Friday, February 27, 2009

Now that we're done with that mess....

Actually, it wasn't too much of a mess. Unless I consider what I had on "paper" when time was called after the Tuesday afternoon session. I made my best guess as to how to use the foreign law material, dispensed with it up front, then proceeded to explain why an injunction/TRO would be issued despite the fact that Pannine had an adequate remedy at law.

I feel like the graders could give me a passing answer on each of the essays I wrote, and on PT-B as well. And I only felt unsure of my answer on about 10 of the MBEs. But I usually feel sure about the answers I eventually pick regardless of whether it's the right one or not. I've been at 80-85% on the practice MBEs for the last two years, but my score on the actual exam has been within a few points of 65%.

Lisa Duncanson predicted Civ Pro and had us write a couple essays under exam conditions in the weeks before the exam. She also predicted an Evidence transcript-style question as well as the obligatory PR essay. So, thanks to her, I was well prepared for the first day's essays.

Lisa also predicted Torts defamation, Con Law, and Corporations. We were looking for the Federal Securities issues in Corps though. The only thing she missed on was her prediction of Wills/Trusts. So if I didn't pass this time, it was due to my reluctance to take the time to construct a proper outline before I started writing.

Of course, it could also be due to my insistence on writing like Yoda. Know that, do you? The proper answers, I gave. Understand them, the graders did not. Of this habit, break myself, I cannot. I must, it seems, thrust my recreational reading on the bar examiners. My split personality, it seems, I cannot control. A jurisdiction, I must find, that understands my mind.

Hey, maybe I'm a poet too? No more rhyming now, I mean it! Anybody want a peanut?

Ack...! There's a sour apple in every barrel, it seems.

It's too late to wish everyone good luck on the exam, so I will wish you good luck on having a happy grader reading your answers! (;-)>


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, the CBX examiners fooled all the bar prep gurus by throwing venue + discovery in there. No way could anyone predict that. Had they done CA CIvpro, we would've all hit home runs.

The Grand Poobah said...

Tru dat!

Pardon me.

Yes, of course, that indeed is true. I don't recall Lisa mentioning a specific area of Civ Pro, but I'm pretty sure she didn't mention discovery. Of course, I could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

Awesome, you are.

Anonymous said...

One major benefit of attending an ABA school, as opposed to online, is that quite often your professors are or have been bar graders. Thus, they are always giving tips on what bar graders look for in the bar essays. These helpful hints proved quite valuable when I took the exam.

The Grand Poobah said...

Anon 8:23: Correct, you are. The total immersion you receive as part of the traditional law school process makes all the difference.

I'm convinced that a grader can tell the difference between an essay from someone who attended, if not an ABA school, a traditional three year program, from those like me who learned the law but didn't get to make it our sole, or even primary, reason for being for the duration of our four year part-time education.

As a result, we have to pick it up during our bar prep and repeated bar exams.

Nick said...

Grand Poobah your name appears on the pass list for the February 2009 California Bar Exam

Anonymous said...

I just love the last comment from Nick. YOUR NAME IS ON THE PASS LIST.

Rest, relax and rejoin the world. Your wife and family needs you now to go back to work.

Anonymous said...

Statistically speaking a repeater's name is not likely to appear on the pass list. With each bar exam attempt statistics show your odds of passing actually decrease. I won’t even join the silly discussion of ABA v. non-ABA schools. But again the stats or not in your favor. Considering how expensive the bar exam is and how expensive the preparatory programs are I would never wish failure upon anyone. I wish you the best of luck in May.

Anonymous said...


Sadly enough, in profiling your performance from the way you are sounding after the Bar, it does not seem likely that you passed, yet again for the fourth and LAST time, at least from the promise that you made everyone, that this would be your last time.

California is not neccessarily looking for candidates that are as light hearted as you are, they are looking for individuals that operate like machines, when it comes to walking and talking the law.

I would strongly encourage you to entertain other endevours in life and stop putting yourself and everyone else through the misery of studying for this exam for infinity.

Don't mean to be a pill, but would like to see someone shake you up a bit and help you get a clue.

Good luck to you.

The Grand Poobah said...

This is my last time because I'm passing it, not because I'm giving up.

Besides, the profession needs more nice people like me and fewer evil lawyer androids like yourself.

No Hard Feelings said...


What difference would it make to you if some people have accommodation? Will it make YOUR essays better? Will it make them worse? Will it make your MBE's higher?
As far as i know there is a number of people who get accommodation every bar exam- people who get to write in special rooms, under special lighting; exams read to them; exam written for them by proctors while they dictate; people who are allowed to eat and drink during the test; people how have agoraphobia.
My point is - keep your nose in your own paper - YOU WILL PASS.

Anonymous said...

GP - I will be 62 when I pass the bar next Feb. I am in my THIRD career. I am immersed in a 4 year part time program - and I get lots of tips from professors on passing the bar. You WILL pass this time. I WILL pass next February. Old Guys (and Girls) rule!!!

Anonymous said...

Grand Poobah-

Who cares what other people think,
your scribblings and the honour with which you carry yourself in this brutal endeavour we are involved in has been truly inspiring.
Unlike others, I think you made it this time, and if not, I would NEVER ever count you out!

I searched for you at Ontario in the teeming masses everyday, and though I wasn't the only one, you
have solid support amongst us.

Needless to say, I wish I could be as confident about my own writing last week, but alas I just hope that some of the stuff I missed, particularly on the first PT and on Corps, will be modified by a really high MBE score.

I was very, very ill last week- fighting a virus my daughter had from the week before, but ...
just thinking about your tenacity and fighting the skeptics which seemed to surround me
( they all had suggestions and doubts about this exam- and only one of the four or five people near me didn't say that they'd be back in July)

-I determined to fight the bug, fight the bull, fight the doubts, fight the clock, and dig down into my guts to give my all

Some of us Gave all,
some won't make it

But I lived, if only to fight the Bar another day

Cheers Yoda and best wishes!!

Jonathan L. Kramer, Esq. said...

The only way to truly fail the bar is to fail yourself by not sticking with it until you pass.

I speak from experience, and I did not fail myself, much less the bar, regardless of the number of times I took the hazing exam.

You can pass, too. You should pass, too.

Pass, you will.


Anonymous said...

