.  My CivPro midterm was at 8:30am this morning, and it went much better than it would have gone otherwise.  Madame Prosecutor argued with me at length while reviewing the material, and it exposed how much of it I thought I knew but didn’t.  Then I wrote down a handful of index cards and reviewed with Q.T. for about an hour (and kept going through them in my head on the drive to class today).

End result? Assuming my essay turns out as well as the multiple choice options, I’ll be in good shape heading into finals :)

So thank you both!  And to everyone else — keep your fingers crossed for me plz! :D  The Ks exam is @ 8:30am tomorrow, then Torts and Property are both on Friday! :eek:

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“I’m Batman.”

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Sep 28, 2009 in The 1L Life

On a much lighter note from last night’s rant — and I apologize again to my normal readers, and to you unfortunate souls who somehow stumble across this site after Google searches like “do i have to take my stuff in a ziploc bag to the lsat” (yes, you do) — in Torts today we finally got to the case idwsj was talking about in his post from the Friday Drive-by.

The case is Breunig v. American Family Insurance Company (45 Wis. 2d 536), and the court’s opinion notes:

…Mrs. Veith told him she was driving on a road when she believed that God was taking ahold of the steering wheel and was directing her car. She saw the truck coming and stepped on the gas in order to become airborne because she knew she could fly because Batman does it. To her surprise she was not airborne before striking the truck but after the impact she was flying…

I know it wasn’t the key “take home” point of the case, but the nerd in me couldn’t help thinking during the class discussion “Batman doesn’t really fly per se, it was all special equipment…”

Have a good night everybody :D

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Getting supplemented

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Sep 21, 2009 in The 1L Life

idwsj is one of the blawgs I check daily because the writing is just that good.  Seriously.

So when I read this post from a few days ago, I figured I’d save myself the $$ and forgo buying supplements for my classes since it seemed they weren’t that useful.  Especially when I almost feel comfortable in Contracts, Property and Torts.  But Civil Procedure.  Ohhh Civil Procedure…

I genuinely like CivPro.  It’s basically the class on being a lawyer and doing lawyerly things.  It’s rule-based.  It’s fairly objective.  And it’s the #1 source of 12(b)(6) jokes ;)

But I’m lost.

It’s not that the material is difficult to understand, we’re just blazing through so many Rules and statutes and case law that my mind is having a hard time digesting all the chunks of FRCP, USC and judicial commentary.  So I broke down and dropped some cash on a copy of Emanuel’s CivPro law outlines.  And then while I was at it made an impulse purchase of the Contracts, Property and Torts books also — just in case.

Final price tag:  $$$$.

I’ll let you know if they’re useful at all.  For my sake, cross your fingers :)

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Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Sep 20, 2009 in Randomness

I love Sundays.  A big breakfast of bacon, eggs and biscuits (or french toast if I’m in a festive mood).  The morning political talk shows.  Studying CivPro and Torts out on the deck.  A relaxing, home-cooked dinner.  And Law & Order SVU marathons.

L&O marathons are lifesavers for boredom. I usually just cut on the TV in the background while studying.  On one of today’s reruns (Season 7 Episode 13), detectives are chasing a pedophile who runs up to a rooftop, gets cornered, and decides to jump to an adjacent building.  He makes it, but as he’s trying to pull himself up his hand slips, he falls 20 floors and goes splat.

And I start laughing. Hysterically.

This is one of the reasons I’m going into law instead of law enforcement…


Sorry for being MIA for the past couple days.  Friday was spent studying, cleaning and hosting some folks for a poker game (I lost all of my $$ to Madame Prosecutor) then Saturday was all about college football and going to see a movie ((500) Days of Summer — surprisingly good flick).  I’ll try to do better next weekend :)  Have a good night folks!

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The joys of the Socratic method

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Sep 16, 2009 in Fail

Envision for a minute that you’re watching television.

A Pay-Per-View channel specifically.

And not just any Pay-Per-View channel, but one with shows that are kind of a blend between a UFC match and the movie Gladiator.

