California Bar Exam: Day Three . . . And That’s All She Wrote . . . Congratulations Everyone!


Hello All,

Congratulations on completing the bar exam of repeats and three-peats. I am sure you are all glad to have this test behind you. I know that I am. I always tell my students that they should be at least as tired from studying as I am from prepping my students. It has been a great bar round and truly a pleasure to work with all of the wonderful students I get to work with, thank you to everyone who enrolled in one of our programs and to everyone following my blog.

Today was (in my opinion) a bit of race horse for the essays. I have also heard about what was on the performance test, however, I will not be discussing PTB on the blog until tomorrow afternoon. The reason is because there are still examinees taking the bar – some examinees with test accommodations will be taking PTB tomorrow. As a result, I will reserve any comment about the topic that was covered until tomorrow.

Congratulations to all of you and thank you again for following the blog. If you have questions, please feel free to send me an email at: or you can comment on the blog and I will reply to you here.

All the best,

Lisa Duncanson

California Bar Exam: Day Three’s Essays – Congratulations, almost done!

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Congratulations to everyone who has just completed the essay portion of the California bar exam! The topics for today included: Property (three calls, including an issue with subjacent and lateral support), Constitutional Law (First Amendment, both religion and speech – so I am told) and Tort & Contract Remedies. Please understand, that this is what I have heard so far. If you have a different recollection from this morning or a different interpretation, don’t worry.

Our students were given a Property essay (from many years back) that included a subjacent and lateral support issue. It is a lesser tested area, and one that we have not seen on the California bar exam and as a result, I thought that it might show up. Incidentally, I gave this same essay out last bar round – just in case.

For those of you following the blog who have yet to take the bar exam, do not underestimate the importance of reviewing and studying past bar exam essays and answers. This is key for my student’s success. I promised my students that if they reviewed all of the essays that I provided that they would walk into the bar exam seeing essays that they have already seen before. I thoroughly enjoy preparing examinees for this exam. It is so satisfying to see these areas show up and to know that my students are so well prepared.

Now onto the Performance Test!

All the best of luck to everyone! You are almost done!


California Bar Exam Day Three: Good Luck Today!

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Hello Everyone,

Just wanted to wish everyone taking day three of the California bar exam all the best of luck today!

Some final thoughts on the essays – some subjects repeat back to back three times. Thinking about that, the possibility of Torts showing up a third time in a row (it was tested in February 2013 and as a cross over with Remedies last July) comes to mind. I don’t see it on anyone’s list of “predicted” subjects – which makes sense because most would not expect a subject to appear three times in a row. But, the bar examiners often repeat subjects from one bar round to the next and sometimes do it as many as three times back to back. So, that being said, Torts (along with anything) is definitely possible. It would be a wildcard and completely unexpected by most.

If Torts were tested I would think that it would be in one of the areas that is either a frequently tested area or an area that has not been tested in a long time. Negligence is the most heavily tested area in Torts. It was last tested a year ago on the February 2013 bar exam in the context of Products Liability. I think what could be more likely (should Torts come up at all, and remember this is a wild card from my perspective) would be some of the lesser tested areas like abuse of process and malicious prosecution (could be crossed over with Negligence or even professional responsibility) or abnormally dangerous activities (which was last tested on the essay in February of 2008). Just something to think about.

Remember, anything is possible . . . which is something that most examinees – and most bar review providers – seem to forget.

All the best to you today!

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder (213) 529-0990
Bar None Review and The Bar Exam Cram Session (TM)

February 2014 Bar Exam: Good Luck Tomorrow, Review Form Objections Just in Case . . .

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Good luck photo for blogHello All,

I want to thank you for following the blog and invite you to send me an email if you have any last minute questions tonight. I can be reached at:

I also wanted to mention that it might be a good idea (just in case) to review form objections in Evidence on the chance that you end up seeing an Evidence Transcript Style Exam tomorrow. The form objections include both objections to the form of a question and objections to an answer.

Examples of form objections include:

Leading, assumes facts not in evidence, compound and non-responsive. Of course there are other form objections, but the above are some of the most heavily tested.