Anon 4:10

You are a piece of fucking shit. I hope you rot in hell. I hope someday you attempt to accomplish something great only to meet resistance. Only then will you understand what true courage is. I took the July 2007 Bar and have been following this website ever since. I wish you nothing but the best, Poobah. This is your time. You have slayed the beast and come May you will get good news. Don't listen to the nay sayers. They don't know shit.

Anonymous said...

2-28 @ 4:10, your haven't a clue. I've forgotten more law in 20 years of practice then you'll ever know sport and any where you go it's pretty much the same. Graduating from a top 10 law school means nothing to a jury. Nor does passing the bar on your first or third or fifth time, etc. They'll never know. Frankly, it means nothing to a panel in front of a US Circuit or even at the US Supreme Court. What I have learned from representing clients in thousands upon thousands of cases there is one thing that makes a lawyer stand out among peers and that's heart. A simple character trait that is developed. GP my bet is that you have a lot of heart. You want to be a lawyer because it is a calling. I admire you and many others who post here for your resolve and tenacity. It's an uncommon trait in too many courtrooms that I have traveled too. Hang tough--never quit. Some day, soon enough you will have clients that will value your tenacity and some aspect of their life (or in fact their life) will depend on whether you do in fact have real resolve.

Anonymous said...

I am responding to the naysayer who began their post "sadly enough".
I am saddened by your pesssimistic, and superior attitude. I must say that your life must be an awful mess. After all if you have to go out of your way to spout negativity then clearly the people close to you (if there are any at this point)are tired of listening to you. I feel that your attitude may be better served on your own blog... and I have given that some thought just in case you have a hard time figuring out a name for it. You should consider naming it SAPS... "Superior Anonymous People Society"... as it seems that you are superior and you like to post your negativity anonymously. I feel, and apparently like others here, that your postings would be better served somewhere else... with others like yourself who can appreciate and admire your superior pessimistic attitude. That way, you can be the head "SAP". Which in my opinion you already are!

As to GP, you have a life and people who love and admire you. You continue, through adversity, to march onward. Keep up the good work! You can hold your head up high! You have more character, honesty and diplomacy than most people can ever wish for!!

Best wishes to you in all of your endeavors!

Anonymous said...

To all the GP naysayers, WTF do you come on to this blog just to put GP down. I'll tell you why. People that come on this blog are either one of his buddies or in your case, people in (or was in) the same boat as him...after failing it once or twice, type in 'passing the bar' in google, looking for advice on how to pass it or something.

What idiots...haahaahhaaaa!

CK said...

i just took the CA bar. i am already an atty in AZ, which is not a pushover exam. But this was brutal. And depressing. I spent 8 weeks doing nothing but studying (got leave from work) and when its all said and done, if I had to bet I would say I failed.

Anyway, what is more amazing than anything surrounding the entire exam is reading some of these people's comments. The most absurd being those with such arrogance and confidence of how they did.

Either way, thanks for GP for giving some outlet to reflect on the test, since i don't know anyone else that took it. And I hope you pass, as you seem like a good person and would be a fine atty. But for you arrogant jackasses, I hope you fail. Not just out of spite to knock you off your high horse, but to keep that type of person out of the profession.

Anonymous said...

"With each bar exam attempt statistics show your odds of passing actually decrease."

Hmm, curious. How did you come up with this brilliant deduction? When the bar reports statistics they don't break it down by number of attempts.

All the folks throwing negative energy GPs way are just haters--but it really says something about them that they'd come on this blog and dash the hopes of a repeater. If they are that insightful and prosperous in their own right...why are they here?!? Makes you wonder if they are all they claim to be?

Anonymous said...

I wonder, speaking to all the people who've come on GPs blog just to dash his hopes, how tall are you? I've got a hunch that all these negative comments are coming from a bunch of boys who haven't outgrown their little man's complex. If it's not that, it's something because seriously-what's wrong with you?

Anonymous said...

GP, when this is all over and you've recovered from seeing your name on the pass list (and checked it over again, a thousand times--just because it's so cool to see your name on that list!!) will you throw a big party so all your blog friends can meet each other and celebrate one man's victory over the bar? I think it would be a fabulous party!

No Hard Feelings said...

to all the Annons hoping others would fail: Please don't hate. while it is true that repeaters have a lower chance of passing then the first time takers- IT DOESN'T MAKE YOUR SCORE HIGHER!!! Please, please, please study and keep you comments about predictions, and comments about issues, and comments on accommodations - to yourself. You are only making it harder. The bar will not change the way it does business. The committee is going to do what they are going to do- your input means nothing.
All you can do is 1) study, 2) take the exam and 3) wait for the results.
Thank you for your time.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
stella said...

GP - You are definitely a trooper and much stronger than a lot of attorneys I know. I don't think the process doesn't get easier.

Wishing you the best. I'll keep my toes crossed for you. (My fingers are currently being crossed for my job search.)

Anonymous said...

In repose to March 1, 2009 1:29 PM posted by Anonymous:
I actually first ran across this blog when I did a search for February 2008 bar exam questions. I wanted to see if folks had posted model answers of sorts. I was dying to compare what I wrote to what others thought. February 2008 was my first and only attempt on the CA bar exam because I passed and am now having success as a consumer bankruptcy attorney. The negative statistic deduction was actually told to me by the BarBri instructors / administrators. That plus PMBR were the only preparatory courses I had taken and it was awfully expensive. They had compiled some cute chart to show us why it was so important to pass the first time. If they were wrong so be it. Although I tend to agree with them. I've kept coming back here from time to time hoping to see GP pass. But it still hasn't happened. So again, for his sake, I hope he passed, but I must say the blog was useful in relieving anxiety as a first time taker, but I cannot relate to the disappointment that comes with failing. So as said before, I do sincerely hope GP passes to end this vicious cycle. Otherwise, pretty soon GP other repeaters on here will spend as many years in law school as taking the exam itself.

kris said...

"I cannot relate to the disappointment that comes with failing".

Don't worry. Your day will come.

Anonymous said...


May your dream come true and your nightmare cease to be reality.

You earned this one! I don't doubt you passed for even one minute.

Will you take down the site when you get your results or will you leave it up for posterity?

The Grand Poobah said...

I believe I'll leave it up for a while. It costs nothing, and it might be helpful to someone in the future. And I'll probably still post from time to time.

Anonymous said...

