1L - First Year Lesson Topics

This set of Topics covers subjects typically taught during the first year of law school.
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Discharge of Duties: Discussions in Contracts Podcast

This podcast discusses a discharge of duties such that parties do not have to perform their contractual obligations and cannot demand performance under the other party's contract. Consideration is required to support enforcement of an agreement, including a modification of a contract resulting in a discharge of duties. This podcast will look at discharge by rescission, substituted performance, substituted contract, novation, and accord and satisfaction.

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Discovery Privileges: Work Product

This lesson is part of a series of lessons about Discovery. Rule 26(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure describes the scope of discovery: This lesson will explore the doctrine of attorney work product. Material that falls under the work product doctrine ordinarily need not be produced in discovery, even if it is extremely relevant.

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Discovery Privileges: Attorney-Client Privilege

This lesson is part of a series of lessons about Discovery. If something is privileged, then, it is not discoverable even though it is relevant and proportional. This lesson will explore the doctrine of attorney-client privilege in the context of civil discovery in federal court litigation. Communications protected by the privilege are not discoverable, even if they are extremely relevant.

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Discovery Processes

This lesson is part of a series of lessons about Discovery. Discovery is the process through which the parties exchange information, documents, electronically-stored information, and sometimes even tangible things. This particular lesson focuses on the processes lawyers use to create, respond to, and have disputes about discovery.

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Express Conditions: Discussions in Contracts Podcast

The topic of this podcast is when language in a contract is an express condition, such that failure to satisfy the condition results in a performance not being due. A condition can be a good way to hedge in case a party is concerned that it can’t meet its commitments and wants to avoid being in breach of contract. This podcast is related to the discussion of conditions in two other podcasts: Excuse of Conditions and Implied Conditions. This podcast discusses Clark v.

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Third Party Beneficiaries: Discussions in Contracts Podcast

This podcast discusses the topic of Third Party Beneficiaries. When can a person who is not party to a contract sue to enforce the contract? While the rule can be found in Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 302, it can be difficult to apply. This podcast explains how to determine the intent of the parties when considering whether the third party is a third party beneficiary. Concepts covered in this podcast include an incidental beneficiary, creditor beneficiary, and an intended beneficiary. The podcast includes the analysis for several hypotheticals and Lawrence v. Fox, 20 N.Y.

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Discussions in Contracts: Acceptance Podcast

The topic of this podcast is the basic concepts related to acceptance of an offer. Acceptance is simply the name given to the action of an offeree in making the offeror’s promise enforceable. This podcast will look at the basic attributes of acceptance, as well as specific issues related to the mirror image rule, the permitted method and manner of acceptance, and acceptance by silence.

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Accord and Satisfaction: Discussions in Contracts Podcast

This podcast explains the concept of Accord and Satisfaction, with a focus on when an accord is formed and when performance under the accord results in a satisfaction. This concept differs from modification. With accord and satisfaction, one party has completed performance and the other party’s only obligation is to render its performance -- usually the payment of money. So the party who has performed is in the position of a creditor and the party who has not performed is in the position of a debtor.

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Agreements Lacking Consideration: Past Consideration and Moral Obligation - Discussions in Contracts Podcast

This podcast explains when agreements are not enforceable as contracts because they are not supported by consideration due to the fact that the promise is based on past action or a moral obligation. It also presents common situations involving past consideration, including the exception provided under the material benefit rule. The cases Mills v. Wyman and Webb v. McGowin are discussed. 

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Assignment and Delegation: Discussions in Contracts Podcast

The topic of this podcast is when rights under a contract may be assigned to third parties, and when duties may be delegated to third parties. Using hypotheticals to illustrate, it discusses the exceptions that limit the transfer of rights and duties to a third party. The assignability of the right to receive money, and the liability involved with the delegation of a duty to pay money, are also covered. Finally, it examines prohibitions of assignment of rights or delegation of duties, including what it means to enforce such a prohibition.

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Certainty: Discussions in Contracts Podcast

The topic of this podcast is the basic concept of certainty in computing damages. Certainty is a principle that can limit a plaintiff's recovery in a claim for breach of contract. According to Restatement (Second) of Contracts § 352, "Damages are not recoverable for loss beyond an amount that the evidence permits to be established with reasonable certainty." The podcast discusses what certainty requires and the purpose behind certainty.

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