All the best to you this evening and tomorrow!


Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder (213) 529-0990
Bar None Review and The Bar Exam Cram Session (TM)


California Bar Exam: Congratulations to all who completed day two!


Hello Everyone,

Congratulations to all who have completed day two of the California bar exam. I want to make a few comments about yesterday. Number one, regardless of how you think you performed on yesterday’s essays or performance test, the exam is not yet over and all is not lost. I say this because I have received many emails from blog followers who are certain that they failed day one. Number two, do not listen to what anyone has to say about what was supposedly tested on day one’s essays or performance test – and yes, that includes me. I have not seen the essays or performance test. I have heard from many what was tested and believe I have a good idea of what was on the exam. However, it really doesn’t matter now, not really. I do appreciate hearing from examinees about what was on day one as it enables me to better advise my enrolled students – provide some reassurance and it helps me to get an idea of what might be just a little bit more likely to show up on day three’s essays. That being said, there is no way to predict this exam.

I did think that interlocutory appeals could be an issue on a civil procedure essay and that the amount in controversy could also be posed as a particular issue if civil procedure were to be tested – that is why I sent out an example of these very issues to my students and to blog followers who signed up for our February 2014 Bar Exam Tips List. In our last Bar Exam Cram Session just two weeks ago, we discussed how to handle Community Property should it repeat, and, in particular – how to handle a business if this issue were to come up again. Hearing what was tested yesterday, gives me great hopes and confidence for our students.

But, yesterday is over. And, regardless of how you felt you did, tomorrow is another day. I want to encourage anyone who is sitting for the bar exam right now to let go of Tuesday (and, today) and simply focus on what is coming tomorrow. I can not tell you how many examinees I have met over the years who came to me after they took the bar exam having given up after day one, completely certain that they had failed the exam to only get their exams back and learn that day one (despite their fears) was actually not a low scoring day and in fact it was day three that was the reason they had failed the bar exam – because they had simply already given up, thrown in the towel.

It is not over until it is over. Keep your spirits up, keep fighting, keep writing and prevail. You can do it. And, if you think you can not do it . . .well you risk proving yourself right . . . do not make that mistake.


I know that one of the reasons you are visiting the site today is for any possible updates on the
predictions. So here goes . . .

Nothing on day one was a surprise. So far, everything that was tested was absolutely expected. The only thing that was perhaps a little bit less than usual was the fact that there were no full blown MBE topics on day one’s essays. However, all subjects were expected and all three essays tested in the ways I would have expected. So where does this leave you for essay testing tomorrow? As always, anything could be tested. Do I expect you to see a Community Property essay? No, but, they could test it if they choose too. Literally anything can show up tomorrow. What do I think is likely? The same subjects I predicted earlier – Evidence is a likely possibility (despite the heavy appearance of Evidence on the July 2013 Performance Test), Property is very likely. I have also indicated that Criminal Law – specifically a murder essay crossed over with Criminal Procedure could come up (murder has been absent from the California bar exam for years now). But, Criminal Law (sans murder) has been tested quite frequently in the past several years. There simply is no way to know what will be tested tomorrow. Also another way to test Criminal Procedure (that has not been done in some time) is for it to be tested as a cross over with an Evidence issue (like hearsay or a privilege).

But, I will share with you a bit of what I share with my enrolled students about how to prepare tonight for tomorrow. Rather than being able to pin down exactly what is going to show up (and let’s face it, no one can do that) I prefer to provide essay scenarios. So while I think Business Organizations is very possible tomorrow, that you should expect to see some MBE topics on tomorrow’s essays, I really prefer to look over many subjects and provide a run down of what might be mostly likely if you were to see that particular subject tomorrow. So here is some of what I provide to my enrolled students:

If you were to be tested in Constitutional Law – I would expect Commerce Clause/Dormant Commerce Clause 0r First Amendment (I am leaning more towards an essay that involves a state statute that potentially places an undue burden on interstate commerce). Here is an example of this type of essay. I don’t know if it will be tested tomorrow or not. But, this type of essay has not shown up on the California bar exam in some time . . . so it is worth a quick read . . . can’t really hurt.