Sending you some positive energy. I passed the Feb. 2008 bar on my second try. Now I am not even a lawyer anymore.
Too many smug jerks like 4:10.

So please stay in the fight; add a little class to the profession.

Anonymous said...

How can someone make a statement like this?

"You earned this one! I don't doubt you passed for even one minute".

Why are some of you behaving as if it is a foregone conclusion that he has passed? It's one thing to wish someone well and hope that they passed, but some of the posts here are patently absurd. Many people take the bar numerous times and never pass-this is called reality. And yes, your odds of passing do decrease with each attempt. I don't think it's cruel or mean for me(or others)to point this out.

I think you have amazingly thick skin to put yourself out here, and with your picture even. If someone else wrote this blog,they might feel pressured just to claim that they passed, when in reality they haven't... but I can tell you are much too honest to even consider that. I hope your hard work pays off.

Elizabeth said...

Go GP! It sounds as though you did pretty good. I'm hoping and praying you find your name on the pass list, and you can blog about your life as an licensed attorney!

Would you post about the Power Dreams therapy you did? I'm interested in learning more about it. What do you feel it did for you? Was it super expensive? Did you go into a trance when you listened? ;-)

Monica said...

so what was the deal with the second PT? am I crazy or was starting with the admin remedy a no-brainer? it seemed too obvious. Also, I can't remember what the call of the Q was exactly; were we supposed to label each aspect (personal, financial) separately? I am blanking.

The Grand Poobah said...

They're positive waves. I appreciate the sentiment behind them, and I take them for what they're worth, which is moral support. And thanks, I, too, hope my hard work pays off.

One of the reasons I haven't passed yet is that I've been struggling with situation in my personal life that, prior to the middle of last year, severely disrupted my study time.

I have never gone into the details because the details aren't relevant. But I can say that the situation was akin to having to be sole caregiver to a person with Alzheimers.

That situation began to resolve itself last year right before the July exam, but it wasn't until January of this year that I was actually able to dedicate more than one day in a row to studying, which is why I have higher hopes of passing this time around.

Regarding the thick skin ... I never imagined that I would be here, at this point in time, waiting for results of my fourth bar exam. My FOURTH bar exam. Egads. When I started this thing, I figured it would be one-time-and-out. And then it became two-times-and-out. And now ...

I thought about shutting the blog down, or removing my picture, but I figured those would be admissions of defeat, or at least anticipated failure. So, what, I figured, I'm going to hide my face now that the going's gotten tough? I'm not like that. I'm in this for the long haul now. Come hell or high water, this thing's not going to beat me. I stuck my face out there in the beginning and I'll be damned if I let the bar exam make me run and hide.

Anonymous said...

To the know it all who seems to have all the answers up there. If you are going to dish it out, then learn how to spell endeavour, you ignorant blockhead.

This is sort of like being a guest at someone's home. Don't come in here and insult the host. He doesn't do it, so how about you start learning some manners? You probably pulled the wings off flies when you were a kid.

Anonymous said...

Hey GP. Ive been following your blog since the July 06 exam. Sorry to hear about your personal issues. Some people go through different things making it difficult to pass. While some of these people who had everything handed to them feel like they should put others down. Don't let them get you down. Try and Try again. It takes a stronger person to realize their mistakes and overcome those mistakes, than one who quits. Don't quit keep on at it, you will get it.

I check your blog to see how you are doing with your studying and see how you are doing. Don't take it off as a lot of people find inspiration through you.

Anonymous said...

GP and all other February 2009 takers:

Can anyone list the subjects that were tested in the essays on this exam?


Anonymous said...

Here are the subjects tested on February 2009:

Essay 1 - PR
Essay 2 - CivPro
Essay 3 - Evidence
Essay 4 - Torts
Essay 5 - Contracts
Essay 6 - Corp

Anonymous said...

Confucius say "One who has limited accomplishments in life can only elevate himself by diminishing others."


Anonymous said...

GP I enjoy your blog and the vast majority of the posts here. Ignore the fools (and respect those with clear insights like 3-3 @ 1:26PM. Amen Confucius). I empathize with your situation caring for a relative while doing bar prep. I had a analogous situation while practicing and it drained the life from me over time. It was VERY difficult to properly maintain my work responsibility with my need to care for my ailing parent. In fact, it was impossible for me. Keep the faith and please keep the blog going. Some good folks come here for mutual support and friendship. 73 days eh...

Anonymous said...

"You earned this one! I don't doubt you passed for even one minute".

Why are some of you behaving as if it is a foregone conclusion that he has passed? It's one thing to wish someone well and hope that they passed, but some of the posts here are patently absurd. Many people take the bar numerous times and never pass-this is called reality. And yes, your odds of passing do decrease with each attempt. I don't think it's cruel or mean for me(or others)to point this out.

All this is true.

When your child is on his deathbed, will you tell him: You are going to die son - Sorry.

Or will you have FAITH that he will pull through.

My belief has nothing to do with statistics. It is Faith.

Think of it like a paradox. If you don't believe it will happen, it will not.

Oh, never mind. You are clearly to thick-skulled to get it.

Good day...

Anonymous said...

Your illogic is quite stunning.

Let me put this in simple terms.

When your child is on his deathbed, faith and belief have everything to do with whether you child lives or dies. There is a a mind-body connection.

AFTER you have taken an exam, your belief in whether you have passed or not cannot influence the outcome. Obviously. Believing you have passed does not increase the odds of passing.

I have no idea how you are confusing the two in your example. Besides that, what type of person chooses a child dying as an example? As for your "thick skulled" comment.....those who are uneducated frequently resort to name calling, due to the fact that they do not know the proper words to express their thoughts.

GP, I'm sorry about your personal issues. The bar is fairly tough even when one is a full time student. Here's hoping you passed it this time.

Anonymous said...

keep on keeping on. you will pass.

Anonymous said...

march 1 @ 1:29: Wrong. The bar most certainly does publish passage rates by number of attempts, and bar prep courses such as BarBri track those numbers as well. Unfortunately, one's chances do decrease with each attempt.

Nevertheless, individuals do pass after 3, 4, 5, 6 and more attempts.

Here's hoping you buck the odds, GP.

No Hard Feelings said...


