Muskrat News Legal Briefs
In Our Continuing Effort to Lower the Grading Curve, We present Yet Another EXAM ANSWER
Final Final

Rather than write and grade three separate exams, my professors for Criminal Procedure, Ethics, and Federal Criminal Law have joined up to write a joint exam.  Lazy SOBs.  But here it is, answers and all. 

Fact pattern:

Congress is considering banning the newest recreational drug, known as "Moose Mix" or "Moose Juice."  It can be taken in liquid or caplet form, and consists of a mixture of Moose endorphins, Weasel Growth Hormone, and Badger Gumption.  It is reputed to produce a euphoric feeling of well-being, build muscle mass, improve hand-eye coordination, and make the person who ingests want to "cavort like a lemur."  Its side effects include excessive home run totals, religious conversion, and bleeding from the eyes.  Congress is concerned that widespread use of the drug could "make people happy," and will vote on a ban soon. 

You are a criminal defense attorney in rural Montana.  Ralph W., a local Moose rancher, weasel enthusiast and Badger baiter, came to your office last week and asked you to store 500 vials of an unidentified substance in your safe.  You agreed.  Yesterday the news reports that The President has signed the Moose Mix Ban, making it illegal to produce, transport,  import, export, advertise, sell, possess, ingest, sniff, long for, crave or speak well of Moose Juice.  The street price of Moose Juice immediately went from $5 a dose to $100.  Today you get a call from Ralph.  He say he is in Chicago, and needs his vials immediately, and asks that you deliver them, personally, to him ASAP.  He offers to "split the take" with you if you can get him the material within 48 hours.

Ethics

Q.  Do you ask Ralph what's in the vials?

A.  What are you, some kind of paranoid?  It's clearly salad dressing.  Or maybe hand lotion.   Don't be so suspicious.  A lot of people need hand lotion in Chicago.  Harsh winds.

Q.  You ask Ralph, and he says "OK, it's Moose juice, and it's worth $50,000 on the street here.  Get your ass down here now."  What do you do?

A.  You hedge against short-term fluctuations in the moose Mix market by selling Mix futures short on the Waxahatchee Swamp and Nature Preserve Illegal Options Market.  That way, if the price collapses, you still make money.  Then you head for Chicago.

Police Procedure

Q.  Ever since Ralph came by, there has been a white van parked on the corner labeled "Innocuous Cable Van."  The cable guy comes by your office twice a day, despite the fact that you have neither a TV nor a cable connection in the office.  You suspect he may be a cop, and you may be under surveillance.  What do you do?

A.  Ask him if he's a cop.  I saw this on Hill Street Blues, Law and Order, Law and Order: SVU and Law and Order: Traffic Enforcement, so it must be a good idea.

Q.  When you ask him, he kicks you in the groin and sprays you with MACE.  As you lie on the floor, writhing in agony, he says "do I look like I need a warrant?"  On closer inspection, he looks a lot like Justice Scalia.  What do you do?

A.  Ask him to recuse himself when the case reaches the court, and then file a motion to suppress any evidence seized during his searches.  The courts will protect you against such government intrusion.  Ha!  No, seriously, offer him a few vials.  He's a stone junkie for any badger-related drugs, we hear.

Federal Criminal Law

Q.  After Scalia leaves (cavorting), you still have to get the stuff to Chicago.  How can you do in a way that minimizes your exposure to the federal sentencing guidelines?

A.  You can't sell the stuff in your rural town, and you can't transport it across state lines yourself without upping your sentence.  So you offer a couple of vials to a local retiree to drive you to Chicago.  If he gets pulled over, hide another vial in the glove compartment and dime him out to the cop.  Repeat as necessary. 

Q.  No, seriously.

A.  Seriously, you're screwed.  Have you SEEN the sentencing guidelines?  You can get three years just for knowing what Moose Mix tastes like, and aggravating factors include "crime involves more than five doses: +1 year per 50 doses," "Defendant votes Democratic: +2 years," and "Defendant hoards his sweet, sweet Moose Juice and refuses to share with the nice prosecutor man: +20 years."


Extra Credit

Tell the nice professor man where he can get some Moose Juice here in Durham.



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