1L of a Ride Book and Video Course

The "Companion Text" to Law School1L of a Ride — Assigned as recommended or required reading at law schools throughout the country, 1L of a Ride is now available in a new (June 2017) third edition.  Check out the Amazon Reviews.  You can also order it directly from the publisher here.

The 1L of a Ride Video Course is a 13-part series featuring McClurg and award-winning law professors Chris Coughlin, Meredith Duncan and Nancy Levit. Available separately or bundled with a print or e-copy of the book.

Meanwhile, to maintain their sanity, loved ones may want to look at The “Companion Text” to Law School: Understanding and Surviving Life with a Law Student, a 2014 Amazon Editors’ Favorite Book of the Year.

Warning: Don’t Touch Fire

Warning: Do Not Put Hands in Fire

An age-old products liability dilemma for manufacturers:

What will a court consider, in hindsight, to be an “obvious” product danger?

Generally, under U.S. law, there is no legal duty for product makers or sellers to warn of product dangers that are obvious?  Why?  Because if they’re obvious, people will already know about them and the warning won’t accomplish anything.  Google dictionary synonyms for obvious include plain to see, evident, apparent, conspicuous, prominent, noticeable,” even unmissable.

But what’s obvious to most people may not be obvious to everyone, so why not go ahead and warn, even when it seems obvious, such as the risk of burns from sticking your hands into a fire?  The major problem here it that it looks like you have to stick your head into the fire to see the warning, which says:

Do Not Touch The Fire Or The Fire-Glass.  Severe Burning And Cutting May Occur

Whoa!  Burning AND Cutting?  That, I did not see coming until my face was already on fire.

–Thanks to the Randy Maniloff, who took this picture at a local restaurant.  Check out his Coverage Opinions site for intelligent legal commentary and humor, along with his fascinating interviews with everyone from Richard Posner and John Grisham to the guitarist-turned-lawyer from Blind Melon.

Spot the Tort: The Latest in Overloaded Vehicle Torts

A rolling tort doubling as a mobile movie theater.

“Rolling Torts” is the label Lawhaha gives to overloaded vehicles presenting dangers on America’s roads and highways. They’re everywhere. On the one hand, you have to admire the ingenuity and ability of people to load moving-truck sized packages onto ordinary passenger vehicles. On the other hand, if one of these items breaks loose, especially on a highway, the risk to other drivers and passengers is severe.

(Of course, technically speaking, “Spot the Tort” entries are actually potential torts. An actual tort doesn’t occur until the risk manifests itself in injury.)

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No Trial Delay for Solar Eclipse

U.S. District Judge Steven “Not So” Merryday denied an Assistant U.S. Attorney’s (AUSA) motion to delay a trial because a witness employed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) had prepaid for a trip to view the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse in totality.

The court reasoned that the delay would “subordinate the time and resources of the court … to one person’s aspiration to view a ‘total’ solar eclipse for no more than two minutes and forty-two seconds.”

Can’t take issue with the result, but instead of just saying that, the magistrate–perhaps seeking his own two minutes and forty-two seconds of fame–penned a silly too-cute-for-words

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Spot the Tort: Tortious Neighbors Make Bad Neighbors

Last week I posted the reverse of this post, Non-Tortious Neighbors Are Good Neighbors, then I came upon this spikey little trap. As you can see, it’s right on the sidewalk.

I’m no expert, but I think the caution tape is supposed go around the hazard, not beneath. And could you at least point the long rusty nails in the pedestrians’ direct path down?

Distinguishing Good from Bad Law School Advice

When new students arrive at law school, they receive a ton of advice from upper-level students. 2Ls and 3Ls love giving advice to new students. If they can do it at an event where alcohol is being consumed, a state close to nirvana is achieved. But how do incoming students distinguish between good advice and bad advice? Here’s a tip I give in 1L of a Ride. After mentioning that upper-level students sometimes give really good advice, I say:

But upper-level students also give some really bad advice, much of which involves ways to cut corners, so be wary of what they tell you. Although

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Spot the Tort: Non-Tortious Neighbors are Good Neighbors

Do you ever take strolls around your neighborhood and find yourself appalled by the risky, tortious conditions residents leave on the sidewalks in front of their homes. A couple weeks ago I passed a house with a pile of boards spilling onto the sidewalk bearing long, upward-turned rusty nails sticking out. It’s a popular neighborhood where people like to walk, including at night. I was tempted to knock on the door and explain duties of care and premises liability, but only had an hour, so instead just moved the worst offending boards off the sidewalk.