I have to say this - you are all sucking up to GP. Is he the only one that didn't pass? there are literaly thousands of people who do no pass the bar each time it is given.
Stop! Let the guy just take his test. why comment on how many times he has taken and failed it? What difference does it make? Yes, some of you are right- the chances of passing greatly diminish with each attempt. But what are his chances of passing if he doesn't take it at all - 0%.
so here's to you GP- regardless of how many times it takes you, when you will pass, it will nevertheless be a pass.
Now, whether it is worth it for you to take it in the long run, it's between you and your family.

Anonymous said...

You know, I don't believe the sentiments expressed by "no Hard Feelings" are appropriate for a bar grader nor have I ever seen an official interact in the manner of the way that this gentleman conducts himself while holding himself out to have an official capacity within the bar.

kris said...

yes, like Elizabeth said - I'd definately be interested to hear about the different approaches you took this time and whether or not you found them effective.

Anonymous said...

This was my fourth go around as well, GP.

My study this time consisted of writing 83 essays, under timed conditions, most of them in sets of 3, in order to simulate the exam. My entire week prior to the actual exam was spent doing 3 essays each morning, under timed conditions, and using the soft test practice format.

It is my understanding that, among other things, the bar is about conquering your fear. Each person has a particular fear that may be associated with exam taking. My fear consisted of a deep anxiety over doing timed essays. I used to think it was impossible to write a good answer in just one hour and the anxiety that came with that was crippling. I conquered this fear by just doing essay after essay (and going over each and every model answer in GREAT DETAIL). When test day came, all my fears disappeared and it was just like another day at the office, so to speak. Didn't feel a bit tired entering the afternoon sessions.

I can't say this means I passed, but I feel much more confident coming out of this exam than I ever did.

I am told that serious athelets experience the same thing I did on exam day: you never feel you did as great on game day as you did in practice, but you practice hard and pay attention to the details so that when game day does come, even if you slip a little, you're still performing at near exellence.

Forget the statistics that say the odds are against you ever passing if you are a repeat taker because the statistics are unable to take into account that you will resolve to identify your fear and take it head on.

Many of you say that GP has slayed the dragon, and while hopefully this may certainly be true, remember that the dragon is not the bar, but the particular fear that stops you from passing the bar.

Hope this helps any. (and I must comment about the losers who have enough time to blog nasty remarks about a person's dreams and dedication: the moment you wrote those remarks you basically were telling the world you were losers who cannot recognize what character building looks like. Alas, the bar was not one of those events in your life that provided the opportunity to build character, but other opportunities in life will surely come your way).

Anonymous said...

I took the July Bar. I did not take a bar prep course, but i studied some books. I took the bar, I felt great! The test felt easy... I waited,and waited, then I learned that I FAILED!!!!
For the first time I failed something huge. I felt ashamed, alone, even worthless... I knew people would find out, and I worried about what they would think.
Then I found your blog. Your strength has given me strength to endure the pain and to keep trying. To hold my head up high, because this test does not define who we are.
Thank you for the blog.
Pass/Fail, we are all trying to better ourselves... In that, we are all together and should be respectful of eachother.
I wish you all luck, but most of all, I wish that you all feel lucky to have the opportunities before you.
Remember the important thing about life is the journey. Don't leave any "what ifs" behind! Do everything in your power...

Anonymous said...

The olympic motto states that whether I win or lose may I be worthy in the attempt. I volunteer with the special olympics and if you want to see people deal with challenges and make their attempt worthy, the special olympians are a classic example. The bar exam is a challenge but it doesn't come close so keep on keeping on.

Anonymous said...

Don't mind the haters GP - Pimpin' ain't easy.

No Hard Feelings said...

To Annon 7:47- It doesnt matter what you belive. I have a right to comment on anything i please.
Oh you haven't seen an official conduct him self in that way? What way is that? Have you ever seen bar officials ( by the way i am not, im a grader) Have you ever seen the Earth's magnetic field? Or do u no believe it exists because you haven seen it? Your snide remarks are unwelcome by me.

Anonymous said...

To: No Hard Feelings 6:19 - I am sorry that people are upsetting you. As a bar applicant, I am asking that you please do not listen to others and grade the exams as impartially as possible. :)

Anonymous said...

Dear "no hard feelings": It is disappointing to find you on the internet and in this forum as a representative of the bar. I agree with the previous post of 7:47. Those prior remarks do not strike me as snide but rather properly skeptical and critical. In my view, your conduct is both immature and unprofessional. It is not necessary to explore your postings further or engage in any kind of discussion with you while you attempt to portray yourself in a different light. Such effort would just dig yourself deeper into the same hole. Your comments in this forum or your advertisement of your position as a part-time grader is unfortunate and does not reflect well for the profession or the position of a grader as a bar official. While not unethical in itself, the conduct (including your choice of screen name and blog name which tends to highlight your role as a judge in terms that demonstrate a negative predisposition) is unseemly and tends to undermine the notion that the graders position, like any proper magistrate, is neutral and without preconceptions. Moreover, your unfortunate remarks are beneath the role of bar official. Additionally, this appearance in such a self-created authoritarian role appears to be mere self-promotion for whatever motive and need that serves. Given your remarks and attempts to call attention to yourself as a bar grader one has no choice but to wonder whether you actually serve the best interests of the Bar and are acting in an appropriate manner or reflect the characteristics of a lawyer that should shoulder the burden of judging who passes. Has the Bar authorized you to appear on the internet as a bar grader? Is the Bar aware of your conduct here?

The Grand Poobah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

If you have no hard feelings try viagra.

No Hard Feelings said...

To Anon 12:52- You are long winded and shallow. Moreover, you make baseless accusations- highlight 1, just one instance, where i "advertise"? While you are at is, please let me know exactly what i am advertising.

"While not unethical in itself, the conduct (including your choice of screen name and blog name which tends to highlight your role as a judge in terms that demonstrate a negative predisposition) is unseemly and tends to undermine the notion that the graders position, like any proper magistrate, is neutral and without preconceptions."
How does "No Hard Feelings" highlights my part-time role as a grader? which word exactly?
Perhaps you should stop defaming me ( check out Torts for more info on that ) and concentrate on Con Law ( clearly you have problems grasping 1st amendment material)
I know, for you the bar is the biggest thing in your life. For me it's a PART TIME gig.Let me assure you, once again- i am NOT a bar official.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe for a single minute that "No Hard Feelings" is a grader. Plain and simple: I think he's lying.

