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Topic 7: How is Torts tested on the baby bar exam (FYLSE)?

Torts is tested every baby bar exam, and sometimes two of the four questions cover Torts. The three favorite baby bar Torts topics are negligence, intentional torts, and strict liability. We discuss these further below.

How is Torts tested on the baby bar exam?

Make sure that you know the elements of negligence and how to apply them. 

Negligence and intentional torts are tested the most on baby bar essays. Negligence is often a major component of an examinee’s score. Negligence is tested in a variety of ways. Many times, “duty” is a focus (e.g., duty owed to an invitee, duty owed by a child, duty owed by a professional). Occasionally, negligence per se is an issue.

Tip: Remember to state all of the elements of negligence, (duty, breach, cause, harm) and discuss them step-by-step in an essay! Connect every dot for the graders. 

Tip: many negligence essays also expect you to discuss comparative and contributory negligence, even if they are not necessarily issues. 

Intentional torts are tested as often as negligence. 

Intentional torts are tied with negligence in terms of how often they are tested. The baby bar essays tend to test:

  • Trespass to land: the defendant physically invades the land of another and intends to be where he is.
  • Trespass to chattels: the defendant intentionally interferes with personal property of another and harm results.
  • Conversion: the defendant intentionally interferes with personal property of another and serious and substantial harm results.
  • Battery: the defendant acts with intent to cause a harmful or offensive contact (or an imminent apprehension of such contact), and a harmful or offensive contact directly or indirectly results.
  • Assault: the elements are the same as a battery (above), except the harm that results is an imminent apprehension.

Occasionally, intentional infliction of emotional distress is tested.

Tip: Make sure to know the elements of each and every one of these intentional torts! It will be much easier to apply the law to the facts if you have the elements memorized. 

Strict liability is an increasingly trendy topic to test in Torts FYLSE questions. 

Strict liability is increasing in how often it is tested. It is currently a trendy issue to test on the baby bar. It has been tested five times since 2012. Abnormally dangerous activities were tested in October 2018 and October 2017.

As a takeaway, you shouldn’t ignore any topic when studying for Torts. However, it is worth it to know that some topics are tested more than others on the baby bar!

Practice makes perfect! 

The key to scoring high on a Torts baby bar exam essay question is to practice! When you are done writing a draft answer to a question, closely compare your answer to the sample answers offered by The State Bar of California. This will give you insight as to what is highly tested and the best way to connect all of the dots for the grader to show that you know what you are talking about.

Wondering which essays to start with? These essays provide a good example of how Torts is tested on the baby bar exam. (Note: do not limit your practice to just these questions!)

  • October 2019 (private and public nuisance, intentional torts, negligence, defenses)
  • June 2019 (defamation, negligence, intentional torts and defenses to intentional torts)
  • October 2018 (strict liability—abnormally dangerous activity, intentional torts, joint and several liability)
  • June 2018 (strict products liability, negligence)

For a more detailed overview of The State Bar of California’s favorite ways to test Torts, check out our Baby Bar Exam One-Sheets here.

Go to the next topic, Topic 8: How is Contracts tested on the baby bar exam?

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