Where the bad guy is a robot, wielding a 500ish-page Torts textbook in one hand and a 500ish-page Contracts textbook in the other, trying to bludgeon its opponent to death, and the only way to stop it is to utter the right combination of cryptic phrases like “shopkeeper’s privilege” and “sua sponte” and “offer / acceptance / consideration / mutual assent”.

And the hero dies in the end.

That’s a rough approximation of how I envisioned the Socratic method of teaching law.  Fortunately it hasn’t turned out nearly that bad — no one’s died so far as I know :) — but as I mentioned yesterday I’m a little worried I’ve become a marked man.

It all started this past Monday in Torts.  Remember a couple Fridays ago when I volunteered to go over Pearson v. Dodd, flubbed my response, and Professor Torts noted with a Cheshire Cat smile that she’d be “coming back to [me] very soon”?  Yeah, that was Monday.

We’re going over defenses to intentional torts, and the case being reviewed was Bonkowski v. Arlan’s Department Store (12 Mich. App. 88). Unlike my last crash-and-burn experience, though, this time I just knew I had outmaneuvered Professor Torts! Figuring she’d call me at some point in the week, I not only (i) had hand-written case notes but (ii) instantly pulled up my typed case brief on my laptop and (iii) flipped to the well-highlighted pages in my textbook.  I was going to nail these questions.

I went over the case summary without a hitch.  Answered the first couple questions without a hitch.  Then got asked why the Court brought in the Montgomery Ward case for comparison (Montgomery Ward & Co v. Freeman, 199 F2d 720), and… splat.

There were/are essentially 3 “take-home points” from Bonkowski as far as defense goes:  validating the shopkeeper’s privilege, a distinction regarding the length of time a customer is detained, and a distinction regarding where the customer is located at the time the shopkeeper attempts to detain them.  I had all 3 points written down with corresponding notes, but never put in my notes the source documents the Court was comparing against with each (the Restatement (Second) of Torts, the Montgomery Ward case, and the R2T again, respectively).

So after making it through shopkeeper’s privilege and getting the M. Ward question, I realized the shortcoming in my notes, mentally freaked, couldn’t find the right passage in the textbook quickly enough, figured I had a 50-50 shot at guessing 1 of the 2 remaining points I wrote down, and picked the distinction re location (aka the wrong answer).  The Professor gives me the raised eyebrow that says “You’re totally wrong and trying to BS me.” I notice, then promptly correct myself by referencing the timeframe of detainment.  The Professor confirms but notes that “Whenever the Court is bringing in another case, you need to make sure you understand why the Court is bringing in the case” (“Yes ma’am.”).  Now I’m thinking I’m in the clear… when she asks what other take-home points, if any, I found.

In my mind I’m thinking I already brought up the location issue so that covered the 3 issues and there shouldn’t be anything else. But since the location issue was the wrong answer at the time I brought it up, I found out after class that the Professor was expecting me to repeat it at the appropriate time… and instead I had said I didn’t have any other points.  Which prompted a less-than-happy string of commentary to the class that we’re clearly not reading the material and if we don’t stop playing around with her and the course we’d regret it by midterms.

Professor Torts:  2.  TDot:  0.

And like the last time someone flubbed a response that indicated they hadn’t read, who was the first person to get called on the next day in Contracts?  Yours truly.

Not only was I the first person called, but I felt like I hadn’t even been attending the class because the questions asked didn’t line up at all with the notes I had written down.  By the time my 5 minutes worth of fumbling for answers was finished, it was pretty well-cemented in my mind that I need to do a better job picking the salient points to jot down in my notes…

Anyhow, hopefully I’ll at least have a reprieve for the next few classes :)  I’ve been spared recent humiliation both in Property and in CivPro — though in the search logs for law:/dev/null I noticed 2 separate visitors who came here yesterday after searches for Mean Dean Green, so I might be on the hit list now for that class too (Prof Green, if you happen to read this: the entire Gang of Eight, myself included, thinks you’re a phenomenal teacher.  And I had nothing at all to do with the nickname.  Don’t kill me plz.)

