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. Bundled book and video course on sale now on Amazon at a 45 percent discount!

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.

Don’t Store Explosives Next to Your Space Heater

Don't point space heaters at cans of gasoline five inches away.

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 willfully or negligently overlook known dangers.

Manufacturers often get sued for failing to warn of obvious dangers. They don’t usually lose the lawsuits, but you can’t blame them for erring on the side of over-warning.  The unintended cost is the “dilution effect” of too many warnings. If instruction booklets are dominated by warnings, which they are, many of them repeated, it’s less likely consumers will read the warnings at all, or pay attention to the ones they really need to know.

But in this case, I’d agree the danger is both obvious and should be warned about because of the foreseeable grave risk.

Large Discount on Bundled 1L of a Ride Book and New Video Course

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.

Smoke Detector Warning Under Fire

Smoke Detector Fire Advice

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.

Read more…

Warning: Always Read Fine Print


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

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New – 1L of a Ride Video Course!

1L of a Ride Video Course Marketing Video

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

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Spot the Tort: Another Rolling Tort on the Highway

Another Rolling Tort

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.

Beware of Tripping Alligators and Fake Warning Signs

Don't Feed Hallucinogens to Alligators

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

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Freudian Slip By Defense Lawyer?

Sigmund Freud

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,”

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No Prejudice in This Dismissal


A lawyer friend in Jacksonville, FL sent along this funny story about a plaintiff who objected to his complaint being dismissed “with prejudice”:

At a mediation, a settlement agreement was reached, so the mediator formalized it in a written document. The plaintiff’s lawyer was going over each of the terms in the document with the plaintiff. When they got to the term that stated “Plaintiff will dismiss the Complaint with prejudice,” the client looked up and adamantly stated, “I will not! I am not prejudiced, and believe everyone is equal under the eyes of God.”

For non-lawyers, “dismissed with prejudice” is a

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Supreme Court Emoji Challenge

Thinky Emoji

Insurance law expert and all-around funny, clever guy Randy Maniloff has come up with a fun test for spelling out the names of 10 famous U.S. Supreme Court cases using only emoji. How did this come about? He explains in his latest issue of Coverage Opinions:

The other night I was out to dinner with my 9 year old daughter. As we waited for her mac & cheese to arrive I decided to give her a lesson on the Supreme Court. I figured I’d start with the basic operation of the federal judiciary. From there move on to some landmark Supreme Court cases.

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Warning: No Standing or Sitting Allowed

No Standing or Sitting in this Area

I guess we’ll have to take this one lying down because no standing or sitting is allowed. From a former student comes this sign at a baseball field in Burns Park, North Little Rock, Arkansas.

What is the sign really trying to convey? No loitering in this area? No people in this area? Under a strict construction, could you lie down in the area and be in compliance with the sign’s directive?

–Thanks for Shayne Smith.

The Golden Mean in the Gun Debate

Andrew Jay McClurg, In Search of the Golden Mean in the Gun Debate, 58 Howard Law Journal 779-809 (2015).

The American gun debate is stuck and has been for a long time. Both sides remain trapped by their own hyperbolic rhetoric and reasoning fallacies, with the result that partisans are being heard only by those who already agree with them. This essay asserts that there is such a thing as “reasonable middle ground” in the gun debate and seeks to prove it by analyzing five specific measures that have the potential to reduce gun violence without infringing legitimate Second Amendment rights:

(1) bolstering federal support for

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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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