Substantive Law

Update on the Summer 2021 Baby Bar

Update on the Summer 2021 Baby Bar

The California “Baby Bar” or as it is more formally known, the First-Year Law Students' Examination (“FSYLX”), is a one-day test given in June and November. The test consists of four one-hour essay questions and 100 multiple-choice questions. The exam only covers three subjects: Contracts, Criminal Law, and Torts. As it did for the November 2020 exam, the State Bar California will conduct the FYLSX under special circumstances because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The exam in June will be offered remotely. The Baby Bar is taken by over 700 applicants. Those required to pass the First-Year Law Students’ Exam will not receive credit for any...

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Areas of Practice That Require Understanding of Multiple Legal Subjects

Areas of Practice That Require Understanding of Multiple Legal Subjects

Attorneys practice law in many different contexts, including law firms, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. Within each of these environments, attorneys may focus on one or several practice areas. Many, if not most, areas of legal practice involve the understanding of multiple legal subjects. Of course, an obvious example is that any attorney must understand the subject of civil procedure regardless of the area of law in which they practice. Some areas of practice, more than other areas, require an understanding of many different subjects. The practice of bankruptcy law is an excellent example. *Bankruptcy Bankruptcy lawyers represent individual and corporate creditors...

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Important California Laws To Know – Posting Harmful Information On The Internet

Important California Laws To Know – Posting Harmful Information On The Internet

In 2010, the California legislature enacted a law to counteract certain criminal conduct on the internet. Necessitated by the growing use of technology and social media, California lawmakers have established different laws to fight internet crimes, including a statute (known as posting harmful information on the internet, California Penal Code § 653.2) prohibiting indirect harassment on the internet. This offense is typically charged as a misdemeanor. The internet presents opportunities for many people to involve themselves in different internet crimes without their knowledge. The law against indirect electronic harassment is defined under California Penal Code § 653.2 PC, which reads as...

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Important California Laws To Know – Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol

Important California Laws To Know – Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol

In the United States, one person dies in a drunk driving accident every 50 minutes, which results in a toll of thirty every day. In 2018, 10, 511 people died in drunk-driving accidents. While these accidents have declined in the last thirty years, they still represent a significant loss of life that could be avoided with a little self-discipline and common sense. Drivers in California who drive under the influence of alcohol may be charged under California Vehicle Code § 23152(a) VC (driving while under the influence of alcohol), and California Vehicle Code § 23152(b) VC (driving with a blood alcohol content...

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Important California Laws To Know – Assault

Important California Laws To Know – Assault

California Penal Code § 240 PC defines the crime of assault or “simple assault” to which it is sometimes referred, in contrast to the crime of “aggravated assault.” Section 240 makes it a misdemeanor to commit or attempt to commit a violent injury on another person in California. Assault is a distinctive act because anyone may be charged with it even if they have not actually hurt anyone by their actions. While many laypersons often use the terms “assault” and “battery” interchangeably, they are actually two distinct crimes. The crime of battery involves the actual use of unlawful force or violence against another person while an assault...

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Important California Laws To Know – Divorce

Important California Laws To Know – Divorce

Many attorneys enter family law intending to make a difference in the lives of those who experience marital difficulties. Sadly, domestic relations law involves issues related to the end of a marriage - divorce, and separation. Issues related to children such as child support, child custody, and visitation naturally arise, which become issues of great priority and importance. Any young aspiring domestic relations lawyer must first become familiar with the law of divorce in California or the jurisdiction where they will ultimately practice. Law school graduates and young attorneys often believe that they may use their legal and personal skills to...

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About Jury Instructions

About Jury Instructions

One of the most important components of a trial is the case’s jury instructions. These instructions or directions help jurors pinpoint a case’s specific issues, as well as those laws that are applicable and determinative of the outcome. The importance of jury instructions to the outcome of a legal matter may not be emphasized or stressed enough. Jury instructions identify those issues that the jury will be required to decide so jurors may understand the legal principles applicable to the case. Jurors may not reach a proper verdict if they do not understand the jury instructions or the instructions fail to adequately...

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Key Numbers And Legal Research

Key Numbers And Legal Research

Legal research is generally regarded as an essential skill needed for the practice of law. The American Bar Association requires all accredited law schools to train their students in legal research along with substantive law and other practice skills. A cornerstone of legal research is the key number system, which is a classification system of U.S. law. For over 100 years, these topics and key numbers have allowed lawyers and law students the ability to focus directly on a particular legal issue and quickly find on-point case law. Legal research often involves the search for concepts or principles not easily retrieved...

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Important California Laws To Know – Child Abuse, Neglect, And Endangerment

Important California Laws To Know – Child Abuse, Neglect, And Endangerment

The following are some important California laws related to the abuse, neglect, and endangerment of children. Penal Code § 270 Child neglect This statute addresses the abandonment and neglect of children by stating the following: If a parent of a minor child willfully omits, without lawful excuse, to furnish necessary clothing, food, shelter or medical attendance, or other remedial care for his or her child, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor…” Proof of abandonment or desertion of a child by such parent, or the omission by such parent to furnish necessary food, clothing, shelter, or medical attendance or other remedial care for...

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The Coronavirus And The Force (Majeure)

The Coronavirus And The Force (Majeure)

Most contracts may not be the most interesting piece of “literature” that lawyers and law students may read in their leisure time. One clause commonly found in almost every contract, and perhaps more interesting than most other provisions of a contract, is a force majeure clause. Many legal scholars and attorneys anticipated that the coronavirus would be a circumstance that would result in the interpretation of force majeure clauses affecting the global economy. A force majeure (“superior force”) or “Act of God” clause in a contract relates to performance and whether such performance is suspended by causes outside the control of...

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