Friday, July 11, 2008

Random thoughts, here are some ...

I abandoned my wireless keyboard a couple of weeks ago because I think I can type faster using the little keyboard on my laptop. And, because the wireless one was very NOISY! And because, for some reason, I prefer the stealthy nature of the little built-in keyboard. I know it won't matter on the exam because I'll be wearing my earplugs, but still...

So, because I haven't typed on this little thing in quite a while, I find myself hitting keys I didn't intend. A lot. Did you know that hitting the shift key five times in a row turns on something called StickyKeys? When my mind tells my fingers to delete that last word (which sometimes happens to be longer than five characters), but my mind still thinks I'm typing on the big keyboard, I end up tapping feverishly on the shift key. And after multiple taps on the place where the delete key used to be, I get to cancel StickyKeys. Again.

The muscles in one's fingers, hands, wrists, arms, shoulders and neck that get sore after a week or so of constant typing, get better again after a couple of weeks.

When you're hungry in the middle of the afternoon and don't want to take the time to make something, and even the 5-7 minutes it takes to heat up a Lean Cuisine seems like an eternity, Dreyer's chocolate chip ice cream is a fine substitute. It's best to eat it right out of the carton because it's got a built in timer that tells you when to stop. Unless, of course, you like really soft ice cream. But it's only satisfying to eat when it's right out of the freezer because when it's really cold you actually feel like you're eating something. You have to chew it a little because you're in a hurry and you want to get back to typing on the little keyboard and canceling StickyKeys or else you would have taken the time to heat up that Lean Cuisine that's in the freezer right next to where you keep the ice cream. And the ice cream has sugar and calories to keep you going, whereas the Lean Cuisine has ... what... 180 calories? When I eat one of those I'm hungry again in about an hour. At least with the ice cream I want to go back and eat again in an hour.

Thanks for the encouragement. Appreciate it, I do.

Now, back at it, I am.

And for all of you who think I didn't work hard enough the first (and second) time; hush.


Anonymous said...

Good Luck poobah.

Anonymous said...

Well, it was bound to happen eventually...losing your mind, I mean...

CalBarNone said...

Try the Vanilla Soy Ice Cream from Trader Joe's, lowfat and delicious, makes for good milkshakes as well.

Considering using the worlds smallest laptop on the bar instead of my larger one. Take a peak at Sony's VGN-TX850P. It's literally got a 12 inch screen, but I feel I can type faster without really moving my wrists, just letting the fingers do the talking.

Anonymous said...

During a practice exam I somehow turned on the training function for the dictation thing. Fortunately, it didn't happen during the real test.

The Grand Poobah said...

Anon 7:09: Thanks. I need it.

Anon 11:56: You know what they say ... the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.

CalBarNone: The Trader Joe's ice cream sounds great, but if you're trying to use it as a nutritional supplement you'd starve. (;-)>

Anon 10:21: In July '07, a guy who was sitting two seats down from me inadvertently turned on some audible voice help thing in Vista. The Proctors freaked out for a few minutes. Funny, that was.

Anonymous said...

GP....SuperGirl here...just checking in and sending good vibes your way....did I mention how over this I am....just gotta buckle down and now and continue to memorize for those essays and also you'll be happy to know I took another MBE test this weekend and scored a 137...on my way I am...actually i do have a question which i was wondering you can give your input on or anyone out there; it's a crimes goes.

"Shore decided to destroy his dilapidated building in order to colelct the insurance money. He hired Parsons to burn down the buildling. Parsons broke into the building and carefully searched it to make sure no one was inside. He failed, however, to see a vagrant asleep in an office closet. He started a fire. The building was destroyed and the vagrant died from burns a week later. Two days after the fire,Shore filed an insruance claim in which he state that he had no information about the cause of the fire.

If Shore is guilty of felony-murder, it is because the vagrant's death occurred in conncection with the felony of:
a) arson
b) fraud
c) conspiracy
d) burglary

So felonies are burg. and arson and I chose burg because a "dilapidated building" in not a house I'm confused...why is the answer arson and not burglary is it because the facts don't state nighttime because if that's the reason I would like to point out to the NCBE that the facts also do not state a "dwelling House" which is what is required for arson at CL...confused i am...moreso annoyed! Thanks for the help anyone....Good luck GP hope you have a great study week!

Super Girl

The Grand Poobah said...

SuperGirl: Congrats on the score! That would work out to something like a 150 scaled. (;-)>

WIthout getting too deep into that MBE (or looking it up and reading the explanatory answer), these are my thoughts.

Regarding the burglary, one cannot commit a crime against himself, right? So the entry into the building was not with the specific intent to commit a crime therein. The crime intended was insurance fraud, which wasn’t to be committed until later when he filed the false claim - so, no burg.

And if there’s no burg, there’s no transferred intent. So, if he's going to guilty of felony murder, and you have to pick from the available options, you have to go with the arson.

Re: the other answer options - conspiracy is how he's liable, and fraud is the motive.

