Sunday, October 9, 2011

Criminal law and Castle

My latest find on Netflix has been Castle, a solve-the-crime-of-the-week television show with a bit of humor and a likable cast.  It stars Nathan Fillion of Serenity fame, and newcomer Stana Katic.  Fillion is a crime novel writer who teams up with Katic, a detective for the NYPD, and together they solve crimes.  I believe the show has just started its fourth season, but I'm at the beginning of season two.

This brings me to my current subject, Criminal Law.  I always enjoyed this area - my criminal law professor, Laurie Levinson, might be partly a reason why I like it.  She had been a member of the US Attorney's office in Los Angeles, and has been teaching for a couple of decades.  Her no nonsense attitude, and simple love of the law were contagious, and her lectures were always interesting.

Nonetheless, having covered contracts, and now criminal law, I'm coming to that area of the bar exam where one has to show how different standards apply to a given situation.  In contracts law, there are the first and second restatements as well as the uniform commercial code for sales of goods.  For criminal law, there are the common law standards, the model penal code standards, as well as diverging positions taken by the courts in interpreting some crimes.  This is not so difficult for multiple choice questions, but for essays, it becomes an exercise in memory dumping.  Given a fact pattern and if the question is broad enough, you have to list the rules that are applicable, and sometimes go down a laundry list of possibilities.

In any event, I'm about one third of the way into my first outline book, and should be finishing the whole thing by the end of the month.  Making notes will take a lot longer, but I will be reading the Florida outline simultaneously, and hopefully will have all that finished by December.  I'm still on track, although not as far ahead as I would like to be.

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