The July 2014 Bar Exam: Discussing the Florida Bar Exam

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Bar Professors will be conducting Florida essays seminars and MBE seminars in October, November and January. Look for more information on this site.

Bar Professors was once again able to correctly predict the 3 Florida essays: Contracts/Commercial Paper; Contracts/Torts, Trusts, and of course, Ethics. We expect a 100% bar pass rate from our students for July 2014. The Florida bar exam results will be released on September 22, 2014.

For discussion purposes, let’s talk about the essays.

Contracts/Commercial Paper/Ethics:

Manufacturer has new top of the line golf drivers the T1 Bomb. Retailer learns of the new clubs at a golf show and the $200 wholesale price. Retailer sends a signed purchase order to Manufacturer to ship 1000 T1 bombs, $200 each, with a 2% discount if paid within 10 days or total net amount due in 30 days. Manufacturer ships 500 drivers with its own signed order form that said, 500 drivers, $200 each, the other 500 will be shipped upon full payment of $200,000 if payment is received within 3 days of receipt of the 500 clubs. 5 days after Retailer received the 500 clubs, Retailer sends a note payable on demand to the order of Manufacturer in the amount of $196,000 (minus the 2% discount). Upon receipt Manufacturer indorsed it over to Supplier.

After the 500 clubs arrived to Retailer, Manufacturer, knowing that the market price has doubled, calls Retailer and says Retailer shorted him $4000 and he will not ship the other 500 clubs and that the current price is now $400. Retailer Owner calls Manufacturer from another trade show and said, I paid in full, send me the clubs or return the note. Manufacturer says, too late, I’ve paid Supplier. Competitor hears Retail Owner tell Manufacturer that he had no right to give the note to Supplier. Competitor, wanting to cause trouble, then purchases the note from Supplier for $190,000. Competitor presents the note to Retailer and demands immediate payment of $196,000.

Retail Owner contacts Larry Legal in Tampa who works in a very large national law firm. He knows Larry is a golf fanatic and to save on legal fees, Retail Owner verbally offers him 10% of the clubs he may ultimately recover from Manufacturer. Larry immediately takes the representation and begins work. Manufacturer is also a client of Firm and one of the partners in another office of Firm serves as Manufacturer’s general counsel.

Discuss Retailer’s legal rights with respect to Manufacturer, Supplier and Competitor and damages. Also discuss ethical issues that arise for Larry and Firm.

Contracts/Torts/Ethics

Seller owns a piano store, and placed an ad to sell a baby grand piano claiming that it is a 6 month young Topnotch baby grand piano for $60,000. Buyer, a successful businessman, wants to learn how to play a musical instrument and knows a Topnotch sells for $75,000. He responded immediately as he thought it was a great bargain. The bill of sale, signed by both parties, says “Baby grand piano, as is, $60,000.” The bill of sale did not specify the brand of piano.

The Buyer had the piano tuned. Although the piano had the Topnotch name and logo embossed on it, it was really an Offbrand piano. After purchasing the Offbrand piano for $6000, the Seller had changed the nameplate and logo on it. Attorney, who was Seller’s personal friend, had been with Seller when he bought the Offbrand piano but did not participate in the resale of it to Buyer. Buyer now plans to sue Seller. Prepare a memo discussing the civil claims that Buyer may bring against Seller, Seller’s defenses, possible remedies and which party should prevail. Include in your response a discussion of the ethical issues involved in whether Attorney should represent Seller in the civil suit brought by Buyer. Do not include any issues of criminal law.

Trusts:

Stan Settlor was a resident of Orlando for the last 10 years. He volunteered at a homeless shelter in Orlando called New Beginnings. Last year, Stan used his new smart phone to make a video recording, identifying himself and the date. He stated he was making a 5 million dollar trust for the benefit of New Beginnings. He appointed his friend, Tom Trustee, as the trustee. Tom was instructed to make $500 monthly payments to New Beginnings, and to have absolute discretion to pay whatever and whenever he thought. Tom was to keep the money in the savings account Settlor would create. Settlor gave Trustee $10,000 per month in compensation. Also, Trustee was to have no liability for anything, no matter how bad. New Beginnings cannot contest the trust nor sue the Trustee for any acts committed as trustee. If it did contest, the trust shall terminate and Tom would return the balance of any remaining trust assets to Settlor or to Settlor’s son. The Trust was irrevocable.

Immediately after making the recording, Stan went to Bank and made the $5 million deposit into a savings account. Tom received full access to the account. 2 weeks later, Stan emailed the video recording to Dan, the director of New Beginnings and to Tom. Tom accepted the appointment and the video recording was never reduced to writing.

Stan died and was survived by his son. Tom has not made one payment to New Beginnings since the creation of the trust, but has not missed a payment to himself. Dan tried to contact Tom numerous times about the trust, but Tom refused contact. Dan has since closed New Beginnings and retired to Iowa. The Florida Attorney General has learned of what occurred and would like to do something. Tom seeks your advice as his counsel. Prepare a memo that discusses whether Stan created a valid trust, and whether the trust provisions are valid. Discuss what duties, if any, Tom has breached as trustee. In addition, evaluate whether the Attorney General has any legal basis to intervene and the likely outcomes if someone files suit.

Which question was the easiest or the hardest? Do you think you got all the issues?

The multiple choice questions were civil and criminal procedure, evidence and business entities.

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3 Responses to “The July 2014 Bar Exam: Discussing the Florida Bar Exam”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    i

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Question: Can you post the issues from each FL bar essay question. Here is what I talked about in each. Feedback will be greatly appreciated.

    Essay 1:

    Contracts: Offer, Acceptance, Consideration, Nonconforming goods as acceptance, Battle of the Forms, Statute of Frauds, Cure, Anticipatory Repudiation, Modification,

    Commercial Paper: Elements of commercial paper, negotiation, indorsement, holder in due course, personal/defenses

    Ethics: conflicts of interest and contingency fee

    Essay 2:

    Contracts: Offer, Acceptance, Consideration, Advertisements as an offer, Mistake (unilateral/mutual), Parol Evidence, Statute of Frauds

    Torts: Intentional Misrep (fraud), Negligent Misrep, Breach of Implied/Express Warranty, Fraudulent nondisclosure, Punitive damages

    Ethics: Misrepresentation to the court/tribunal, Possibility of solicitation.

    Essay 3:

    Trusts: Express trust, charitable trust, discretionary trust, in terrorem clause, trustee reasonable compensation, duty of prudent trustee, duty of good faith, duty to manage trust, duty to report

    FL Con Law: Attorney general can sue on behalf of Charity- Standing, Organization standing, access to courts

  3. Anonymous Says:

    The AG portion of Essay 3 was all about Cy Pres. That is, reforming the trust.

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