That's not a lot of detail, but the explanatory answer should provide that. Let me know of you don't have access to an explanation and I'll see if I can't find it.

Anonymous said...

I assume you know you can turn the 5-shift sticky key off? Control Panel > Accessibility Options > Keyboard > Stick Keys > Settings.

Also, I'd trade the slight slowness of an ergonomic keyboard for the less carpal tunnel and pain. And the less deleting of accidental typing due to little keys might make up for the fastness of a laptop keyboard. Just my $0.02.

Anonymous said...

GP-SuperGirl here...thanks for the insight it definitely helps....I definitely am starting to feel a little pressure it getting hot??? Well keep you head up and you are in my prayers :)

dtrizzle said...

You have the right attitude and seem to be in the zone. You got it this time.

Anonymous said...

Good luck to everyone! I passed in February and am takin' the IL bar in two weeks.

I assure you that NO bar in this country is as difficult and more respected than our California bar exam. The Illinois bar has a 4600 max character limit per essay, and the PT is only 90 minutes. The preparation and the quality of answers that is expected on the IL bar pales in comparison to the California beast.

Keep at it GP, you will pass. I have no doubt..


Anonymous said...

TGP and all others,

I know as a second time taker, that we all must go into this exam, locked and loaded, to fire sharply, at any of the 19 subjects, that can potentially be tested on the exam. HOWEVER, come on now, humor me for a brief second, as a collective group of repeat takers, I am certain, that if we tried, we can narrow this thing down a bit, what do you say? What do all of you guys think, that has a higher probability of creeping up on this exam?

Most importantly, here is wishing all of you lots of health, and peace of mind, as we all get ready to go back into the trenches.

Gabriel N.

dtrizzle said...

@Gabriel N

Here are my essay predictions.

Aspiring Solo said...

Looks like your studying is going well. I am getting close to burnout but overall hanging in there. Can't wait for it to be over. Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

First Time/Repeat Takers BEWARE!

I had the opportunity to have lunch with a practicing lawyer in Orange County who has been grading exams for the past six years and here is what he told me, this does come from the horses mouth. (by the way, he was assigned to grading Question 4 on the February 2008 exam, everyone seems to have bombed that one for some reason).

It is a MISCONCEPTION with most exam takers, that the reader will not COMPLETELY read the exam booklet. Most takers think that the reader is merely SKIMMING for issues on the exam. WRROOONNNNGGGGG!

From what I understand now finally, certainly the reader is looking for issue spotting ability (approx. 14% of the points) and comprehension of an applicable rule (approx. 10% of the points), as well as a conclusion that makes sense to the READER 9approx. 7% of the points), HOWEVER, (approx 69%% of the points) comes from the analysis/legal reasoning ability of the student, which by the way is READ IN FULL by each and every bar exam reader that takes this job on to grade bar exams.

We all collectively as a group might be a little aloof in thinking that these readers do not give a shit about what we have to say, well folks, FROM THE HORSES MOUTH, they read each and every word of your analysis ESPECIALLY, because that is the only place that they can determine if you are capable of THINKING LIKE A LAWYER SHOULD, and isn't this whole exam about establishing that one important fact after all.

Gabriel N.

The Grand Poobah said...

Okay Gabriel, I'll indulge....

In order of "likely to appear":

Evidence - we know what they test here. Look for CA distinctions.

Civil Procedure - I would expect them to focus on the, here it comes, distinctions; and then PJ/SMJ, res judicata, collateral estoppel, supplemental jurisdiction and joinder (and the kitchen sink, which will be filing an interpleader).

Contracts - don't forget Remedies.

Con Law - commerce clause, 1st Am speech & religion, 14th Am due process, equal protection.

Wills and/or Trusts - (x-over with Comm Prop &/or PR?)

Professional Responsibility - this is always to be expected, and the distinctions are easily incorporated.

Mix some Agency/Partnership in with the Contracts and PR above. Property was on the July '07 exam but not the Feb '08 exam. When was the last time they tested Torts defamation/privacy? Or Corporations - 10b5, 16b, derivative suit; easily crossed over with PR.

What haven't I mentioned? Crim Law/Pro. It could happen. Probably more likely Crim Pro if it appears.

There you have my predictions, which are based on someone else's predictions, which are ...

Anonymous said...


Just in case (70% or better probability) Evidence happens to pop it's head on this bar exam, let's all get familiar with all these distinctions between the FRE and the CEC:

Admission by Party Opponent/Vicarious Admission

Business Records

Character Evidence

Dying Declarations



Logical Relevance

Non Responsive

Official Records

Past Bodily Condition

Present Sense Impression

Prior Statement of Identification

Proposition 8

Spousal Immunity

REMEMBER: Even if you do not memorize the exact distinction word by word, just memorize this short list and let them know that there is a distiction (I would rather pick up 1 or 2 points for mentioning that rather than nothing).

Gabriel N

Anonymous said...


