Monday, October 23, 2017

Morrill v. Scott Financial Corp. (9th Cir. - Oct. 23, 2017)

Thank you, Ninth Circuit.

I often want to give my first-semester, first-year students in civil procedure a concrete example of the way you write an essay examination about civil procedure.  One that cogently articulates and applies the relevant tests and explains the answer it reaches.  Including responding to any counterarguments the other side might make.

The Ninth Circuit does precisely that for me.  And, as a bonus, it does it twice, as both the majority and the dissenting opinion set forth exactly the type of answer you'd want a smart person to make on an exam.

Now, do I expect my students to write 26 single-spaced pages, like the majority opinion, or even 16 pages (like the dissent)?  Nope.  No time for that.  You could definitely truncate the analysis if you needed to; e.g., were pressed for time.

But the Ninth Circuit is under no such constraint.  It may wax poetic for as long as it wants.  And, here, it definitely wants.

Fair enough.  Here are some good examples of competing essay exam answers that reach opposite conclusions and yet both of which would receive an "A".