Improving FYLSE Issue Recognition: Overlooking Complementary Issues

California Baby Bar Examinees,

Welcome to the latest issue of our California Baby Bar Exam (FYLSX) newsletter. In this issue, we consider:

  • Important Upcoming FYLSX Dates
  • Recent FYLSX News
  • FYLSX Essays In-Depth: Overlooking Complementary Issues
  • FYLSX Repeaters' Discount
  • FYLSX Newsletter Discount

Important Upcoming FYLSX Dates

  • FYLSX Exam Date: October 23, 2012

Recent FYLSX News

Time remains, with our Expedited scheduling, to complete our FYLSX Fundamentals program for the October 2012 FYLSX.

For Repeaters, our FYLSX Exam Essay Assessments are available for the June 2011, October 2011, and June 2012 exams. An essential tool for any repeater is understanding prior exam mistakes. Our Assessments identify your essay weaknesses and provide concrete suggestions for immediate improvement.

Our Ultimate program is now available for the June 2013 exam. Any of our FYLSX programs can be used in conjunction with the completion of your first year studies in anticipation of both your final exams and the FYLSX.

FYLSX Essays In-Depth: Overlooking Complementary Issues

Issue recognition on FYLSX essays is often a source of consternation and difficulty for many exam takers. One common essay issue recognition mistake is the tendency to overlook complementary issues, by either omitting the issues entirely or only identifying a portion of the pertinent issues.

What is a Complementary FYLSX Essay Issue?

"Complementary" issues are simply related issues that should be identified and evaluated as independent, separate issues on your FYLSX essays. Such issues often manifest as lesser crimes or torts. For example, Assault and Battery in both Criminal Law and Torts are such "complementary" issues. In Contracts, "complementary" issues are often competing forms of the same issue (e.g., Offer and Merchant Firm Offer (assuming the question addresses the sale of goods under the UCC)). Likewise, defenses across all subjects often contain complementary, related issues that should be considered in conjunction with one another (e.g., the various forms of insanity defenses in Criminal Law; contributory and comparative negligence in Torts; and impracticablity and impossiblity in Contracts).

A Case Example: "Products Liability"

A good example of complementary issues is "products liability" claims on a Torts essay. When individuals see the words "products liability" in an essay question they often only think of "strict products liability" and forgo consideration of all other products liability claims (i.e., the complementary issues of "strict products liability"). Remember, "products liability" includes a number of individual, related, and complementary issues, including: strict products liability, products liability negligence, warranty theory, and battery. If a question is inquiring about "products liability" generally, and not "strict products liability" specifically, then consideration of all these claims should be made as possible issues: consider the complementary issues (note, the differences between products liability and strict liability claims can be found here).

The major lesson to remember is that you should not overlook consideration of a complementary issue after identifying the initial issue. In almost all cases, if you are identifying a particular issue in your answer, then you should likely also identify all related, complementary issues as well.

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Study smart,

-The Team