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June 04, 2009


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Tim Zinnecker

Nancy, I'm not sure there's any humor in this mistake (at least from our side of the podium), but how many times have we seen a student refer to a filed "financial statement" (instead of a "financing statement").


Of course, my all-time favorite one was when I taught the "shaken faith" doctrine in contracts, and one exam writer wrote about the "Shake & Bake" doctrine....

Eric Fink

In my pre-lawyer life, as a grad student TA, there was an annual contest for funniest line in a student paper, named in honor of a student who referred to "the icing on Eichmann's evil cake." I don't expect any law student exam will ever top that.

David S. Cohen

I asked a question about the relationship between the 17th Amendment and the Commerce Clause, something we talked about a few times in class, in particular with respect to Usery and Garcia (which mentions the relationship explicitly). One student wrote "Honestly, I don't remember ever addressing the 17th amendment." At least s/he's being honest.

Sam Buell

Love this game. Play it every semester with colleagues. So far, my favorite in my own classes was the answer to a criminal law question that involved a shoot-out outside a bank following a robbery. One of the potential defendant's bullets struck a pit bull being walked across the street, which then broke free in a rage and mauled a child. A student explained that it would not be foreseeable that someone would be walking down the street with a "pet bull." I count on a few of these to inject some humor into the grading grind--as opposed to intentional efforts to be funny in exam answers, which never succeed.

David Friedman

I read a lengthy discourse on "unconsciousability."

Tim Zinnecker

Not exactly on point, but I read a recent bankruptcy slip opinion which dropped a space between the words "a lien creditor," resulting in the phrase "alien creditor." Pretty funny. Then again, we commercial law profs take humor where we can get it!


This afternoon's joy in reading PR exams came when I read that a law firm (named after our cats, Grace & Shadow) could avoid a conflicts problem by establishing an "iron curtain." So that's why the former Soviet Union did it....

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