Wednesday, June 29, 2011

MBE Madness

After a while, every mundane situation one comes across in daily life starts sounding like an MBE fact pattern, with only a little bit of speculation as to what could have happened. We call this the onset of bar exam-induced insanity.

A man was riding on a city bus when he saw his stop coming up. He pushed the button to request a stop; however, the bus driver did not notice and drove past the stop without stopping. The man called out to the bus driver, who noticed that the man had requested a stop, and stopped the bus in the lane of traffic to let the man off. The man exited the bus, but because there was no sidewalk at that point on the road, the distance between the bus and the ground was greater than he expected, and he fell, breaking his wrist. The bus driver did not notice and drove off. As the man stood up and tried to get off the road, a motorist in a car that had been following the bus negligently ran into him, breaking his legs. Against whom may the man recover for his injuries?

A woman and her neighbor both had gardens that backed up onto each other. This year, the woman was growing peas, and the neighbor was growing sunflowers. The neighbor, who planned to grow tomatoes next year, offered to purchase some wire racks that would be suitable for his tomatoes next year, and let the woman use them for her peas to climb on this year. The woman replied that she did not want him to go to such trouble for her vegetables. The neighbor insisted, and the woman replied that he could purchase the racks, but in return, she insisted that he take some of her peas when they grew larger. The neighbor told her that he would purchase the racks in a week. Several days later, the woman noticed that her peas were trailing on the ground, so she purchased some stakes for them to climb on without telling her neighbor, and placed them in the garden. The neighbor noticed that the woman no longer needed the racks; however, he purchased them anyway. Can the neighbor demand that the woman let him have some of her peas?

A woman’s friend sent her a gift through the mail. While the woman was away from home, the postal carrier came by to deliver the package. Since the woman wasn’t home, the postal carrier left the package with a neighbor. However, he neglected to leave a note for the woman that he had done so. After the postal carrier left, the neighbor opened the package and found a rare antique clock that he knew was worth a lot of money, which he decided to keep for himself. The woman came home and, not knowing that her friend had sent her a gift, noticed that the neighbor had the antique clock and offered to buy it from him. He readily agreed. The woman took the clock home and placed it in her living room. Several days later, the friend visited, noticed that the woman had the clock, and told her about how she had found the clock in an antique store and known it would be perfect for the woman. Confused, the woman explained that she had purchased the clock from the neighbor. The friend informed her that she had sent the clock as a gift, and the woman realized the neighbor must have taken it from the mail. What, if anything, may the woman recover from the neighbor?

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