Civil procedure can be less than scintillating. Not every landmark decision is written by a xenophobic Texan with a penchant for workplace sexual aggression. However, there is a cure for this malaise, provided your class is small enough, and not made up entirely of traitorous saboteurs: BINGO!
Your grandmother would be psyched. If you threw in a slot machine, she'd be signing up for the LSAT right now. Hell, you had her at "xenophobic Texan."
- The regular rules. They haven't changed since you last played.
- Players must submit a nominal entry fee (the pot) before receiving a card.
- Players may not actively alter the course of a lecture in order to fill in squares.
- Upon completion of a line of squares, the player must raise his or her hand, and work the word "bingo" into a legal question:
Naturally, there must be a wide variety of categories in order to create a challenging and long-lasting game, and to ensure that there aren't a dozen simultaneous winners.
- The professor uses a latin phrase.
- Infrequent class participants participate.
- The professor makes up a hypothetical in which a company designs, manufactures, markets or sells widgets. (What are widgets? Is it so difficult to come up with a product that actually exists? Screwdrivers. Microchips. There's two, right off the top of my head. Pistols. Syringes. Those two are from looking out the window. It's that easy.)
- Your class's frequent-sneezer sneezes, startling those around him.
- The professor adjusts his or her pants. (This may be one- or two-handed, depending on professorial obesity.)
- The small-bladdered student leaves class in the middle, or the chronically late one enters.
- Somebody misuses a word.
- The class covers a case involving a rail yard, or a steel plant. (Those are some seriously litigious locales.)
- A cell phone rings.
- The professor quotes one of Lord Denning's dry witticisms.
- Roger says "Gee," "Well," or "Gosh". (He will.)
- The professor strolls to the back of the class, prompting a flurry of facebook minimization.
- The FREE square!
There will be widespread laughter when somebody is victorious, which creates the risk that the game will be discovered, and the fun will have to end. The trick is to convince the professor that he or she is really bringing jurisdictional and venue issues to life. If you can do that convincingly, you've truly won the game.