The MBE, also known as the Multistate Bar Examination, comprises 175 questions.
Out of the total number, 25 of them are Torts questions.
And of those 25, approximately 50% test negligence.
As for the remaining half, the exam drafters present you with:
- Intentional torts
- Strict liability
- Products liability
- Other torts such as defamation, nuisance, etc.
Now that we’ve gotten math out of the way, let’s review some strategies to help you triumph over Torts.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our previous tips to help you tackle Torts MBE questions!
What You Need to Know About Nuisance
You aren’t likely to see many questions about nuisance on the MBE — be it public nuisance or private nuisance.
Our best guess is that you may encounter one or two at most. That said, when nuisance is tested, there are some common themes.
1. Standing: The drafters will create a situation that seems like a nuisance, but the plaintiff lacks standing to sue because they do not have an interest in the property in question — such as owning or leasing the property.
Be on the lookout for situations where the plaintiff does not own or lease the property.
2. The “super-sensitive plaintiff” (SSP for short): The drafters like to create situations where the harm to the particular plaintiff’s use and enjoyment of the property is significant, but only because the plaintiff is doing something unique on the property — such as breeding a rare species of kitten.
So what’s the correct answer in such a situation? The plaintiff won’t succeed in a cause of action for nuisance.
3. Be wary of “distractor defenses”: Even if they all sound like viable defenses, the following are NOT absolute defenses:
- The plaintiff coming to the nuisance.
- The defendant’s compliance with applicable regulations.
- The property at issue is zoned for the activity causing the nuisance.
Getting Real About Res Ipsa
Res ipsa loquitur is a popular distractor answer choice because some bar takers focus too much on the fancy Latin.
A big clue that the drafters are attempting to pull the wool over your eyes is if there is any indication in the facts about HOW the defendant behaved unreasonably or WHAT the defendant did that was careless.
If there is, then it’s a safe bet that res ipsa loquitur isn’t the correct answer.
On the other hand, a clue the res ipsa loquitur might be at issue is language in the fact pattern (assuming you’ve determined that the cause of action is for negligence).
Also, remember that questions testing res ipsa loquitur often have the defendant making a motion for a directed verdict.
What are a few other giveaways?
- Plane, train, or car accidents during good weather.
- Objects falling from windows.
- Indication that a “party” presented no other evidence.
Come Out on Top on Torts MBE Questions
Torts is only one of several subjects tested on the MBE, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not critical to your success!
Although there are only 25 tort questions, multiple topics can be covered within that number.
The best way to feel confident when you take the exam is by practicing!
We make it easier with our MBE DNA prep course. You’ll have access to over 1,500 sample MBE questions to study from, along with recorded workshops and MBE flashcards!