If you’re sitting for the upcoming bar exam, your mind is probably spinning with all of the rules of law that you need to know. One advantage of AmeriBar’s materials is that we utilize a starring system to help you pinpoint heavily tested points of law. Here are five rules that you absolutely need to know for the bar exam.
Rule 1 - Minimum Contacts
We’re sure you’ve heard the term minimum contacts in your civil procedure class. The minimum contacts rule is sure to be tested on virtually every MBE.
What you should know: The most commonly tested basis for personal jurisdiction is whether a person’s contacts with a forum state are sufficient to reasonably require the person to defend a lawsuit that is filed in a forum state.
Even if no other basis for personal jurisdiction applies, a forum state possesses personal jurisdiction over a defendant if the defendant possesses sufficient minimum contacts with the state.
International Shoe Company v. Washington provides the general rule that a person who has never been present in a state may be subject to personal jurisdiction in the state if the person possesses:
- “Sufficient minimum contacts” with that forum state,
- Such that requiring the person to appear and defend in a court there would not
- “Offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.”
Rule 2 - Offer and Acceptance
The fundamental contract concept of mutual assent through an offer and acceptance will be tested on the multiple choice portion of your bar exam.
What you should know: A valid contract offer exists when a reasonable person would objectively believe that an offer for a contract is open for acceptance. An offer enables an offeror to form an agreement by inviting an acceptance of the offer. An offer is an offeror’s promise to do or to refrain from doing something specific in the future.
Rule 3 - Statements Attributable to a Party-Opponent
Evidence is a subject that many people find difficult. You will almost certainly face a question testing statements made by a party opponent on your exam.
What you should know: A party-opponent is an adverse party in a lawsuit. The Federal Rules of Evidence provides that specific types of admissions of a party-opponent are not hearsay.
A party-opponent’s statement may be admitted in the lawsuit (as an admission by the party-opponent) if the statement is offered by another party against the party-opponent, and the party-opponent’s position is inconsistent with the statement.
Rule 4 - Easements
Real property is by far the most voluminous of the subjects tested on the bar exam. There are many rules to learn, but you will almost definitely encounter a question about easements.
What you should know: An easement is a limited right to access the real property of another. An easement ordinarily exists when an owner of property grants a restricted right to use or access that property to a non-owner of property. Examples of easements include driveways, walkways, and utility routes. Certain criteria, such as duration or particular purpose, may restrict the scope of use or access of an easement.
A written easement’s creation is generally subject to the Statute of Frauds. The Statute, however, does not prevent the creation of an oral easement by means of a verbal conveyance or oral agreement to convey property interests.
Rule 5 - Larceny
Almost every MBE has at least one criminal law question testing larceny.
What you should know: Larceny is the taking and carrying away of the personal property of another with the intent to steal the property. It generally involves a trespass by one person against personal property in the possession of a victim by intentionally physically taking the property, either directly or indirectly when the accused uses an item or another person to take the property. The victim does not need to own the property, but the victim must be in possession of the property. Larceny is distinguished from robbery because it does not involve the use of force.
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