Anonymous said...

I really would have preferred that you simply apologized and reported yourself to your supervisor at the bar for their evaluation and action.

Ironically, in many years of practice through the experience of thousand upon thousands of cases I have quite a bit of experience with the First Amendment and know defamation law quite well. Take your best shot.

Advertise--is when you hold yourself out to the public. It is self-promotion of your position on the internet (which by the way is a form of media) in this instance. You in your own blog which is linked with your screen name strongly implies (to the absence of any reasonable doubt) that your a grader. Moreover you last post confirms it. Screen shots have been printed.

Further discussing the nature of your unprofessional conduct as a grader and now with the latest comments as a lawyer (if you are in fact a lawyer or a bar official) would just erode public confidence in the position of a bar grader. The entirety of your posts in the aggregate and your more recent assertions here reflect poorly on the important position of a bar grader.

Bar grader is an official position of the bar. An official because you as a bar grader would have been appointed to serve in a role where you perform a function of government. Here you are one of the gatekeepers (or hold yourself out to be) of a profession that serves justice and a critical role in our state and nation. Hence, bar grader is a bar official.

This latest post by "no hard feelings" demonstrates behavior that certainly further undermines what we would reasonably expect to see in a bar grader. Furthermore, one would expect that the bar grader's have been instructed not to promote themselves or their positions in public. Here, this purported grader is involved in discussions regarding the latest exam and where candidates believe they succeeded and failed. Moreover, in that apparent capacity he has negatively commented on candidates discourse and interjected himself in the virtual meeting of candidates. The expectation is that graders would sequester themselves from applicants. It's obvious that "no hard feelings" has a different take on his professional responsibilities and does not see the limitations of the First Amendment in the exercise of professional duties or when holding himself out as a bar official.

I just hope that calling you out doesn't leave any hard feelings friend... It's for the good of our profession. Do the proper thing here and do not further discredit your position or undermine our expectation in the grading process.

Anonymous said...

No hard feelings is an idiom of American speech where the phrase asks that no anger or resentment or a grudge be held.

No hard Feelings,

You declare that your a grader and have a blog with the name no hard feelings... where you announce your waiting for exams to be delivered, what would you suggest is meaning of your screen name?

Anonymous said...

Hey, "No Hard Feelings"...ever gone by the name Michael Taylor?

Anonymous said...

Anyone recognize this photo...?

I smell a rat.

Anonymous said...

BTW, here's the above link translated into English.

So, "No Hard Feelings"...why are you using a photo of a Russian actor as your own?

Hahahha, what a joke.

kris said...

"Perhaps you should stop defaming me"

Erm, Billy, how does one "defame" a fake name and picture? Anyways, the truth is a defence. But then again, I'd say our friend has merely posited his opinion.

For example, "NFH is an ahole" is an opinion, fair comment as well as fact.

In any event, we all await NHF's lawsuit with interest.

I just find it heartwarming that he continues to make new friends wherever he goes.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:47---
I was lucky and made it through bar exam process, so good luck to all.
Has anyone thought of reporting no hard feelings to the California bar? 8:47 You make some valid points-- so follow through...


Your interactions in a conversation with bar applicants is just not right.
You need to be impartial and that is not possible when you are arguing with bar applicants... is IT??????????????
I respect your freedom of speech, but by telling people that you are a bar examiner and then discussing aspects of the bar exam, you are speaking in your official capacity as a state official... Well, I can't wait to see how many people you pass... I hope that it is in accord with the merits of the exams you read and not biased by your private opinion of those you are grading. Remember, there are probably <100 people reading this blog, but there are thousands of bar applicants that you should have no beef with. Remain impartial and let the bar students here vent about their bar exam experience. Maybe even support them and give them words of encouragement, but do not degrade them. We all passed the hurdles in front of us to practice, and they are just doing the same. They deserve some amount of respect for their work, as we did in the past.

No Hard Feelings said...

To Annon 4:21pm - "but by telling people that you are a bar examiner and then discussing aspects of the bar exam, you are speaking in your official capacity as a state official"- Please show just ONE instance of discussing an aspect of the bar exam.

"Well, I can't wait to see how many people you pass" - How would you know? i mean, really?

"Maybe even support them and give them words of encouragement, but do not degrade them." - Again, show me once instance where i've degraded anyone?

To all other haters, and haters you clearly are ( "Let's report him to the bar"; " oh thats not really him ,it's-a-picture-of-an-actor"; "oh-i-dont-belive-him)- you know who you are, i just wish you well. No need to be so antagonistic. Geez, the fervor you show is admirable- channel it into your exams.
Finally, Anon 8:37- All i can say is bravo, no wait, bravissimo! You IRAC well.

Anonymous said...

I have a question for NHF:
Do you know whose paper you are grading? I ask this since at the top right of each test booklet, we write our names, then sign our names, and that is followed by an applicant number. Is the grading process truly anonymous? Thanks in advance for your response.

Anonymous said...

So, why DO you use a fake photo?

Anonymous said...

Why don't you losers stop arguing on the internet and get a life?

Anonymous said...

No hard feelings is in fact a fraud. So many of you suspected that he was and the tip off's were many: from: improper grammar, to the sophomoric postings and the failure to understand relatively rudimentary definitions. Not to mention the actor's picture. We are assured that this person has no connection to the exam in any official capacity. Which is both good and bad news. The balance of this matter is in the bar's hands. Did someone here confirm this guys name and do you have an address? If so, please advise.

kris said...

The thing about NHF is that he, at the very least, is over-egging his resume. At worst, his pants are on fire.

You decide: How many newly qualified hamsters in the "big law" cage have time to mark Bar exams?

It certainly wouldn't be for the money, or would it NHF?


Meanwhile kids, if you want to become practising lawyers, you'll need to develop thicker skins. The NHF's of this world are a dime a dozen in our chosen profession.

If his marking Bar exams story is true, it should open your eyes to the talentless pedantry that awaits.

Anonymous said...


You mentioned that you used the Finz book for MBEs. Did you do this as opposed to Emanuel's book or PMBR for a particular reason? I recall you thought Emanuel's were good MBEs. Do you still think Emanuel's are good?

The Grand Poobah said...