Just in case (70% or better probability) Civil Procedure happens to pop it's head on this bar exam, let's all get familiar with all these distinctions between the FRCP and the CRCP:

Collaretal Estoppel

Compulsory Couterclaim

Defamation Claim

Motion for Summary Judgment

Res Judicata

Voluntary Appearance/Motion to Quash Service of Summons

REMEMBER: Even if you do not memorize the exact distinction word by word, just memorize this short list and let them know that there is a distiction (I would rather pick up 1 or 2 points for mentioning that rather than nothing).

Gabriel N

Anonymous said...

FWIW Folks,

According to my source, who by the way has been grading CA bar exams for the past 13 administrations, here is what he feels is going to be on the July 2008 CBE:


My advise to all of you is to POUND these subjects HARD.

Good luck all, I will be taking my exam at the Anaheim Convention Center, since I am a total retard, when it comes to typing.

Gabriel N.

calbar blondie said...

Thanks to Gabriel for condensing these two subject area distinctions down to a "short list"...just refined my checklist to reflect this! Madly typing here...good luck to all in crunchtime!
GP, your blog is oh-so-valuable!! We appreciate you!

Anonymous said...


The CA distinctions are a good idea. Can you clarify what you mean by the distinctions in compulsory counterclaims and defamation? I'm using barbri, and the compulsory counterclaim seems to be simply renamed in California. Defamation didn't come up anywhere in their civ pro lectures that I recall.


Jonathan L. Kramer, Esq. said...

Best of luck to all of you, my friends and future peers. As especially to our host, my friend, and my alumni.

Jonathan Kramer, Esq.

Jonathan L. Kramer, Esq. said...

P.S. Kick butt!


Anonymous said...

Ah, defamation = anti-SLAPP. Got it.

Anonymous said...

Torts: Consumer expectation text/ burden shifting/Cost benefit analysis.

I heard from the head of the bar exam, that No points are awarded for rule statements. As he put it, "we are looking for people that we would want to hire to represent our grandmothers, not people who can recite rules".

I took Barbri and tried doing this on their exams, and failed every one. Yuck!

Anonymous said...

Best of luck to you all guys, specially to you Grand Poobah, owner of this inspiring blog, I am sure you will make it this time. I failed California once, then took IL and passed it; will be back trying to pass CAL on February.

Go for it!!!

The Grand Poobah said...

Thanks Jonathan! I appreciate your support, your encouragement and your confidence!

Anonymous said...

to the IL bar passer - how different (and how much easier) was the IL bar compared to the Calif bar?

Would you say that the detail of the answers and the analysis is somewhat less than that expected on the CA bar?

teeniekp said...

Hi GP, stopping by to wish you all the best next week! Going to spend the next 2 hours at the hairdresser to hide all the grey that had sprang up over the last 3 months. Don't want to look like an "ancient" next to the young, fresh faced applicants : ) : )

The Grand Poobah said...

Hey Teenie,

I think you'll be surprised to find that there are quite a few of us "older" students taking the exam. And if it's any consolation, most of us there (young and fresh as well as the ancient) will be showing obvious signs of the strain of the last few weeks.

I resolved two issues at the same time (lack of complete coverage and gray hair) when I decided to, as my daughter puts it, "Bic" my head. I suppose I could do as the commercials suggest and make the hair on my scruffy chin all black, but I don't mind being called a "gray beard" once in a while. (;-)>

It's all good! As long as I'm alive to hear the things people say about me, I'm ahead of the game. There's a bright side to everything!

Anonymous said...

IL Bar exam candidate:

You cannot include much detail as you only have 30 minutes per essay.

I did use RAC (with enphasis in A) and I had no problem in getting a good mark in each of the essays.

If you were ready to sit for the CALBAR then you will be able to pass the IL bar.

Make no mistake; the IL bar exam is not an easy exam; I couldn't say that the CALBAR was more difficult in itself. The real issue is that CA graders are MEAN in marking our exams; in IL graders are fair and if you demonstrate you can write passing essays you will get passing marks.

The MPT could be very tricky as it was when I took the exam and you only have to find the key and write a good answer to get a good mark.

Time management is the key to pass the IL Bar exam; each essay has 3 or 4 questions, you have to answer them straightforward without including non required information.

Best luck! I am sure you will make it.

teeniekp said...

Hi GP, yes it is all good when we can wake up every morning to a bright and sunny day!

A little grammar error in my previous post. It should read "had sprung" not "had sprang." Anyways, it was a nice three hour break from Proposition 8 - Right to Truth-in-Evidence and state constitutional right not to have relevant evidence excluded. Instead, I get to indulge in which celebrity "rawks" in which outfit etc, etc. I guess with your "Bic" fashion profile, you don't get to spend hours looking over meaningless magazines.

For one who qualifies for AARP membership and does the bar exam for no other reason than to punish herself, I hope the 3 hours spent this morning will help me melt into the crowd next week : ).

Have a great weekend GP and all visitors to this great blog for bar applicants. All the best next week!

stella said...

GP - Still pulling for you! This is it - 3rd times the charm, buddy!