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December 24, 2009

Scotus Wiki on Hamilton v. Lanning


December 24, 2009 in Supreme Court | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 21, 2009

Circuit Court of Appeals Cases from Last Week

1st Circuit Court of Appeals, December 14, 2009
Haag v. US, --- F.3d ---, 2009 WL ---------- (1st Cir. 2009)(defenses to IRS request for judgment for unpaid taxes rejected where defenses are foreclosed by res judicata and are without merit)

1st Circuit Court of Appeals, December 14, 2009
Rederford v. US Airways, Inc., --- F.3d ---, 2009 WL ---------- (1st Cir. 2009)(action against airline by a former employee alleging violation under the ADA dismissed where: 1) plaintiff failed to pursue her employment discrimination claims through the bankruptcy proceeding; and 2) the district court did not err in rejecting plaintiff's contention that she nonetheless should be able to litigate her claims based on the doctrines of judicial estoppel and unclean hands)

5th Circuit Court of Appeals, December 15, 2009
In re Superior Offshore Int'l., Inc., --- F.3d ---, 2009 WL ---------- (5th Cir. 2009)(confirmation of debtor's Chapter 11 liquidation plan is affirmed where: 1) section 1123(a)(4) only required equal treatment of members within the same class; 2) the plan made all the disclosures regarding the Equity Subcommittee required by section 1129(a)(5)(A)(i); and 3) because a class of creditors voted in favor of the plan, the absolute priority rule unambiguously did not apply to those claims)

Thanks to Findlaw.com

December 21, 2009 in Other Circuit Briefs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 20, 2009

Reflections on Twenty Years of Law Teaching: A Great Article by UCLA Prof. Stephen Bainbridge

I have learned a few things over the past couple of years following Prof. Bainbridge's blogHis article on the UCLA Law Review website can be accessed here.  I would not say we agree on a lot, especially politically, but he gets me thinking. 

I certainly employ the "soft Socratic" method of teaching.  Call on a volunteer to review an assigned case or answer a question and then help when they get stuck in the response - give them a straight answer at the end of the discussion, write it on the board. 

But I part ways with Steve on whether law schools are supposed to teach students "to think like lawyers."  That is my goal in teaching and I think that is by far the accomplishment of a law student by the end of the law curriculum.  I did not realize that until I taught first year contracts after about ten years of teaching the Uniform Commercial Code to third year students.  I kept writing on exam answers from first year students, "This is not political science class."  "This is not sociology."  State the issue, state the rule, and apply the rule to the facts.  Students do not have difficulty learning the rules (the few rules which are actually important to learn).  They have a terrible time applying the rules to Mr. Jones sitting in your office with a problem that needs resolution.  Often the student will set forth the correct issue and rule, and then abandon the rule entirely because "in this case it's unfair to make Mr. Jones pay for the goods."  They have a terrible time telling Mr. Jones he blew it.  He better pay. 

But the article has motivated me to give power point a shot.  I have used it a little but never handed out a power point presentation to students.  It has motivated me to think about how to use all those electronic gadgets students are staring at during class - in a positive way - rather than just continuing to whine about it.    

December 20, 2009 in Article Reviews | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack