Professor Theresa A. Moore

Professor Theresa A. Moore
For additional explanation of how to respond to legal questions – Use this guide as a supplement to: the
Legal Writing and Reasoning for BUL3130 PDF on Content Page
Answering Homework and Essay Questions
If the question asks something like: decide the case, evaluate her claim, do you agree, who should win,
etc.? … (Which is most of the questions)
? Then, here is a general guideline of how to approach answering the question:
? Law, rule, legal principle at issue (ex: contract, negligence, manufacturing defect, etc?).
Write out the definition or the legal standard for that rule. Ex: If question is whether
there is a valid contract, you start with telling me the 5 reqs for a contract. Cite source
of your standard (text, ppt, etc.).
? Next, identify the narrower, specific issue at hand – The most important legal concept
for determining the answer to the question. Give the standard/definition/rule for this
issue. (Ex: for the contract Q, then it would be whether capacity was fulfilled. Capacity =
above age of majority, sane, sober.) Cite source.
? Apply the facts from the question’s fact pattern that match up with the rule discussed.
Tell me how each element of the law is satisfied or not satisfied, depending on how you
are arguing the facts. (Reasoning/argument section) Do not make up facts. Address all
elements or parts of the legal rule, principle, or definition.
? Brief conclusion sentence on your outcome.
Legal Reasoning and Precedent Example:
The following rules are included in the “Rules Regarding the Assignment of Grades” that is distributed to
all entering students of T. A. Moore University:
1. Students with an average on all exams of 90 or above shall receive an “A” for the course,
unless other objective criteria exist to justify a lower grade. (Adopted 5/1999)
2. Students who, without providing a written explanation, fail to turn one or more non-graded
assignment have forfeited the right to receive a grade higher than “B” in the course. (Adopted
3. Students who are active participants in class discussion (as determined by the professor of the
class) may have their grade advanced by no more than one full letter grade. (Adopted 5/2005)
The following cases are now pending before the academic review board. In each instance, the student
received a grade of “B” and is petitioning to have the grade raised to an “A”.
Professor Theresa A. Moore
Practice Questions:
Jennifer Aniston: Average on all exams of 91.2%; failed to turn in two assignments (one with a note
from a physician explaining that the student had suffered a severe case of the flu during the week
leading up to the date of the assignment); participated fully in all class discussions (except those missed
during the flu episode.)
Use the rules to decide her case.
Simon Cowell: Average on all exams of 89.6%; turned in all assignments; rarely participated in class
Use the rules to decide his case.
Larry the Cable Guy: Average on all exams of 89.4%; turned in all assignments; actively participated in
most, but not all, class discussion.
Use the rules to decide his case.
Compare your answer with Simon’s outcome. Was it different? Why/why not?

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