Final Examination, Spring 1997
1. Carefully analyze the facts and grasp the issues in each question before beginning to write. Spend time reading the question slowly and carefully.
2. State the issues and answers to each question concisely. Lengthy answers are not necessary.
3. Do not repeat questions in your answers. Write neatly and legibly on only one side of each page.
4. Number your answers to correspond with the question, e.g., "I-B."
5. If you feel it necessary to assume additional facts in any of the questions, give the facts that must be added and state why.
6. Do not write in the margin of the book.
7. All major questions are equally weighted unless otherwise indicated. Subparts are approximately equal but may be weighted slightly differently according to the number of issues involved in that subpart.
8. Write your personal identification number and the name and section number of the course on which you are being examined on the cover of each examination book.
9. If you use more than one book, indicate "Book One," "Book Two" and so forth on the cover of each book and write your PIN and the name and section number of the course on the cover of each examination book.
10. A GOOD ANSWER IS NOT NECESSARILY A LONG ANSWER.
Joel Winer and Lynnette Landry graduated from college at Southeastern University in Hammond in June of 1990. Lynnette was pregnant with Joel's child, and little Joshua was born a few days after graduation, on 12 June 1990. "Let's have a June wedding," they chimed, and it thus came to pass that the couple were wed on 28 June 1990 in Mamou, Louisiana.
Joel received an offer of employment from the stock brokerage firm of Dewey Cheatham & Howe in Jackson, Mississippi, and the couple moved there. The years 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994 went well, and the couple enjoyed great prosperity - Joel as a stockbroker paid handsome commissions, and Lynnette as a legal secretary. But by the end of the year Lynnette noticed that Joel was coming home from work later and later each night, often reeking of alcohol. Unpaid bills began piling up.
Lynnette learned that Joel was only rarely reporting to work and his sales wee slipping because he would spend each afternoon at a local sports bar. When both cars were repossessed and the home foreclosed upon, Lynnette had had all she could take. She filed for divorce in the Chancery Court of Hinds County, Mississippi. Joel, by this time without a job and sleeping on a cot in the unfinished basement of his mother's house in Jackson, allowed Lynnette to have Joshua. The divorce decree was entered on April 27, 1996.
The day the divorce was granted, Lynnette moved back to Louisiana, renting an apartment on Coursey Boulevard and taking a job as a legal secretary for the Louisiana Department of Insurance.
It is now 14 May 1997, and in the last year more events have transpired: In January 1997, Lynnette badly injured her hand in a car accident. Her fingers on her left hand lost much of their flexibility, and she will never type again. She no works as a waitress at Shoney's on Airline, making minimum wage. She must work until 10:00 pm each night. Joshua, now age 7, takes the school bus home where he is met by a neighbor of Lynnette's. The elderly lady receives Joshua into her apartment each day after school, feeds him a modest dinner, sees that he does his homework, and allows him to sleep on the sofa until Joshua's mother, Lynnette, gets home from Shoney's at about 10:30 pm.
During this past year, back in Mississippi Joel Winer finally saw the light. After having lost his marriage, his family, his house, his cars and his job, he finally got a grip on things and, with help from Alcoholics Anonymous, resolved never to drink again. He has kept that promise. He even got his job back at Dewey Cheatham & Howe, and is making $175,000 a year. Joel now drives a Jaguar and has bought a beautiful house in a suburb of Jackson, Mississippi, overlooking the Pearl River.
A. Joel wants custody. Where can he file, and why? Discuss.
B. What factors will the court look at to determine if Joel should now have custody? If more information would be helpful to answer this question, state exactly what additional information you would require. Discuss.
You have now graduated from Southern University Law Center with a Juris Doctor degree, passed the Louisiana bar exam on first try, and gone into practice sharing offices with two other Southern graduates here in Baton Rouge.
The Baton Rouge chapter of Parents Without Partners, a national organization of divorced persons, has accepted your offer to attend their annual summer meeting and barbecue, to say a few words on family law and answer any questions from the audience. Anxious to network among potential family law clients, you gladly will go.
After you deliver your brilliant talk, the following questions are asked from the audience. Answer them, and discuss each item fully.
A. What is an antenuptial agreement, who can make one, how do you make one, and what can it do?
B. What is the difference between a 102 divorce and a 103 divorce?
C. Exactly when does alimony pendente lite terminate in Louisiana?
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