Anon 2:18: I used the Finz book to try to get a feel for where I stood before I started practicing MBEs in earnest. I received the book back in February of 2003 when I signed up for the Fleming's Baby Bar prep course. It sat on a shelf all this time, untouched.

If a person wants to study the old style of MBEs it's as good a source as any. But if one wants to study the style of MBE that the NCBEX is testing the Emanuel material is much better.

Of course, that's the opinion of a three-time loser, so take it for what it's worth.

The Grand Poobah said...

And, for what it's worth, I would just ignore "No Hard Feelings".

It's much more likely he's just a struggling 1L, or maybe even a 2L, and a middling east coast law school who is trolling here to make himself feel better by sowing strife among decent people.

It's best to ignore people like him. He might go away if we ignore him. But he'll stick around for sure if we keep goading him.

Heck, we don't even know if "he's" a "him". "He" could be a "she". Which illustrates my point, I believe. All we're letting her do now is irritate us. If we ignore her, all that irritation is in the past and we can move on to bigger, better, and much less petty, issues.


Anonymous said...

Grand Poobah 8:34

That Is the Best Post I have seen in this whole mess!

You are wise!
Good luck on bar!

Anonymous said...


Close your eyes and visualize this. I am rolling up a newspaper and giving you a swat across the head. You definitely are no loser. And thanks for the comments on Finz versus Emanuel. I have about every book imaginable except for Finz. I got involved with Emanuel based on your comments and like you I mixed it up and started doing questions from different sources--as long as their answers had the correct law and correct explanations.

Anonymous said...

To the poster that asked about anonymous grading. If you recall, there is perforation around the little square where we write our names and exam i.d. I was told that those are torn off and who knows what they do with them. The graders allegedly do not know the names of the candidates whose exams they are grading. The name/id thing is removed from the cover folder.

Anonymous said...

The grading is anonymous. The corners that are detached have a number that is matched to the graded essay.

Anonymous said...

Hi Everyone!
Can you give me an insight as to when the bar changed the MBE format?

The Grand Poobah said...

After the NCBE won the lawsuit against PMBR for using questions from the exam verbatim, or nearly so, in their practice materials, the NCBE dropped all of those questions from the exam and replaced them with new ones. They not only changed the questions, they changed the style of the questions.

The new questions were introduced on the February 2007 exam.

Anonymous said...

I used PMBR for this last exam and some of the questions on the MBE were close to what PMBR is still teaching. Often there is a twist. I also found the PMBR questions harder but they did a good job of teaching the mechanics of working through the MBE in 1.8 mins. per question. That pacing was invaluable. I also really liked Emanuels Strategy and Tactics for the MBE. Good introduction to the exam and excellent for final review. If I don't pass I may try Emanuels Bar in a Box. Anyone have any experience with that program?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon 11:11am above. PMBR's 6-day seminar was pretty helpful, and I found that their questions were "closer" to the real thing than BarBri's.

Anonymous said...

"California is not neccessarily looking for candidates that are as light hearted as you are, they are looking for individuals that operate like machines, when it comes to walking and talking the law."

I couldn't agree more.

The Grand Poobah said...

Anon 1:54: Well then, I suppose it's good that they give all of us that psychological profile test as a mandatory part of the licensing process.

What's that? You say they don't test all of us to make sure we meet the evil lawyer android specification?


Then I guess that means you're wrong.

Anonymous said...

Hey Doll,

I'm sorry to see that people have taken the gloves off and lashed out. I have been pulling for you since I met you. And the only difference between your chair and mine, during the earthquake, was a little kiss of luck. I was inexplicably lucky.

I'm sure you know, but the bar is no indicator of the kind of lawyer you'll be. If it was, the assholes who sent you negative vibes would all be disbarred by now. (Maybe that's why they're so bitter? Just a theory.)

You are going to be an amazing attorney, and I pray for you to see your name on the list. Most of all, I wish you the kiss of luck that I had when I passed.

All the luck,
Your July 2008 neighbor

Anonymous said...

Way to go, GP - YOUR NAME IS ON THE PASS LIST THIS TIME. I truly believe you passed. See you in court.


Anonymous said...

I have been following various blogs lately as I attempted my seventh bar.
I got married right before the first and went through a divorce, custody battle, job loss, worked and everything else during it.

I did so much better in school than many of my classmates whom passed on their first try.

I know I can do this. When I lost my job but during our trial for custody I spent the entire time working for my case and studying.

I missed my 0.4 points. Yes less than one point. I have never had that opportunity to study again.

Many people quit because they define themselves by their failures. Quitters are failures. I am not a quitter. I will pass this because I am better than this.

Keep your head up. The only thing that matters to me is what I think about myself.

I know I WILL do this. Think the same.

Anonymous said...

The only way to fail the bar is to give up on it before you've passed.

Anonymous said...

GP and all other repeaters:

In regards to your learning/practicing/reviewing commitment the 4th time around; how many hours did you dedicate to the February 2009 exam?

I will be a 3rd time taker and once again, I have put together a study schedule for March 16 - July 27, that will consist of 126 hours of re-learning the law for all 15 subjects, 6 hours of re-learning performance exam strategy, 393 hours of issue spotting and writing out essays, 151 hours of doing mbe's and 27 hours of practicing performance exams. I will also allow myself about 96 hours at the end of the above mentioed time frame to do nothing but memorization work. Providing that all goes well, I should be able to complete the above 799 hours of work at the clip of 6 hours per day. I for one do not function very well after about 6 hours, therefore it would be pointless to put in more time than that each day.

I think, one of the biggest mistakes made by repeat takers, is to decrease their time commitment to passing this thing. Each time one starts preparing for the bar exam, it should be approached with the intensity, as if it was the very first time.

I am just curious GP, if you have tracked your hours this time around?

Good luck in May.

Anonymous said...

To the poster up above: I think you are right about the time commitment. I did not focus nearly enough time for the Feb 2009exam. I was not driven and found I lost focus regularly. I worked part time during the last exam and found that I was too tired to do productive studying when I got home. However, I went through the motions. I honestly don't think I passed in Feb 2009, so I have already begun to study again. I resist this whole cramming ordeal we go through.

I am licensed in another state and had no idea that CA would be so different than other exams.

Anonymous said...

Guys I know we are only halfway through the waiting process, but I am kind of freaking out.

I'm going on w/ life and trying to pretend that May has no signficance. How is everyone else dealing?

