To Hearsay or Not, That is the Question

Whether ‘tis nobler to just agreed with the lazy portion of your mind and finally give up on learning hearsay, or use the memorization tools you had back in elementary school.  Today, must to my own amusement of myself, I recalled a time when my Mom was trying to help me remember who discovered the Mississippi River.  As in which explorer discovered the river, as in the 1500s or whenever it was.  (I’m bad at historical dates, what can I say.)  It was DeSoto.  I learned it in the 5th grade I think.  Yes, I remember it to this day because of the stupid story we made up about the way it was discovered.

We lived in a small town, 1,700 people or so, about 45 minutes from Memphis, TN.  We drove over the Mississippi River bridge about a thousand times during my youth, as we often went to Tennessee for vacations, and to Memphis in particular to shop and eat.  This was long before the casinos in Tunica, and it was long before Helena became Helena-West Helena.  Try fitting that on a postcard!  My grandparents also grew up in the time of the cool automobiles.  The Doozies (sp?), the Model Ts, and, of course, the DeSotos.  Thus, my memorizing of who discovered the river was easy.  I just imagined that Mr. Explorer DeSoto was driving his, you guessed it – DeSoto, over the Mississippi River bridge (Forget that it didn’t exist in the 1500s.  Give a 5th grader a break, okay?), when his car fell into the river, and alas! he discovered the river.  Yes, I still remember it.

What I can’t seem to remember, however, is the freaking hearsay rules for this stupid bar exam that I have TOMORROW.  So, I decided to finally make up a goofy story to go with them.  Here goes, and feel free to use this on your own bar exam (although the author expressly denies any warranty of fit for a particular purpose, especially to our Napoleonic friends in Louisiana):

Not Hearsay:  A party opponent’s agent said something inconsistent at an earlier hearing when he was identifying someone he saw/heard, and then because he was lying they used his prior consistent statement to prove that.

Declarant Not Available:  A dying historical mafia figure who testified against his own interest.

Declarant Not Needed:  A doctor’s/business’ record was written while someone was overly excited or relaying something she saw at the scene of the crime.

Yes, they are goofy.  No, I’m not positive I’ll remember them.  Yes, I may revise them again before in the morning, but for now, they are helping me remember this stuff, which is really all that counts.

To all of you out there who are, like me, crazy enough to put yourself through the bar exam, best wishes tomorrow and Wednesday.  Let’s do this thing!  I made 376 flash cards especially for the bar.  They are looking for a new home.  Come September 6 around 4pm, I hope they pack their bags and move on out!photo 1photo 2

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