Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Twain Effect

Mark Twain wrote in 1872, "We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don't know anything and can't read."

Yesterday, an Oregon jury announced a $300 million verdict against Payless Shoes in a trademark/tradedress infringement case brought by Adidas. [Hat tip: Bashman]. Looking through the verdict form, I found the following idiosyncrasy.

After finding Payless liable, beginning on Page 3, the jurors are ask to find which of shoes (by lots) infringed TM/TD or constituted unfair practice. The list of shoes is long, so the verdict form provides the following:
As a shortcut, if you found for adidas on each lot and will be checking "Yes" for each lot number, you may check "Yes" on the next question and skip the chart entirely.

[unchecked] Yes - we found for adidas on each lot and would check "Yes" for each lot on the chart. Please proceed to Section III of this form.

[checked] No = we found for adidas on at least one lot but not all lots. Please complete the entire chart and then proceed to Section III of this form.

Guess what the jury did? Checked no, then checked yes for EVERY SINGLE lot.

UPDATE: And I feel the fool. On page 9, the jury did indeed check no for one of the shoes. Yay for the American jury system.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unrelated question, and I apologize. Question to Alums: PMBR - yes or no? If yes, 7 or 3 day? (Assume the firm pays so price doesn't play a role in the decision).

Thank you!

5/07/2008 6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same question, but assume the firm doesn't pay.

5/07/2008 6:31 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

I didn't think my firm paid for it (it does) so I never signed up. Anecdotally, the only thing it's good for is exposure to some multiple choice questions. Apparently attending the first day you take a test, and the rest of the days you go over answers. You can do that at your own time, much faster. The 5 (or 2) days are much better spent practicing your essays (which in turn will help you learn the MBE topics).

Bottom line: get your hands on the questions and do them. Beyond that, I think the consensus is that it was waste of time.

5/07/2008 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also didn't take it, heard it wasn't worth it, and that the sample questions were not representative of the exam. I personally found Bar/Bris abundance of multiple choice questions to be sufficient, albeit not representative of the exam.

But, if you have a friend who has their firm paying for PMBR, burn their CDs and listen to them when you have a chance. If you're an auditory learner, like me, it's a great resource to have in addition to the Bar/Bri lectures.

5/07/2008 9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for these very helpful suggestions, Armen and Anon.

5/08/2008 10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took the 3-Day PMBR and found it beyond useless. Unless you anticipate the Bar Exam asking questions like:

The 2d Restatement of Torts (1939) had which of the following things to say about the negligence of a child...

The timing of the 3-Day is pretty awful too. The final two weeks were, for me, by far, the most intense. And the 3-Day PMBR falls right at the beginning of that period.

As a result, I ended up bailing on the PMBR mock test to work on essays instead. Absolutely the right call. From everything I heard from the mutterings of people walking out of the test, it was (1) absurdly hard, (2) asked questions like the one above, and (3) the day where they go over the answers, the big surprise is that the average correct score is 70/200. So you don't have to feel too bad about getting 90/200 right. Thanks guys, really helpful.

Not sure about the 7 day. The problem with that one is that you're answering questions before actually learning any material. It's like taking a final on the first day of class. Not sure how edifying that experience would be.

The materials are marginally helpful. But you're far better off cadging those from someone else, or buying them online if you're so inclined.

Frankly, I wouldn't even bother with it, even if the firm paid.

5/08/2008 10:38 AM  

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