Anonymous said...

I found that Scotch was a good way to deal with the wait, but my doctor and wife didn't like that coping method too much.

If I had to do it again, I'd deal with it like a break-up: Distract the hell out of yourself and stop doing post-mortem (i.e. "I wonder if she's seeing that a**hole from the gym?" or, in this case, "Did you see that civil rights issue on question #5? I nailed it!")

Good luck to everyone who is waiting...

Anonymous said...

GP and all other multiple repeat takers, who are wondering whether you have passed this time:

Look, coming from a recent Ivy League graduate (top 6% of class), who passed the July 2007 exam (1st attempt) and is now an official bar grader for the current administration (february 2009 exam).

The moment you sat down to take the exam, you knew with the highest degree of certainty, whether you were 100% prepared or not.

If your time was spent again, doing the same tasks in the same fashion, as you have in the past, chances are great, that you did not pass this exam again.

However, if you stopped the old habit of passively learning and decided to learn by doing, chances are great that you will pass.

It cracks me up as a bar grader, when i hear folks wondering, whether their efforts will produce a passing score or not. There is no mystery in the answer, absent the fact, that if you changed your study habits completely and started doing, instead of learning how to do, your chances of passing have escalated greatly.

My winning formula was to:

1. Substantive review of subject outlines for all 15 subjects and performance exam strategy (8 days)

2. Issue spotting 14 essays per subject and issue spotting 14 performance exams (84 days)

3. Practicing MBE's, 2567 to be exact (26 days)

I did not give much time to writing out whole essays and performance exams. Look folks, if you were able to graduate law school, it says that you have the ability to write, why waste your time, trying to convince yourself of that simple truth. Individuals who fail the bar, do so at the expense of not knowing the substantive law, not practicing on their ability to issue spot and not taking their time in properly getting through a performance test.

As much as everyone focuses on the pressure that comes, from having to perform under time constraints, time is never the factor in pass vs. fail. Time only becomes an issue, when you are not properly prepared and you have nothing to say.

During calibration sessions, bar graders are able to get through any given essay, with a passing answer that is, in less that 56 minutes, believe it or not.

Looking forward to grading my batch of exams, especially the ones that come from those repeat takers and newbies that took the time to prepare. If you did so, wonder no further, your passing chances are CERTAIN.

Good skill all. (nothing to do with luck)

February 2009 Bar Grader.

Anonymous said...

"It cracks me up as a bar grader, when I hear folks wondering, whether their efforts will produce a passing score or not."

The view from the Ivory Tower sure must be nice.

Mr./Mrs Anonymous grader, you should really lighten up. Many of the people on this board have failed the bar at least once. Many of us have learning disabilities, graduated at the bottom of our classes, encountered personal problems during the study period, or otherwise just can't "master" this grand puzzle.

Please remember that it could very easily be you facing this horrible problem - or, put another way, "There but for the grace of God go I."

I will pray for your soul.

The Grand Poobah said...

Hey Bar Grader,

As you might expect, many of us here are just a bit frustrated with the process, which is certainly understandable.

Be that as it may, however, there is truth in your words, and a hefty dose of common sense as well. After all, we are all familiar with the popular definition of insanity; doing something over and over again and expecting different results. While that might work for some, for others it is a sure path to some form of personal insanity.

I, for one, altered my study habits this time around because my old habits were not producing the desired result. I'm hoping for, at the very least, an improvement in my failing score, and at the very best, a passing score.

If you are indeed a grader then I thank you for the tips. And if you have viewed some of the other comments here you'll see that we have something of a history with others who claim to be graders but are obviously not.

Regardless, as I wrote above, there is some truth and common sense in your comments. We would all be well advised to try a different path if our old familiar path repeatedly leads to a dead end.

Anonymous said...

"The view from the Ivory Tower sure must be nice."

My office is on the first floor, of a very small and old building, in Laguna Beach. I do enjoy my tax practice however, thank you very much.

"Mr./Mrs Anonymous grader, you should really lighten up. Many of the people on this board have failed the bar at least once. Many of us have learning disabilities, graduated at the bottom of our classes, encountered personal problems during the study period, or otherwise just can't "master" this grand puzzle."

I did not know that I was being harsh here, my actual intent was to be real. Would you put your life in the hands of a surgeon, that was unable to pass his boards on the very first try. Would you want your surgeon to be the kind of doctor that has learning disabilities, went to a bad school, is dealing with lots of personal issues, or just can't understand his trade.

"Please remember that it could very easily be you facing this horrible problem - or, put another way, "There but for the grace of God go I."

Yes, but it is not me facing this problem, because I engaged in this endevour, by doing everything correctly, thus producing a passing score on the very first exam.

"I will pray for your soul."

Please one last thing, try not to get religion involved in your attempt to pass the bar exam. Remember the person grading your exam, may just be an atheist. if you must pray for my soul, feel free to do so, but I would spend more time practicing your skill than hoping for miracles to happen, in you passing the bar exam.

Anonymous said...


If you did change your study habits, the 4th time around, than you have nothing to worry about.

You are the only one who knows, whether your study habits were changed or not.

If you took the time to master the nuances of the law, as tested on the MBE's, issue spot a boat load of exams and issue spot a boat load of performance exams, well than, I would say, that you are on your way to the promised land.

But if all you did, was add yet another bar instruction program, to your already long list of programs, that habe robbed you of lots of money, well than probably, you may be facing the same results.

Passing the bar exam is a skill that can and should be learned on your own. Once you are a brand new lawyer, you will find out, that you can barely find your way to the copy room, never mind try to engage in the practice of law, but there is one ceratinty, if you take the time, you will learn everything on your own, just as you should have done for the bar exam.

Bottom line folks: you should not have your hand held, during your bar exam preparation, just like you will not have your hand held, BY ANYONE IN THE INDUSTRY, once you start practicing law.

Anonymous said...

To the bar grader or whoever you really are,

"I did not know that I was being harsh here, my actual intent was to be real."

Oh, really? I'm so grateful that you, ivy grad ("top 6%"), took the time to post such a valuable opinion on this blog at 10:29 am on Friday.

This is exactly why people who pass should be able to access their scores. It just blows me away when people who claim that they passed act as if they passed by 300 points.

