A candidate will display a better understanding of the material if the emphasis is placed on analysis. Black letter law knowledge can be displayed at the outlining stage. For example, if a negligence essay is split up into sections labeled “duty, breach, causation and damages,” it isn’t too important to include a long definition of negligence. Certainly, the answer with better analysis will get a higher score than the answer with better definitions.
Please keep in mind, the best way to avoid these Common Negligence essay mistakes is via essay practice. Don't wait until the exam to discover you commit these or other common essay mistakes.
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Before we dive into common mistakes with Negligence on Torts essays, it's important to step back and recognize the overall potential importance of Negligence on the entirety of the California bar exam. As a given, nearly 9% of the entire MBE includes questions on Negligence (half of all Torts questions involve Negligence). For the essays, when a Torts essay involving Negligence appears on the essay portion of the exam, Negligence and Negligence related issues (e.g., defenses or multiple, additional claims of Negligence) typically constitute over 80% of the individual essay (see, e.g., July 2002, Question 5; February 2005, Question 1; July 2006, Question 1; February 2008, Question 1; July 2010, Question 1; February 2011, Question 4). Eighty percent of an individual essay equates to 8% of the entire written portion of the California bar exam. Considering the MBE and written portion of the exam combined, this means Negligence could account for approximately 17% of the total possible raw points on the entire exam when a Torts Negligence essay is tested. Clearly, it is imperative to learn and practice how to avoid common Negligence mistakes on Torts essays in order to be adequately prepared for the California bar exam.