1L of a Ride — McClurg’s bestselling book about how to navigate the first year of law school is assigned as recommended or required reading at law schools throughout the country. Read the Amazon Reviews.
NEW: The 1L of a Ride Video Course is a 12-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. Somehow, it became an Amazon Editors’ Favorite Book of the Year.
Andrew Jay McClurg, The Second Amendment Right to be Negligent, 68 Florida Law Review 1 (2016).
Only two constitutional rights — the First and Second Amendments — have the capacity, through judicial interpretation or legislative action or inaction, to confer a “right to be negligent” on private citizens; that is, a right to engage in objectively unreasonable risk-creating conduct without legal consequences. In the First Amendment context, for example, the Supreme Court, in New York Times v. Sullivan and its progeny, expressly embraced a right to be negligent in defaming public officials and public figures to protect speech. This Article asserts that through both common and statutory law the United States has enshrined a de facto Second Amendment right to be negligent in many aspects of making, distributing, and possessing firearms, the only legal product designed to inflict what the tort system is designed to prevent.
Explaining that it is a microcosm of a much larger issue, the Article focuses on one area: allowing access to guns by criminals through theft. Hundreds of thousands of guns are stolen each year from individuals and commercial sellers. By definition, they all go directly to criminals. A substantial percentage of guns used in crime were previously stolen. Nevertheless, the common law has conferred near complete immunity on gun owners and sellers who fail to secure guns from theft when they are subsequently used to cause harm. This occurs despite frequent judicial pronouncements that the risk of firearms demands the highest degree of care in their use and keeping. To accomplish this result, courts ignore or mischaracterize fundamental scope of liability principles, rarely even reaching the question of whether reasonable care was exercised.
On the statutory front, not only have Congress and most states failed to mandate firearms security measures, Congress has — in the name of the Second Amendment — given express protection of the right to be negligent, most prominently in the form of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. The Act immunizes manufacturers and sellers of guns from most tort claims, including claims against commercial firearms licensees for negligent security leading to theft.
The Article argues that this government-endorsed lack of responsibility results in the under-deterrence of risky conduct that, with reasonable alterations, could avoid substantial intentional and accidental injury costs.
My new casebook–Guns and the Law: Cases, Problems, and Explanation–composed with Professor Brannon Denning, just came out. Featuring cases, problems, and explanation, it offers a balanced treatment of gun law and policy in the United States, which is hard to find in this highly charged area.
Here’s the catalog description from Carolina Academic Press:
McClurg (pro-reasonable regulation) and Denning (pro-gun-rights) apply their decades of experience studying firearms policy and gun violence in this balanced, reader-friendly casebook addressing the contentious issues of guns in America. Through cases, problems, and provocative notes and questions, the book explores current federal and state gun laws, major constitutional cases, post-Heller Second
If you’re getting ready to start law school and are worried because you have a below-average LSAT score, you need to read my new ABA blog post. In it, I explain data about the correlation between LSAT scores and first-year grades, which is weaker than most people realize.
While LSAT scores correlate with success for some students, they do not reliably predict success or lack of it for any individual student because the LSAT does not take into consideration many key ingredients to success, including “grit.”
Look at the Memphis Grizzlies. They’ve made the NBA playoffs for six straight years without any superstars. Their motto,
A Zurich friend sent along this sign in Kleinbasler in Basel, intended to alert sex workers of new “tolerance zones,” designed to impose more control over prostitution, which is legal in Switzerland.
According to this article, “there has been a high turnover of prostitutes recently, mainly from EU countries in Eastern Europe, who are increasing competition, creating price falls and making it hard to convey the rules.”
The competition led to demands by locals for more restrictions. There are currently 800 sex workers in Basel. Police made 120 arrests last year for working outside of designated zones.
Thanks to Pat Crowell.
Don’t point space heaters at cans of gasoline five inches away.
