My name is Self-Appointed Expert, and this is my blog. It is part memoir, mostly fiction, and above all just trying to be funny. Some of is based on stuff that happened to me, some is based on stuff that happened to people I know, and a good deal is just entirely made up. So, if you find yourself offended, just remember - it's a joke. When you give me that look, it's a joke. Consider it my homage to the Secret Life of Walter Mitty, A Million Little Pieces, John Hodgman, and Christopher Guest.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

In a Flash!

My favorite part of studying for law school exams, by far, is Law IN A FLASH! flashcards. Basically, Law IN A FLASH! flashcards are these tiny commerically produced index cards that you can buy for $25/box with about 300 cards that teach you all the black letter law of various legal subjects - I've used them for Property, Constitutional Law, and today, Evidence, and have gotten my best grades in each as a direct result.

The secret to the success of Law IN A FLASH! flashcards is that for each rule they'll give you these hypothetical examples to illustrate what the rule means and how you can remember it. For instance, they'll have Snow White refusing to rent an apartment to the 7 dwarfs, and this will teach you that the Fair Housing Act says you have no right dicriminate against midgets (or cripples, or Indians) in your rental decisions. It's great.

Recently, however, the cards seem to have gotten a little more controversial. So far today, for example, my Evidence cards have make references to:
(1) Romeo raping Juliet (Rule 412: character evidence in sexual assault cases)
(2) OJ Simpson killing Nicole and his hypothetical 3rd wife Pauline (Rule 404: character evidence used to show identity/M.O.)
(3) Osama bin Laden stabbing Yasser Arafat because he thought Yasser was going to blow him up with a suicide bomb. (Rule 404: Character evidence used to show self-defense.)
(4) Some dude stringing a string between the towers of the World Trade Center, and whether a tower guard saw him. (Rule 401: Relevance of negative evidence.) (Even more disturbing considering example (3) shows they knew who Osama bin Laden was when they wrote the card.)

It's insane. I've already been offended like 5 times this morning. But, I have to admit, it's also very memorable. And edgy. To be frank, I kinda dig it. My only complaint is, however, that it's not fair that my name, personally, is not mentioned in the cards. I mean, if I could link Rule 405 to a story about my own death, I would totally clean up on any exam question about admissible types of character evidence. And when you're graded on a curve, it's really not fair that some people get stories about their own death and other people don't. I can only imagine how easy it must be for Yasser Arafat to remember Rule 404. If he weren't already dead, he would totally kick my ass on the exam. And that's just not fair.

But aside from that, YAAAAAY FLASHCARDS!

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