Then a couple days ago I came upon my new favorite neighbor’s house. This

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McClurg’s 1L of a Ride

1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor’s Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law School (West 3d ed. 2017)

Amazon.com listing

Publisher’s listing

Assigned as recommended or required reading at law schools throughout the country, 1L of a Ride provides a step-by-step navigational guide to both academic and emotional success in law school’s crucial first year.

Check out the Amazon Customer Reviews

Covered topics in the newly updated (June 2017) third edition include: top student fears, the first-year curriculum, effective class participation, types of law students and professors, case-briefing, note-taking, course-outlining, legal research and writing, exam preparation, essay and multiple-choice exam strategies, stress management,

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Warning: No Manspreading

From Madrid comes a new pictorial instruction sign (not technically a “warning sign”) on public buses prohibiting “manspreading.” I was not familiar with this term. I thought maybe it was something like this, which I wholeheartedly agree should be banned:

But that’s not it. It’s this:

Okay, this might be worse. Manspreading is the practice of some men to sit with their legs spread on a bus seat, crowding people around them, particularly women, apparently. Whether this is done to protect personal space or intentionally invade someone else’s is not clear from the article.

But as the question always arises with pictorial communicative signs, does

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Third Edition of 1L of a Ride Released

Excited to report that after two years of work, the shiny new third edition of 1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor’s Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law School was just released by West Publishing Company.

It’s available here on Amazon. Check out the 148 reviews for 1L of a Ride averaging 5-stars. 1L of a Ride is assigned as required or recommended reading at law schools throughout the country. [Note: Because it just came out, it’s listed temporarily out of stock on Amazon, but that should be fixed quickly. In the meantime, you can always order it directly from the publisher here.]


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Top Five Habits of Successful Law Students — ABA Webinar on YouTube

The American Bar Association Law Student Division posted my webinar, The Top Five Habits of Successful Law Students, on YouTube. Check it out for some good advice.

Here’s the accompanying description:

In this webinar, Professor Andrew McClurg, author of the popular law school prep book, 1L of a Ride: A Well-Traveled Professor’s Roadmap to Success in the First Year of Law School, seeks to inspire new students to “Be Excited!” about their new adventure and get them on the right track from day one by explaining his C.R.E.D.O. for law school success: the top five habits of successful law students (Consistent, Rigorous, Efficient, Diligent, and

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Spot the Tort: “I’m Fixing a Hole Where the Rain Gets In”

… and your foot and, if it keeps growing, your dog, child, small automobile. Walking in Memphis is always entertaining and exciting, especially if you like to spot potential torts.

In fact, according to authentic Chamber of Commerce statistics that I am making up, there are more torts on the streets and sidewalks of Memphis than annual Graceland visitors.

I came across this interesting one taking a walk in Midtown. The hole itself is interesting, sort of like a little sinkhole, but the pole sticking out of it what grabs one’s attention, as well as the bottom of your automobile. As always, questions abound. Were they trying

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Graphic Warning: Keep Hands Out of Vendor?

Pictorial or graphic warnings are designed to be interpretable by anyone, whatever language they speak and whatever their literacy level. The problem is it can be darn difficult to convey a product warning in a single image.

This graphic warning sticker on a soda/water machine does a good job of getting one’s attention and clearly alerts people that they should not be sticking their hand in between grinding gears. Where those gears are remains a mystery, but I suppose it must be the exit path for the soda or water bottle.

I have a bigger issue with the verbal warning: KEEP HANDS OUT OF VENDOR. Vendor? That sounds more

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Legal Trivia Question: Largest Arrest in U.S. History

Just as doctors need patients, lawyers need clients. One can surmise that local criminal defense lawyers got plenty of business during the largest mass arrest in U.S. history. How many people were arrested and where did it occur?

140 in Peoria, Illinois 1500 in Boston, Massachusetts 12,000 in Washington, D.C. 17,500 in Los Angeles, California

ANSWER: In May 1971, more than 500,000 anti-Vietnam War protesters descended on Washington, D.C. with the intention of shutting down the federal government by blocking the streets. As of that date, 45,000 American soldiers had died in Vietnam and more than 250,000 troops were still stationed there. At least 12,000 protesters were arrested from

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Andrew Jay McClurg is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include tort law, products liability, legal education, privacy law and firearms policy. He holds the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.
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