If you were tested on Property – I would expect something with Covenants (either restrictive covenants and equitable servitudes or the covenants of title – three present, three future). Easements has not been tested in a while and that too could come up. Please see my earlier post regarding my predictions – “part one” of my predictions.

If you were to see Business Organizations – I would be prepared to discuss Duty of CARE along with the Business Judgement Rule and Duty of Loyalty. The area of federal securities has not been tested in many years now (10b5 and 16b). The issue of whether a dividend must be declared (paid out to a stock holder or stock holders) is an area that I feel is now due for testing. This would generally be a tack on type of issue and could come up in the context of a shareholder derivative suit or simply a duties type of exam for Corporations.

Please review my earlier predictions post – “Part One” for more detail.

I wish you all the very best of luck tonight and especially tomorrow.

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder (213) 529-0990
Bar None Review and The Bar Exam Cram Session (TM)

Bar Exam: Day One Almost Done!

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Well I could not be happier about what was tested on today’s essays. I am especially happy for our enrolled students. I am not sure really how to describe it – what I attempt to do for my students . I could call it a type of inside track or a kind of home field advantage – that I endeavor to create for my students, I guess. It is my goal each bar round to build a situation for my students such that if they simply listen and pay attention and do as they are asked that they will walk into the bar exam completely prepared. Today, after learning what was actually tested on the essays – and knowing that my students were given specific examples of these very same issues  – is so incredibly rewarding. And, it is such a huge confidence boost to my students. That boost of confidence that comes from knowing what to do when you see each essay, can make all of the difference on the bar exam. I am so grateful to be able to provide it.

Blog Predictions vs In Class Predictions + Coverage of Essay Scenarios:

There are the “predictions” that I release on this blog (which are much more general than what I cover in class) and then there are the more extensive predictions and essay scenarios that I develop for our students. I use these scenarios (along with actual past bar exam questions) to teach the material. And in particular, I use these scenarios to prepare my students for what might actually show up on their exam day.

Knowing that my students today were tested on areas that I specifically prepared them for – is incredibly satisfying. Here is one of the emails I received over the lunch break today . . .

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I know why this student wrote what he wrote. It is because today when he opened the essays there was nothing that was unexpected. And, in fact, he had read essays covering many of the same issues that were tested today just in the past 10 days – he was a student in our February 15th and 16th Two Day Bar Exam Cram Session.

In addition to being taught that of course Professional Responsibility would likely appear on the exam (because it pretty much always does) – he was told that he should pay special attention to the area of prosecutorial misconduct as it relates to exculpatory evidence (that this area just has not been tested in years and that is long over due).

In addition to being told that yes, Community Property could absolutely be tested again, he was told what to expect if it were to repeat – and was even directed to discuss the concept of goodwill and transmutation if there was an opportunity to do so (because if Community Property were to repeat from July 2013 there would only be so many areas that would be available/left for testing).

Finally, he was told that Civil Procedure was almost certain to be on the exam – and he was also told that when testing Civil Procedure the bar examiners most commonly test jurisdiction issues and that he should also be on the look out for a “tack on issue” like appeals and/or interlocutory appeals. In addition, as a student in my class, he was given a past civil procedure essay (that is no longer on the California state bar website) that actually addressed both jurisdiction and the issue of an appeal.

He was given other things as well; other suggested areas. Obviously, I have not seen the essays from today but, so far, it sounds like he has seen (and studied) virtually all of these same issues that were tested on today’s essays (and was directed to specific examples of each) prior to walking into the bar exam. I could not be happier.

So, enough on that . . .

What is next? That is what everyone wants to know . . .

Of course I have no crystal ball. But, I will provide my thoughts on what I think is most likely to be tested on Thursday. For the most part, I still stick with the “predictions” from earlier. But, I will revise this some after I hear what was tested on today’s performance test.

I will not discuss today’s PTA until after 5:00 pm tomorrow (because there are examinees who have special accommodations who may not be taking today’s performance test until tomorrow – so we will not discuss it today). However, I will reserve making any revised predictions for Thursday until I hear what was tested on today’s PT (subject wise) as this will affect my thoughts on what might be more likely to see on Thursday’s essays.

