1L of a Ride Book and Video Course

1L of a Ride Second Edition coverThe "Companion Text" to Law School1L 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.

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 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 to put a stop sign in the middle of the street?

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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Wacky Warning Sign: World’s Safest Road Excavation

Thanks to my Swiss friend for this link to a variety of wacky warning signs in Switzerland. The Swiss are very safe people, no doubt about it. Look closely at what this monstrous, overdone barrier and warning contraption is protecting: what looks to be about a four-inch deep road excavation.

Compare the Swiss approach to how we handle this type of hazard in good old Memphis.

–Thanks to Pat Crowell.

Diabolical Slip and Fall Combo – Ice and Banana Peel

Thanks to a former student at the Florida International University College of Law for spotting this particularly diabolical slip and fall risk. As if ice or banana peels weren’t risk enough by themselves, here we get a combo.

Slip and falls are no laughing matter. Check out these statistics from the National Floor Safety Institute.

Ice is a lot more dangerous than banana peels, but people do slip on banana peels, and not just in cartoons. One of lawhaha.com’s most visited posts is this death certificate for a poor fellow in Tennessee, noting that shortly before his death, he slipped on a banana peel.

–Thanks to Armando

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Truth About McDonald’s Coffee Spill Case in Five Minutes

Here’s the real story behind the infamous McDonald’s coffee spill case, in a five-minute video by Adam Ruins Everything.

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1L of a Ride Video Course

Check out sample video clips for the 1L of a Ride Video Course 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).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT37lW6Hx1E

Each video is a concise ten minutes, followed by a short self-assessment quiz. The videos include:

1. Introduction to the Video Course 2. Planning Ahead and Biggest Fears 3. Structure and Role of U.S. Courts 4. Socratic and Case Methods 5. Overview of First-Year Curriculum 6. First-Year Sample Course: Torts

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The Second Amendment Right to Be Negligent

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

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New Guns and the Law Casebook

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

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“Grit and Grind” Your Way to Law School Success

The Grindfather

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,

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You Are About to Enter the Sex Worker Zone

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.

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Don’t Store Explosives Next to Your Space Heater

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

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Smoke Detector Warning Under Fire

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.

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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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