Monday, August 22, 2005

The most obvious difficulty

Here's a little exchange that pretty much sums up just how boned I am this quarter in T&E:

Prof: You, what's your name?

Student: ____.

Prof: What's the difference between a tenancy in common and a joint tenancy?

Student: Well, sir, the most obvious difference is that a joint tenancy has the right of survivorship and a tenancy in common does not.

Prof: Is that all?

Student: No, sir. In a joint tenancy, the co-owners share the four unities of time, title, interest and possession.

Prof: But do we follow the four unities doctrine in Texas?

Student: No.

Prof: That's right, we don't. I want an answer based on Texan law; I don't need a comprehensive history of the English common law. Our clients will want answers, not history lessons.

Wow. So, I basically would have checked out with "right of survivorship." I think you could kind of sleepwalk through Property and somehow have absorbed that that is the difference between a JT and a TIC. I know, because sleepwalk is pretty much what I did. This kid goes off on this four unities whatnot, and I'm doing well to remember that these mythical "four unities" do exist, much less what they are. Alas, it's been a year since I took property.

Anyway, what I'm getting at is this guy knew all that only to get busted for knowing TOO much--or rather, giving a non-Texan answer. You just can't win, it seems, when getting called on in T&E. Like Prof. Contracts, it seems questions will be asked until cause to be dismissed is given. I'm remembering a certain classmate of mine who dueled with Prof. Contracts for ten minutes to a draw, only to see the professor try to finish him off with a UCC question not included in the reading. When the student pulled off the coup de haha and got it right, he found himself staring straight down the barrel of a "sit down, sit down" when he didn't know the number of the section.

Then again, perhaps T&E will be nothing like that, and I'll magically turn into the most brilliant conveyancer since Sir Norbert of Earlbottom, the Eighth Viscount of Shropshingshire.

I am so amazingly screwed.