Well, it’s not quite that bad, but this warning in a package of instructions for a small space heater (maybe 10 by 12 inches)seems almost as obvious. Not faulting the manufacturer. No doubt fires, probably a lot of them, have started because consumers unwisely placed heaters next to each of the listed flammable materials, probably including cans of gasoline.
U.S. products liability law does not require warnings against “obvious dangers.” But what’s obvious? If people regularly suffer harm using a product in a dangerous way is it because the danger isn’t obvious or because product users frequently
West Academic Publishing and Amazon have teamed for a YUGE (picture Bernie Sanders saying it) discount on the bestselling law school prep book, 1L of a Ride, and new accompanying video course.
Right now, the bundled package is selling for only five dollars more than the book alone ($43.91 reduced from regular price of $80). Take advantage while it lasts.
Here are some sample clips from the video course. Check out 132 Amazon reviews (five-star average) for the freestanding book.
Not surprisingly, the product warnings accompanying smoke detectors are extensive. Smoke detector manufacturers have been held liable in lawsuits when the detector failed to work properly and harm resulted to residents. (This short article on a law firm website provides a few details.)
I bought a replacement smoke detector last week at Home Depot and, as always, enjoyed reading the product warnings and instructions.
They provided a lot of good advice, but surely the first item of “WHAT TO DO WHEN THE ALARM SOUNDS” could have been worded better:
Alert small children in the home.
Maybe I’m quibbling, but I have three issues with this instruction.
Grains such as barley and wheat used to make beer contain gluten (although gluten-free beer can be made from grains such as sorghum, buckwheat, rice, and millet).
Can gluten be removed from traditional beer grains? During the middle of our products liability coverage in first-year Torts, a student sent this photo of a beer carton boasting in bold capital letters “CRAFTED TO REMOVE GLUTEN.”
The beer was of interest to the student, who suffers from celiac disease. Persons with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder, cannot consume gluten because their bodies will mistakenly react to gluten as if it were a poison.
But then she came to
PUBLISHER AND AMAZON HAVE TEAMED FOR HUGE DISCOUNT ON 1L OF A RIDE BOOK AND VIDEO COURSE BUNDLE – $43.91 reduced from regular price of $80 and only five bucks more than the freestanding book.
Check out some sample video clips for the new 1L of a Ride Video Course (West Academic Press 2016) based on McClurg’s bestselling law school prep book of the same name. In addition to McClurg, the 13-part series features award-winning law professors Christine Coughlin (Wake Forest), Meredith Duncan (University of Houston), and Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City).
Each video is roughly ten minutes, followed by
Here’s another “rolling tort”; i.e., a dangerous condition on a road or highway.
We look at these things lightly at Lawhaha.com, but large objects that come loose from a vehicle present a substantial risk of injury or death to those traveling behind.
Other examples of Rolling Torts are here, here, and here. Or just sift through the entries under “Spot the Tort.”
–Thanks to Larry Peters.
This sign warning “Do Not Feed Hallucinogens to Alligators” would be amusing if it were real, but it’s not.
Complicating life at Lawhaha.com, where we love to post interesting warning labels and signs, is the proliferation of fake, Photoshopped samples.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell. University of Memphis first-year law student George Scoville sent me the alligators picture. It looked a bit sketchy. Research led to a Reddit post detailing indicators that the picture is fake, including, for example, a Shutterstock watermark on the mushroom.
But George had also sent a second similar photo: “Do Not Give the Bison Psychoactive Substances.” This one
What would this guy have to say about it?
When a defense lawyer in a defective building case says “scare and kill” when he means to say “care and skill,” is that just being tongue-tied, or is it a Freudian slip?
From a judge friend comes this:
In a recent motion hearing in a multi-party construction case, the attorney for the developer of the allegedly defective building intended to refer in his argument to his client’s “care and skill” in constructing the involved building. He got a little tongue-tied, however: instead of referring to his client’s construction method as involving “care and skill,”