SAMPLE TEST QUESTIONS
1. You get a phone call from your client Joe Bob, president of Internet on the Range, an Internet access provider in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He asks:
"We carry over 6,000 Usenet newsgroups on our system. Really, we try to carry almost all of them. It takes up a lot of storage space, but I think our users appreciate having access to all the Usenet groups.
"Well, 2 days ago, a maelstrom broke out on our system. Seems that a story was posted, from some random yutz in Australia, I think, of all places, on alt.sex.stories that described bestiality with a buffalo. You know, folks up here don't stand for that kind of talk. So some of my users read this story and started complaining on our internal message boards that Internet on the Range should stop carrying the alt.sex.stories newsgroup. Now, it seems like I'm going to lose a whole bunch of my users if I don't stop carrying the alt.sex.stories newsgroup. On the other hand, I really hate the idea of censoring the newsgroup--I mean, anyone can go to the website that archives alt.sex.stories and get the text of all the messages anyway--so what good is pulling the plug? What should I do?"
What do you tell Joe Bob? (80 minutes)
2. You get a call from Jack Chance. He says:
"I read your bio online and I think you are just the person to help me. See, I want to start up an Internet-related business called High Stakes. It will be an online gambling casino like no other--bigger, better, more exciting, more fun! We're all going to make millions. I need a lawyer to represent me, and I know you have the skills. I'm hoping you'll agree to take me on.
"Now, I know Internet gambling raises some difficult legal issues. Here's my solution. I'm going to form a California corporation called Internet Casinos, Inc. that will be based in the Silicon Valley. Makes it easier to raise the capital. We'll form a Grand Caymans subsidiary, which will just be a shell corporation. To avoid any criminal liability, we'll base the server in Grand Caymans, and for the most part it will run autonomously--maybe we'll contract out the server maintenance as needed, and I'll fly out there occasionally to make sure everything is OK. We'll make millions! Will you take me on?"
Your firm requires you to get the signature of a partner in order to bring in new business. The most likely candidate is Sharp Shapiro. You tell Sharp that you would like to talk to him about a new business prospect, and before you can say any more, Sharp says:
"Here's the deal with new business. We need to decide if there is a real business there. Our firm is measured on the number of IPOs we do, so we need businesses that are going to succeed, that are on an IPO track. So tell me--what are the business prospects for this new client? Do you like their idea? Will their business succeed?"
What do you tell Sharp? (40 minutes)
3. Freddie Freeloader is a friend from undergrad. Knowing your habits, he calls you on a Sunday afternoon at the office. He says:
"Hey broster, what's shakin'? I've just launched my new personal home page. It's called "Death to Mickey!" at www.waltsucks.com. It's a total anti-Disney thing. I've got it all. I've got a comic strip called "Mickey's Sexcapades"--in the first issue, Roger Rabbit plays a sex therapist who counsels Mickey about Mickey's transsexual urges. I've also got a place where people can play songs like "It's a Small World" backwards, and I've inserted some satanic chants so that people will think that Disney released songs with these satanic messages. Oh, it's great! You know, I've hated the whole Disney thing ever since I saw "Bambi"--I mean, they kill the mom! Now, I'm getting my chance to make a social statement!"
"As you know, Freddie, you're not my client, so I can't really give you specific legal advice. But I can't help but point out a couple of legal issues. First, there is . . . "
Complete the thoughts. (60 minutes)
4. Your client, Marla Macrobiotic, runs MetaNet, a website dedicated to various issues holistic and spiritual. One of her online databases is Stomach Meditation, a page which lists vegan restaurants in many cities throughout the US. She calls to say:
"I'm so mad. I was browsing the web when I came across a new site called Go to Florida! at www.sunshine.com. It's a site designed to convince people to come to Florida. Apparently, they are really pushing to bring vegetarian people to Florida, because one of their headings was "Good Places for Vegetarians to Eat." Well, I looked at the database, and I swear, it is a total rip off of my site! They must have just electronically copied my site, because everything is the same--the data is the same, they organized it alphabetically by city just like I did, even the HTML coding is the same! I want to sue them so that they won't be able to afford even alfalfa sprouts! Just send me the check when the court rules in my...."
You interrupt Marla by saying:
"First, I need to know some information. Second, there are some legal principles that suggest we should probably think twice about pursuing a lawsuit....."
What information do you need? And why would you want to reconsider a suit? (40 minutes)
5. A client of yours is interested in launching a new search engine for the World Wide Web. The search engine would allow users to search for key words in what your client believes is among the most comprehensive databases of webİbased information. You client builds this database through the use of robots (computer programs that execute specified instructions) that automatically roam the Web and capture information from each website they encounter.
Your client indicates that he intends to include a "disclaimer" page on his search engine to try to reduce his potential liability. He sends you over the attached disclaimer and says: "I found this disclaimer on the site of one of our big competitors. I would like to use this disclaimer or something very close to it. Will this disclaimer protect me?"
Review the attached disclaimer. What will you tell your client? (1 hour and 15 minutes)
[Please do not discuss any issues related to (a) your client's potential liability for copyright infringement through the use of robots or for linking or (b) the enforceability of shrinkwrap contracts]