Our Feb 2020 Michigan Seminar Got 14/15 Tested Issues!
We are excited to report that our Michigan Bar Exam seminar mentioned at least some of the issues tested on 14 of the 15 questions on the Feb 2020 Michigan Bar Exam! In this post, we provide a breakdown of what was covered and what surprised us!
Our Feb 2020 Michigan Seminar Got 14/15 Tested Issues!
We are pleased to report that we covered the entirety of the following questions in the Feb 2020 Michigan Bar Exam seminar:
The Agency question tested the existence of an agency relationship and authority (actual and apparent). These are the most highly tested issues in Agency and did not surprise us at all. As a result, we covered these topics in full in our seminar!
The Equity question involved a request for a preliminary injunction, a favorite of the Michigan Board of Law Examiners on Equity questions! Because we see preliminary injunctions frequently tested in Equity questions, we covered this topic in full in the seminar!
The Board of Law Examiners likes to cycle through the issues of gifts, bailments, and lost/abandoned property on Personal Property essays. In February 2020, they chose to focus on lost and abandoned property, both of which were covered in our seminar!
Questions We Covered 80-90% In The Seminar
For the following subjects, the Feb 2020 Michigan Bar Exam seminar covered approximately 70-80% of the issues that appeared on the exam:
The Civil Procedure question tested a Motion for Summary Disposition. As this is commonly tested on the Michigan essays, we covered it in detail in the seminar. The question involved some nuanced issues regarding types of evidence that can be used in support of such a motion, most of which were discussed in the seminar.
The Corporations question involved fairly straightforward issues including derivative lawsuits, the duty of care and business judgment rule, and shareholder voting agreements. Both derivative lawsuits and the duty of care/business judgment rule were covered at length in the seminar. Shareholder voting agreements were also mentioned as a possible essay topic!
The Board of Law Examiners based the Criminal Procedure question off the facts of U.S. Supreme Court case Navarette v. California. Not only did we recommend that students review this specific case in the seminar, but we also gave a brief overview of the facts and holding! Seminar attendees should not have been surprised to see this question. The Criminal Procedure question also involved a minor issue involving the plain view exception to the Fourth Amendment warrant requirement.
While the Constitutional Law question about a criminal defendant’s right to an interpreter might have seemed unfamiliar at first glance, it was really testing the Confrontation Clause, a Michigan favorite! Admittedly, this is not how we usually expect to see the Confrontation Clause tested, but we did point this out as a Michigan favorite in the seminar and covered it in the Criminal Procedure discussion!
Topics Identified As Highly Tested
Although we did not cover many of these topics in detail in the Seminar, we did identify them as highly-tested and often recommended at least one practice essay on these topics to help prepare examinees should they see a similar issue!
There were a lot of issues to discuss in the Contracts question, including express contract language, modifications, and various types of damages. Several of these were highlighted as highly tested issues. Students were also advised to review a practice essay on damages that would have prepared them for some of these issues!
The Criminal Law question asked about second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter. Our Criminal Law discussion focused on the many Michigan distinctions rather than on homicide, which does not have many distinctions in Michigan. Nonetheless, we pointed out that homicide is highly tested and recommended a practice essay that would prepare students for these issues!
The Domestic Relations question followed a recent trend of the Michigan Board of Law Examiners in asking specific procedural questions about Domestic Relations. The question centered on a dispute over child custody, which depended on a discussion of the Best Interest of the Child factors, a topic that we covered in the seminar!
The final essay on the exam gave students a lot of issues to discuss, including hearsay (and opposing party statements), the MRE 403 balancing test, and MIMIC evidence. Both hearsay and MIMIC were discussed in the seminar and students were directed to three practice essays on these topics to help prepare them for this essay!
The Real Property essay had a multitude of issues surrounding co-tenancies, including Tenancy by the Entirety and Joint Tenancy. Although the seminar discussion of Real Property focused on the Michigan-distinctions and did not cover this topic, it was identified as highly tested and we recommended a practice essay on this topic!
Many of the issues in the Wills essay were mentioned during the Michigan seminar, including revocation by law, intestate succession, and definition of children (including adopted children).
Although the highly-tested issue of whether an employee is “disabled” was not tested in February 2020, we did warn seminar attendees that the “arising out of/in the course of” employment piece of the coverage formula could be tested, and it was! One of the recommended essays included this exact issue, so students who reviewed that practice essay should have been prepared for this question!
What Surprised Us
The only question that tested topics that did not come up in the seminar was Torts! Although we covered Torts in the Seminar, we focused on the Michigan distinctions. However, the Examiners chose not to test a distinction this time, but rather the Torts question tested false imprisonment and the merchant’s privilege. We did cover this in our Full Michigan Course and are confident that our students were well-equipped to handle this question!
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