Application of the Pro/Con Essay Outlining Method:

STEP 1: Read the question stem to determine what subject(s) is being tested.

STEP 2: Read the passage. Only circle/underline names, dates, dollar amounts.

STEP 3: Read the question(s) being asked and create an issue box(es) using simplified language.
For example:
Question: Assuming the police had probable cause, was the arrest of Archie lawful? Issue: Was the arrest lawful?
STEP 4: Read the passage one line at a time and try to identify facts that have legal significance. After you finish reading a sentence and have identified one of these facts, stop and determine: (1) which issue the fact is relevant for, and (2) whether this fact is good for the Defendant or bad for the Defendant. Place the fact in the corresponding box.

STEP 5: Write next to the fact, in parenthesis, the legal issue that the fact raises.
For example:
Fact: Defendant’s statement was given to police after arraignment Law: (6th Amendment and NY rule - indelible right to counsel).
STEP 6: Review and use these issue boxes to formulate a detailed IRAC answer for each issue.

Practice Question (Question 4 from New York February 2007):

The police received a tip from an anonymous source that Bernard had been murdered. A day later, Bernard’s dead body was found behind the steering wheel of his own parked car. In the back seat of the car, the police found a jacket that had Archie’s full name sewn in the collar. Inside one of the jacket pockets was a sealed blank envelope. The police opened the envelope and found a note from Archie to Bernard in which Archie demanded that Bernard tell him the location of some money that the two had stolen together, "or else".

The police took a statement from Carol, who said she knew Archie and Bernard. She saw them leave a neighborhood tavern together and ride off in Bernard’s car on the night Bernard was reported to have been murdered. Carol also reported to the police that Archie called her the next day and said that he was getting out of the country.

The police went to Archie’s home without an arrest warrant and found the front door slightly ajar. They entered and searched the house. Archie was found inside a closet and was arrested for the murder of Bernard. At that time, he was given his Miranda warnings.

Over his objection and without counsel, Archie was then placed in a line-up, where he was identified by Darlene. Darlene lives near where Bernard’s car was found. She said she saw Archie running from Bernard’s car just after she heard a shot fired.

After his arraignment, and outside the presence of his assigned counsel, Archie, after signing a waiver of his right to counsel, was questioned by the police. He gave a statement to them admitting that he shot Bernard.

Archie’s attorney moved to suppress (1) the note found in Archie's jacket; (2) the line-up results; and (3) Archie’s statement. The court denied the motion in all respects.

(A) Assuming the police had probable cause, was the arrest of Archie lawful?
(B) Assuming the arrest was lawful, were the court's rulings on (1), (2) and (3) correct?

To see the full application of Novins Law Prep Pro/Con essay outlining method, click to download:

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