Hope all of you are having a great week so far!  Have a good night everybody!! :D

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Tweet-sized Tuesdays #3

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Sep 15, 2009 in Tweet-sized Tuesdays

TDot == marked man. Torts yesterday: fail. Contracts today: fail++.  More details tomorrow.  LRA test in AM, studying then to bed. Night! :D

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Dealing with “the bubble”

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Sep 13, 2009 in The 1L Life

Maybe it was my 1L naïveté.  Or my ridiculously oversized ego.  Or just the fact sending and receiving several thousand text messages in a month isn’t that unusual for me.  But I thought I could handle the law school “bubble”… and instead it’s starting to handle me.  Grrr.

It all started with me trolling through the new blawg posts online (I <3 Safari’s Top Sites feature for this :D ) and reading this entry over at Fearfully Optimistic.  Although I don’t constantly hit the refresh button on my RSS feed — and actually never learned how to use an RSS reader until I started law:/dev/null and saw how much RSS feeds impact readership — my own procrastination vice is texting.  Hands down.

But I hadn’t really seen it as much of a vice up to this point.  Texting lets me stay in touch with people regularly, and between spending years as a Comp Sci undergrad and having a full QWERTY keyboard on the BlackBerry I can actually text about as fast as I can type (110wpm on a keyboard, somewhere north of 80wpm on the BlackBerry).

With my phone firmly in hand, I was going to beat the law school bubble.  Yes I had a ton of reading, but what’s a sporadic message here and there?  Sure I needed to brief those cases, but can a quick 10-text exchange really be that bad?  And I know that outline probably needs to be updated, but omg did you hear about what happened after the football game?! (We trounced Murray State btw, 65-0 :) )

Then I spent most of today split between filling out paperwork for a security clearance (every snippet of my life for the past 10 years?? shootmeplzkthx) and reading for CivPro and Torts tomorrow… and noticed how bonkers my phone drives me at times.

Never saw the movie, but I'm guessing it was about law school...

Never saw the movie, but I'm guessing it was about law school...

There were 50+ messages between one of my friends and I, with at least 1 every hour starting at 1pm.  There were 75+ between myself and another friend, with at least 1 every hour starting at 9am.  And there were at least 100+ back and forth messages with a 3rd friend over BlackBerry Messenger, which I stopped counting because it’s so much like AIM in that it’s ridiculously easy to send someone the slightest thought of even marginal significance that it can’t even really qualify as conversation.

At this point you’re probably thinking “Just cut off the damn phone.”  And you’re right, I should.  But I’m always paranoid the one time I decide to cut the phone completely off will be the one moment a friend’s in a car accident or drunk out of their mind needing a DD or in the hospital with acute appendicitis or something.

So then I set the phone to only go off when there’s an actual call — just for me to respond like Pavlov’s dog and habitually check to see if someone’s texted me but I missed it because the ringer was off.

Recognizing my addiction prompts me to make myself less available, force myself not to respond to texts, be “that guy we used to call a friend who’s now still a friend technically I guess but is really better friends with his law books and has no life because he’s always doing homework and reading and being all law-like” (actual quote)…

…and then realize I’ve essentially ended up as the one thing I tried to avoid.  Ugh.

Hope all of you had a good weekend, and have a good night! :)

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Yay CivPro and Torts…

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Sep 12, 2009 in Randomness

Nothing to really write about today.  I stayed up late last night watching the Tale of Despereaux — every now and then everyone should take a break from the seriousness of life to enjoy a kid’s movie :) — then slept in late this morning, got some work done after I got up, headed down to Raleigh to tailgate with friends and watched the Wolfpack of N.C. State University demolish the Murray State Racers (65-7 final score).  Just got home about 30 minutes ago to resume studying Torts and CivPro…

…and part of me wishes I was still drunk.  Currently on recovery of property in Torts, and I honestly don’t know at the moment where we are in Civil Procedure.  I’ll have to check my notes in the morning.

For a guy who didn’t have his first alcoholic beverage until he was 25, I feel like I’m going to be a certified alcoholic by the time law school is over…

Have a great night everybody! :D

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