Moreover, I've heard the surgeon analogy about a million times from law clerks and paralegals who'd hold themselves out in the public as lawyers. thank you. You're dismissed.

Anonymous said...

New Bar Grader:

Congratulations on passing. But consider the following:

"Please one last thing, try not to get religion involved in your attempt to pass the bar exam."

Is this just a guideline for the poster above or are you actually advocating atheism for all bar takers? Pretty arrogant.

Your lack of compassion is also pretty shocking: "It cracks me up as a bar grader, when i hear folks wondering, whether their efforts will produce a passing score or not." What on earth is funny about this?

Just for the record, I prayed, and I passed. I will pray for those who are waiting for results in May, and I will thank the Almighty that it wasn't you who graded my exam.

Anonymous said...

To: March 13, 2009 1:50 PM

Yes, I really am a bar grader.

Yes, I think that I have posted several worthy opinions, on my day off from work.

The surgeon analogy is a good one, since it divides the one that is meant to become a lawyer, from the many who's fantasy, it is to be a lawyer.

Sounding from your tone, you are probably a 3rd or possibly a 4th time taker, who is about to fail again. hard to pass the bar exam, when you carry as much anger and frustration as you do.

I will state this again with the greatest certainty of being correct, to pass the CA bar exam, one must MASTER the following 3 skills:

1) For the MBE's, you MUST know each and every nuance of the law tested, NO EXCEPTIONS.

2) For the essay and the performance exam, you MUST be able to spot issues and you must be able to ANALYZE in a lawyerly fashion.

I have passed many exams that had minimal rules stated, but had ALL the issues and were ANALYZED properly and in depth.

People this is not a STANDARIZED exam, this is an ANALYSIS exam, to prod into your brain and see if you have the ability to think clearly and quickly on your feet.

Anonymous said...

To: March 13, 2009 2:40 PM

If you passed the exam, congratulations to you, but please remember that you passed, because you studied hard and not because you prayed to the Almighty. I am not advocating a pro/con Almighty here, I am simply stating that the graders are not grading you, on your religious convictions.

By the way, I may just be the one who graded and passed you on one of your questions, congratulations to you, if that is the case, you probably deserved it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, wow. Thank you so much for your invaluable opinion. You have really broadened my horizon with your invaluable tips.

Since you know the minds of multiple repeaters like back of your hands, you do realize what people here will do with your opinion, right? Thousands of people have passed/failed the bar without the almighty help/suggestion of yours, and I'm quite sad that the pattern won't change any time soon.

Thank you so much for posting the invaluable tips on your "off" day.

Anonymous said...

I know several surgeons that were near the top of their class and passed their boards on the first attempt, but I would not trust them with a spork.

Anonymous said...

It is spelled whose, you presumptuous know it all. If you are going to critique everyone, then learn how to spell.

Who's is a contraction for " who is"-- not a possessive. You seem to know it all. Guess they didn't get on you about your grammar and spelling in bar grader school.

Don't cast stones, pal, when you live in a glass house yourself. Your advice is not good. You know exactly what you are trying to do, but you are too warped to admit that you are being disingenuous to this group.

If you were truly a good person, you would go out and find a bar candidate to tutor. This would provide a great venue to impart your pearls of wisdom.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, hate to debunk this latest "grader" but once again--he/she/it is full of it. He says his office is in Laguna Beach...buuuuuuut according to the cal bar web site, graders must live in the San Francisco Bay Area. "Security, financial and logistical considerations also require that applicants live and work within the greater San Francisco Bay Area."

Please guys, stop letting these trolls get their jollies by yanking your chain. No way would a real bar exam grader be wasting their time on this site. Plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

And it's MBEs not MBE's!!! No %^$# apostrophe in a plural, "grader"!

kris said...

Jeez, I see CA really scrapes the bottom of the barrel w/ the Bar graders it (allegedly) employs.

Let's put it this way, I teach part-time at a local law school. It's got a good retirement plan and, being a lowly paid govt lawyer, the extra cash comes in handy.

Two points:

a) I don't feel the need to go to students' blogs and throw my weight around telling them how stupid/misguided they are; and

b) have you noticed that the two "bar graders" who've chipped in on this forum are in "big law" and a "tax attorney" respectively?

I'll say it again, if I were Ms LA Law, I think I'd be spending my spare time doing power-plates on the beach and working on my tan rather than doing an ad hoc bar grading gig for fun (cash)-or indeed, writing bollocks here.

Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

GP: I have a question for you. Did this bar review course you used for the Feb 2009 exam make you change your natural writing style.

I am interested in this Bar None course or at least the essay critiquing. However, I don't think I can handle another method. I just want to have a writing format down well enough to perform sufficiently to pass at exam time.

Does this bar review outfit build on how you already write or what? I think most of us write a certain way, even for the exam. I just want to find somebody to critique how I am laying out the essay and if there is anything that could be clearer. If it is a passing score (meaning adequate), that is all I really care about. I don't want to learn another magical approach to passing the CA bar exam.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone taken the bar in another state, passed, and returned to california to take the california bar for licensed attorneys?

Anonymous said...

Good luck to all the recent bar takers.....assuming you pass, this current job market is in the gutter. I think I'd rather be studying......

Anonymous said...

Feb 09 questions are out!

The Grand Poobah said...

Anon March 15, 2009 4:25 PM: I like Bar None Review because Lisa Duncanson works with your current writing style and doesn't force you into a "guaranteed to pass the bar" writing style.

Abandoning the style of writing I've developed over the past 30 years has obviously been difficult for me when I'm under the time pressure of the exam. When stressed, I tend to regress to my old familiar style. Lisa's comments helped me focus on what I was doing right with an eye towards eliminating, or fixing, what I was doing wrong.

Recommend her, I do. Even if I didn't pass this time, I know she put me on the right track.

Anonymous said...

Why are the questions out so soon? They never release the questions until the results have been available for a week or two. Wonder if this was a screw up?

kris said...

because I can see myself doing power-plates on the beach and working on my tan, I'm intrigued by the licenced attorneys exam, which I understand is "just" the written CA portion.

I like what I've heard of the mix of assistance GP's received this time around and will be interested to hear his take once the dust has settled.

Anonymous said...

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorius triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt

I have been reading your blog since I took the bar in Texas in July of 07, this is the quote that struck me to be what we as potential attorneys go through in this process. Good Luck