Saturday, June 30, 2007

community property

Community property has to be the hardest subject I've covered. It's not that the concepts are difficult--in fact, they're usually straightforward--it's that reading this area of law is like sifting through the debris from the wreckage of a thousand marriages. Every little rule is a tombstone, a crater left by another marriage that exploded.

For example, normally either spouse may buy or sell community property. So you can spend your wife's salary to buy the family groceries, for example. But there's this lovely little exception: a spouse cannot sell personal property used in the family dwelling--furniture, furnishings, etc.--or clothing without the written consent of the other spouse. Imagine the scenario that gave rise to that gem of a rule.

Alright, back to slogging through this stuff. I'm coming up on what happens when one spouse tries to sell the family home. Yay.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

back at it

I took a day off to rejuvinate and it's made a big difference. Now I'm back at it, trying to soak up some subjects for the first time. We just had wills and trusts in two days. Today was a review of professional responsibility. Still in the lineup: community property and agency & partnership.

Friday, June 22, 2007

hitting the wall

I'm hitting the wall in studying. It's a lot like training for a marathon--sometimes you hit a wall and have to back off. I'm getting to that point now, where my study time is quickly becoming a lot less efficient.

Last night, I finally quit at 9:00, so after a quick e-mail check I wound up surfing the net. If you're an Ask a Ninja fan or a Mythbusters fan, there's a hilarious crossover on the Ask a Ninja site, along with a Scooby Doo-style music video reposte.

Monday, June 18, 2007

simulated MBE

We took a simulated multistate bar exam today. It's a six hour, 200-question multiple choice exam with some of the most devious multiple choice questions I've ever dealt with. It covers six subjects: real property, torts, criminal law and procedure, contracts, evidence, and constitutional law. Needless to say, we were all pretty drained by the end of it.

However, inspired by the gentle lovingkindness that is the MBE, I offer the following for your consideration:

Questions 1-20 are based on the following fact pattern:

Debbie owned Blackacre in fee simple in state X, where she operated Killemex, a chemical factory that produced deadly nerve gas. Blackacre was separated from Whiteacre, a private religious school, by a piranha-infested non-navigable stream with a bridge in which the common owner had granted both parties express easements, promptly recorded, with a covenant making each 50% liable for repairs. Blackacre also had an electric fence along what had once been the edge of the stream, but accretion had moved the stream slightly towards Whiteacre.

Debbie received a fax from Supplemex, an out-of-state chemical suppler, saying it would provide "your requirements, up to 100 tons, of Upyournosic Acid, at $250/ton, F.O.B. state Z, firm offer." Debbie tried to accept but her fax machine was broken.

Congress has just passed a statute that provides books to all schools, private and public. At the same time, the legislature of state X had just passed a statute granting a 10% sales tax rebate to all alien-owned out-of-state businesses selling product in state X. The state legislature ordered the newspapers not to publish the rebate, but the newspapers learned of it by searching through garbage a state legislator had placed at the curb for collection. Debbie was both a strong Atheist and someone who objected to paying taxes. Upon reading of the two statutes, Debbie suffered severe emotional distress and forgot to lock the gate to the factory as she left for home.

As Debbie drove across the easement and turned onto the main road, Walt exclaimed, just as he had done habitually every single day for the last ten years, "Look at that! That yellow car made an illegal right on red!" As Debbie drove home, she became angrier and angrier at the thought of the tax rebate her competitors would receive and the books that would go to Whiteacre. She became so enraged that she stopped to purchase a cigarette lighter with which to burn down her own house.

In the meantime, 50 schoolchildren, noticing the gate was unlocked, swam across the piranha-infested stream onto Blackacre. Due to a manufacturing defect in the electric fence (which had been installed by an independent contractor), they were not electrocuted. They soon began enjoying a game of "superheroes" on the factory grounds. Little Danny opened a valve to a nerve gas storage tank in an attempt to frighten little Paula, whose back was turned at the time. Fortunately a defective batch of Upyournosic Acid which Killemex had previously accepted in shipment from Supplemex had rendered the nerve gas in the tank inert, but the liquid stained Paula's shirt a bright green.

When Debbie learned of the children on the factory grounds, she abandoned and renounced her plans to burn down her house and instead created an oral contract with Peter to remove the children. She told Peter "time is of the essence: I want them off the property by tomorrow morning" and in exchange offered to convey a 50% undivided interest in Blackacre "to Peter for life, remainder to Peter's widow, but if Blackacre should ever not be used for National Defense purposes Debbie and her heirs shall have the right to reenter and retake Peter's interest." Peter agreed, began removing the children, and immediately applied for and received six mortgages on his interest in Blackacre, only the first and last of which were recorded.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

reviewing con law

How can such a little tiny Constitution have so many moving parts?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Never give up! Never surrender!

Civ Pro and Cal Civ Pro from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., nonstop high speed lecture. My head's spinning. It's going to take a while to get all this stuff straight. If this process has been a marathon, we're in the final uphill stretch, and I'm mostly running on determination. Never give up! Never surrender!