Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The "Do We Need to Know..." Trilogy: Part 1 - The Artichoke Answer

In a review session for Secured Transactions (Article 9) yesterday, a student asked (with some obvious trepidation, knowing how erratic my behavior can become when faced with this question) whether "we needed to know" some aspects of Article 8 (having to do with what it means to "control" a securities account).  Here was my response, as best I recall twelve hours later:

Do you need to know it?  Hmm.  There is probably no limit to the depth you could go in answering any law school exam question, particularly one involving the U.C.C., but do you need to know it?  Think of answering the question as unpeeling an artichoke.  You don't need to unpeel it down to the heart to write a merely decent answer, but the more you Artichoke unpeel it the better the answer will be, and a truly great answer would unpeel it in an organized and transparent way, and do it very deeply.  So could you do okay without knowing the specific provisions of Article 8?  Maybe.  However you did otherwise, though, would you do better if you knew Article 8?  The answer to that has to be yes.  I don't mean to be evasive, but that's the best answer I can give to that question.

UPDATE:  I realize from talking to colleagues that it may be relevant that I have a very, very liberal open book exam policy, which pretty much allows anything except purchased and non-assigned commercial supplements.

[Jeff Lipshaw]

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