By the way, any of you who want to write in and let me know what was tested on today’s PT, or wish to provide more detail about the essay testing for today, please feel free to do so via email at:

Join our mailing list and receive our February 2014 Bar Exam Tips and Evidence Approach Handout:

Incidentally, it is not too late to sign up for our mailing list for our February 2014 Bar Exam Tips and Handouts. Evidence is one of the subjects that many are predicting for Thursday – if you want a handout for Evidence, sign up for our Bar Exam Tips List and we will send it out to you!  To join our list, click here.

I will post more this evening once I hear what was on today’s Performance Test A.

Congratulations on completing Day One of the California bar exam!

All the best,

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder (213) 529-0990
Bar None Review and The Bar Exam Cram Session (TM)

February 2014 Bar Exam Predictions: Part Two

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Hello All,

I want to wish everyone who is taking the bar exam tomorrow all of the very best of luck!

Some additional thoughts on potential areas for testing on the essays:

Typically a few subjects repeat from one bar exam round to the next. And, sometimes a subject will repeat three times back to back. This means that really anything can be tested. If you have been following this blog, you will know this as it is a theme here – be prepared for anything, as anything is testable.

That being said, I do have some additional thoughts on what could potentially show up on the exam either Tuesday or Thursday.

Of the topics from the July bar exam that might be a bit more likely to repeat, I think that perhaps Wills or Constitutional Law are possibilities.

Possibly Wills: The reason I suggest Wills, is because it could easily be tested as a cross over with Trusts. This would bring in a new topic and repeat Wills. It makes sense, but of course there are no guarantees. If you were to see Trusts (either as a cross over with Wills or alone as a Trusts only essay) I am leaning towards the essay involving either a Spendthrift/Support/Discretionary Trust scenario (these three are typically tested together) or a Charitable Trust issue (requiring a discussion of the Doctrine of Cy Pres and Equitable Deviation). Another point worth making about Trusts is that the area of Testamentary Trusts has not come up in some time. It is worth noting that the last time Trusts was on the bar exam it was in the context (primarily) of Trust Remedies, specifically a constructive trust.

Possibly Constitutional Law: Another area to keep in mind for the essays is the possibility of Constitutional Law repeating. So why Constitutional Law? There are a few reasons: 1) subjects repeat back to back, and 2) there are several areas within Constitutional Law that were not tested on the July bar exam that could make up an entirely different Constitutional Law essay exam. For example, a First Amendment Speech issue could be tested (which was not tested on the July bar exam) or a Commerce Clause or Dormant Commerce Clause issue could come up. I think the latter is more likely than First Amendment Speech.

One possible scenario would involve a state statute that essentially taxes out of staters – in this type of scenario you are faced with balancing the state’s interest in the regulation and the burden that is placed on interstate commerce. I think this is a very likely area for testing. Should you see an exam like this, you will need to identify the power that the state has to act (those powers that are reserved to the states via the 10th Amendment: safety, health, welfare, education and morals of its citizens). You will also need to identify the state’s interest and ultimately determine whether upholding the regulation places an undue burden on interstate commerce.

Torts is not my first pick of topics to repeat. However, if it were to be tested, I think that Defamation is a real possibility. It could, someday, be tested as a cross-over with an anti-slapp motion (which has yet to be tested from California Civil Procedure). An anti-slapp motion is a type of responsive pleading available in California and could be an appropriate response to a suit for defamation. This has yet to show up on the California bar exam and I do think it will some day. Of course whether that is tomorrow is another thing.

I will be posting again tomorrow after I hear what was tested on the essays. I will not address the performance test tomorrow. The reason for this is because there are examinees with accommodations who will not be taking the performance test until Wednesday. As a result, I will not be posting anything here about tomorrow’s performance test until after Wednesday evening.

I want to thank you again for following my blog.

I wish you much success on the bar exam!

All the best,

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder (213) 529-0990
Bar None Review and The Bar Exam Cram Session (TM)